When I headed out to Olympia Fields for a much anticipated day of 36, I had no idea that I would be teeing it up along side the President of the United States. As I prepared to tee up my tee shot on the 1st hole, I noticed a significant group of people teeing off on the 10th hole. "You see that circus over there?" the Starter said to me. "That's the President." I looked over towards the 10th hole and watched Barack Obama hit his drive down the fairway. I decided to head out onto the course with him and hit my drive down the first fairway.
After making what would be my only birdie of the day on the 3rd hole, the secret service approached me. "Did the President make birdie there? Because I just did!" I asked excitedly. Not amused, they frisked me, scanned my golf bag, and made me prove that my camera was indeed a camera and not some sort of dangerous device.
When the President plays golf he doesn't just grab a couple of buddies and head to the local muni. Every tee time an hour before and after the President's was blocked off to give the President a buffer. I imagine it would be some sort of federal offense to hit into the President anyways. Barack was traveling with about 30 secret service agents and any group within 3 holes was searched and scanned. I was lucky enough that our holes would intersect a couple of times.
Obama has called himself "An honest 13" and from what I could tell, this handicap appears to be accurate. The President also plays left handed and very briskly. On the 15th hole, I got my best look at the Presidential golf swing. He doesn't spend much time over the ball and makes a pretty good move at it. He pulled one into the woods on the right, it ricocheted off the trees and back into the fairway. As his caddie gave him the all clear, we joked that one of his agents probably just threw it back into the fairway.
A larger group of members and guests had formed as The President finished up on the 18th hole. Not being one to disappoint, he headed over for a rousing round of hellos and handshakes.
Obama did make a bogey on 18 but was all smiles. He clearly has the temperament for a good golf game, just not the time.
I am still working on securing a spot in Obama's foursome, but being on the same course at the same time was a very cool experience.