When we last visited the story of Barack Obama’s incredible journey into retirement golfing adventures, the situation at the Woodmont Country Club in Maryland was melting down. After initially planning to offer a free membership (though not exactly free… more on that below) to the former president, many of the Jewish members of the club objected. They were unhappy with various aspects of Obama’s policies regarding Israel. The club then decided to retract the offer (though it had technically never gone out) leading to one of their senior officers resigning in disgust.
Now, with a bit more time to think it over, they have reconsidered and will be extending the offer after all. (WaPo)
Former president Barack Obama is welcome to tee off at the Woodmont Country Club whenever he likes, not withstanding the Middle East policies of his just-ended administration.
That was the message Monday from the leadership of the predominantly Jewish club in the Washington suburb of Rockville, Md., where a nasty fight over whether to offer Obama a membership spilled into public view earlier this month…
In an email to members Monday, Woodmont president Barry Forman said that after “many hours in recent weeks considering this matter and the views of our members,” the club’s executive committee decided to invite Obama to join.
As predicted, the officers and members seem to be more horrified over all the press they are getting than any decision as to whether or not Obama will be teeing off there. Their statement goes on to say that “political views have never been part of our membership criteria” so it sounds like they would like this story to go away for the most part.
But it’s also being made clear that it’s not entirely a “free membership.” As we discussed when the story first broke, there is an $80K initiation fee and a waiting list for most people to even be considered. That fee and the waiting time will be suspended for the Golfer in Chief, but he’d still be on the hook for the rather pricey annual dues. (Given his tax returns from past few years that shouldn’t be a problem.)
The big question I’ve been posing up until now remains unanswered however. Does Barack Obama even want to join? His spokesperson had no comment on it for the Post. Background searching confirms nothing more than the fact that he played there a few times as a guest while in office and it is located conveniently close to where he’ll be living, but that’s about it. If this had all happened quietly and smoothly it wouldn’t be shocking at all for Obama to take advantage of this nice little perk from his former position, but now? The entire world was informed that a significant chunk of the members were in revolt over his being invited and it turned into a bone of contention among the members. Is it going to be all that relaxing for him to show up when he gets back to Maryland?
There are a number of clubs down there who would no doubt love to have a former president as a member. I’m guessing Obama will be working on lowering his handicap elsewhere.