Aw: Why Obama golfs (almost) alone

Friends and associates say the president sees his five-hour outings as a chance to blow off steam, improve on a score that averages in the mid- to upper-90s and, above all, escape the scrutiny of his day job.

β€œTo a certain extent, his insularity as a president, relying on a relatively small circle of advisers, is reflected in the small group of guys he plays golf with,” said veteran New York Times reporter Don Van Natta, Jr., who has written books on presidential golf and pioneering female golfer Babe Didrikson Zaharias.

A POLITICO analysis of 64 of the 71 rounds Obama has played since taking office shows that his golf circle has actually gotten much tighter over the past 2 1/2 years, narrowing from a group of about two dozen pals, administration officials and Cabinet members to a dozen or so trusted partners.