President Obama hits golf milestone on Father’s Day

President Obama played the 100th golf game of his presidency Sunday, spending a few sunny hours on Father’s Day at a private Chicago country club.

The president, who is in Chicago with his family this weekend, played at the Beverly Country Club with two members of his tight-knit Chicago social circle, Martin Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker. They were joined by Obama’s trip director and frequent golfing partner, Marvin Nicholson.

Whitaker, who has been friends with Obama since both were in graduate school, succeeded Michelle Obama at her job as vice president of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Whitaker was a fixture on the 2008 presidential campaign trail, often sitting with Obama on the campaign plane, serving as a sounding board for the candidate.

In a new book about the Obama administration, “The Amateur,” author Edward Klein alleges that Whitaker offered a $150,000 bribe to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s controversial former pastor, to stop speaking publicly until after the 2008 election. In the book, Wright claimed that Whitaker e-mailed a member of his congregation, offering to pay for his silence. Whitaker denied the allegation a few weeks ago in an interview with ABC News.

Sunday’s golf outing was the 100th time Obama has hit the links as president, according to Mark Knoller of CBS News, the keeper of all types of presidential statistics.

By Knoller’s count, the duffer-in-chief has played golf 47 times at Andrews Air Force Base, 21 at Fort Belvoir, once at the Army Navy Country Club, 17 times on Martha’s Vineyard and 13 times in Hawaii.

The president spent much of the weekend in Chicago with his wife, two daughters and mother-in-law. They attended the wedding Saturday of White House adviser Valerie Jarrett’s daughter.

Obama is next headed to Los Cabos, Mexico, for a Group of 20 summit that will focus on Europe’s financial crisis and growing global economic uncertainty.

Lyndsey Layton has been covering national education since 2011, writing about everything from parent trigger laws to poverty’s impact on education to the shifting politics of school reform.
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