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Obama gears up for big showdown with Boehner

June 17, 2011

BETHESDA, Md. -- When President Barack Obama and John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, finally get down to business on the golf course tomorrow, the President may have a leg up on the Speaker in terms of his golf equipment. That's because the President, during a U.S. Open week visit from Davis Love III, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, received some new bats, balls and a bag from the threesome.

Love brought a red, white and blue Bridgestone bag, Scotty Cameron by Titleist putter with "Obama" engraved on the back, and a box of "left-handed balls," since Bridgestone couldn't produce any left-handed clubs on the quick turnaround. Watson brought a replica of his Ping G15 driver -- complete with pink True Temper BiMatrx shaft. Although left-handed, the club may not be much use to the President as it has just 7.5 degrees loft and an X-flex shaft.


Among the gifts presented to the President was a wedge with a special engraving.

Mickelson, meanwhile, gifted his fellow left-hander a trio of Callaway X-Forged wedges (56, 60 and 64 degrees) stamped "Prez 44" on the back. Mickelson wanted to include the 64-degree so the President could "have a little fun" and the wedges were made personally by designer Roger Cleveland in the Callaway tour van Wednesday at Congressional. Boehner, meanwhile, also has wedges made by Cleveland, but won't use them tomorrow. The clubs, stamped, "Mr. Speaker," are back in Ohio.

According to the Associated Press, the foursome (which includes Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, will play at either Joint Base Andrews or Fort Belvoir, the two military courses most frequented by the President.

(Related: When it comes to settling political differences, there's nothing like golf.)

Of course more than equipment or venue, the piece of information everyone wants most is the final tally on the scorecards. At this point it is unclear if that will be made available or kept as classified information. Press Secretary Jay Carney did joke to reporters, however, that the scorecard would be more likely to be put out for public consumption if the President won.

--E. Michael Johnson

Follow on Twitter: @EMichaelGW