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(Photo: Wikpedia)

Looks like those rounds of golf on Martha’s Vineyard have paid off for President Obama.

Tiger Woods was apparently not the only guy on the course Sunday who knew his way around a golf club. Woods’ famous playing partner, the president of the U.S. of A., impressed the second-best golfer in the world as well as another member of the foursome, Jim Crane, who owns the Floridian National Golf Club and a nearly professional-level handicap as well.

Woods and Obama, as anyone not adrift on a disabled cruise ship for the past several days knows, played a round of golf over the weekend. What observers of all things Tiger may not realize is that Mr. President knows which end of the stick to hit.

Crane, who also owns the Houston Astros, told Fox 26 Houston he was impressed with Obama’s golf skills.

“He loves the game and he’s a good athlete,” said Crane, a scratch golfer who helped PGA Tour member Kevin Streelman finish third in the recent Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. “He hit a lot of great shots today.”

What POTUS needs to take his game to the next level is more practice, according to Crane, who sports a a handicap index of 0.8 and was Golf Digest’s top-ranked golfing chief executive in the country.

“He played pretty good,” Crane observed. “He made a bunch of pars. I don’t think he made a birdie. He putts the ball well. He strikes it well. I think if he had a little time, which we probably don’t want him doing right now, he’d probably get pretty proficient at it.”

As for the outcome of Sunday’s contest, which pitted Woods and Obama vs. Crane and U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk, the host of the outing was more upfront about the result than the First Hacker, who only smiled when reporters asked him on Monday if he had beaten Woods.

“They did put it on us pretty good,” said Crane.

Woods was also eager to share the news of his successful outing with the president.

“He was my partner and we won,” Woods told reporters on Tuesday, ahead of this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

As for his teammate’s skill on the course, Woods was effusive.

“He hit the ball well, and he’s got an amazing touch. He can certainly chip and putt,” Woods said about Obama. If he spends more time playing the game of golf, I’m sure he can get to where he’s a pretty good stick.”

Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer

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