Obama’s Six Golf-Game Vacation

Photograph Steven Senne/AP Photo

President Barack Obama, right, walks with attorney Eunu Chun, left, while golfing at Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Mass., on the island of Martha’s Vineyard on Aug. 18, 2013.

President Barack Obama capped off his summer vacation in a familiar spot: The putting green.

The president spent the last day of his week-long holiday on Martha’s Vineyard in a sixth and final foursome before departing the Cape Cod island.

Obama, say aides, sees the hours he spends on the course as an opportunity to relax and escape the tightly-controlled security bubble of the White House. He’s played well over 100 rounds in Washington, frequenting the course at Andrews Air Force Base.

On the Vineyard, he’s spent at least four hours nearly every day teeing off on several private courses across the island – leaving his wife, Michelle, and daughters, Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, to pursue their own vacation activities. (The girls didn’t arrive until Thursday, after spending much of the summer at camp, but they did get a couple beach mornings in while they were with their parents on the island.)

The president’s golfing partners give observers a glimpse into Obama’s inner orbit. Exclusively male, his vacation foursomes have included some of his closest aides and allies: Aide Marvin Nicholson, White House chef Sam Kass,, World Bank President Jim Kim, former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts, and Democratic lawyer Vernon Jordan, who owns a house on the island.

Several campaign donors also got time on the links with the president, including former UBS Americas Chairman Robert Wolf and Eunu Chun, a partner at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, who has represented Bain Capital, the private equity company founded by Obama’s 2012 presidential opponent, Republican Mitt Romney.

Yesterday, his group included “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David, a golf enthusiast, who’s described his obsession with the game as “years of pain and struggle.”

It’s an agony familiar to many golfers — including the president.

“It’s a game that I keep on thinking I should be good at, and somehow the ball goes this way and that way and never goes straight,” Obama said in a Russian media interview in 2009.

Tonight, after 9 pm EDT, the first family boarded Air Force One, bound for Washington.

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