February 16, 2013 / 3:57 PM / 6 years ago

Obama on buddies' golf weekend along Florida's Atlantic coast

U.S. President Barack Obama waves to visitors as he departs for travel to Chicago and, eventually, a Presidents Day weekend visit in Florida, from the White House in Washington, February 15, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

PALM CITY, Florida (Reuters) - It’s a buddies weekend of golf for President Barack Obama at a private resort along Florida’s Atlantic coast.

With his wife, Michelle, and two daughters away on a ski trip, Obama was in warmer climes at the end of a week devoted to promoting the proposals he offered in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

Details were scant about Obama’s three-day golf weekend with friends, but Golf Digest reported that Obama would be getting a lesson from Butch Harmon, a top swing coach who once helped Tiger Woods work on his game.

The resort, called the Floridian, has a golf course designed by golf great Gary Player and later redesigned by Tom Fazio. The Floridian was purchased in 2010 by Jim Crane, owner of the Houston Astros baseball team who local media reports said is hosting Obama’s visit.

The president was staying at one of the resort’s cottages. He is to return to Washington on Monday, which is the President’s Day holiday.

Harmon told Tim Rosaforte, a Golf Channel analyst who writes for Golf Digest, that Obama had requested a lesson through an aide. The White House did not immediately confirm that Harmon was present.

“I’ve played golf with Ike, Nixon, Ford and President Bush 41,” Harmon told Rosaforte, referring to former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. “I never played with President (Bill) Clinton. I met him in the Oval Office. It’ll be interesting. I know the president is a real keen golfer. I’m looking forward to it.”

Like many of his predecessors, Obama is an avid golfer. He frequently tees up at the courses at Joint Base Andrews near Washington with a group of friends.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Will Dunham

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