Quiet day on the links for Obama

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / August 25, 2011

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OAK BLUFFS - Perhaps worn out by the cross-training he did the day before - biking, swimming, golfing - or just content to dillydally around the deluxe Chilmark rental where the first family is vacationing, President Obama spent much of yesterday out of sight.

Reporters traveling with the president were initially told to be ready to move at 10:30 a.m., but his departure from Blue Heron Farm was delayed two times before his motorcade, which typically includes an armored truck, ambulance, State Police cruiser, and as many as a half-dozen other vehicles, finally hit the road.

To the dismay of a crowd of gawkers gathered outside Alley’s General Store, the president went in the other direction, leading pool reporters on a scenic 32-minute meander around the island before arriving at Mink Meadows Golf Club at 4 p.m. Earlier in the day, workers at the nine-hole course were scurrying to prepare for the president’s arrival.

“They were limiting the number of golf carts,’’ said one player who finished his round before the president arrived. “Some of the golfers were sort of [upset] because they’d made tee times but couldn’t get a golf cart.’’

The president’s foursome included, as usual, his friend Eric Whitaker, VP of the University of Chicago Medical Center, as well as White House Trip Director Marvin Nicholson, and White House chef Sam Kass.

Because reporters are kept at a distance, judging Obama’s golf game is difficult. But he could be seen wincing as he approached his ball on the sixth fairway. (Kass wasn’t so lucky, losing his shot in the tall grass.)

The president’s leisurely round ended after two hours and the motorcade returned to Blue Heron Farm.