The First Handicap: 'Between 16 and 24'

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2009 11:51 AM CDT
Barack Obama steers a golf cart with his golfing partner, Joe Biden, left, at the Fort Belvoir Golf Club together on Father's Day, Sunday, June 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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(Newser) – Bill Clinton on the golf course was notorious for cursing into the wind and rehitting balls until he was happy with his shot. But Barack Obama golfs like he governs, reports Time. The president—handicap somewhere between 16 and 24—never takes mulligans or gimme putts, rarely shows any excitement or disappointment, and has been known to "write an 11 down" rather than fudge the score.

Obama took up golf a decade ago as a more relaxed alternative to basketball, and he has hit the links nearly every weekend this summer. And his game is getting better—on Father's Day, he and Joe Biden came out even after 18 holes. That may be because of Obama's notorious mental game. As with hoops, he loves to trash-talk opponents, most brutally his press secretary Robert Gibbs—who calls Obama's game "severely handicapped."