When the new Speaker of the House signaled a willingness to find common ground with Barack Obama where possible, I’m not sure he meant the driving range. But it’s good to know that the president would even be willing to share some time on the links.

Outgoing White House senior adviser David Axelrod said that the chances are “good” that Obama and the newly-installed GOP Speaker would hit the links together.

“He understands that there are – there wouldn’t be two parties if we didn’t have differences … But he’s always believed that, even if you disagree on most things, you ought to work together on the things you can,” Axelrod said on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital” in an episode airing over the weekend.

“And you can’t do that unless you develop a relationship of trust and cooperation, and he’s willing to do that, even to the point that he’d play golf with a guy who has a much lower handicap than he does,” Axelrod added.

This is one of those cases where you almost have to feel sorry for administration spokesmen because every phrase they utter will be parsed to the nth degree. But the phrase “even to the point” was rather poorly chosen. It continues to deliver a tone which implies either that Obama would somehow have to lower himself to play a round with Boehner or that he shouldn’t play against an opponent skilled enough to beat him.

Then again, I’m not sure if Speaker Boehner would have accepted an invitation for some one on one roundball on the White House court either. Particularly after that little incident with The One coming away with a split lip, the possibilities for a news cycle meltdown are endless.

At least in a golf match the worst we should reasonably expect is some sort of a line drive to an aide’s noggin, a’ la Gerald Ford. But the odds are good that the press will focus far more on the final score and how badly Boehner beats him than on any ice-breaking discussions which might take place in the golf cart.

Of course, there’s still the possibility of a beer summit coming out of it. They’d almost have to stop for a cold one at the 19th hole, wouldn’t they? Discuss.