The White House press corps that follows President Obama's every move has been barred from seeing or snapping a photograph of the president golfing with Tiger Woods in South Florida.
Tim Rosaforte, senior writer at Golf World/Golf Digest, began tweeting and talking on the Golf Channel about the game from inside the Floridian National Golf Club on Sunday morning. At one point, he tweeted: "The President is arriving at The Floridian range. Awaiting is Tiger Woods and club owner Jim Crane. Historic day in golf. Their first round." Golf Digest's story is here.
But it took until 1:45 p.m for the White House to confirm to the White House press pool that traveled with Obama to Florida that yes, indeed, the president had been hitting the links with Woods. That word from principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest: "The President played golf today with USTR Ron Kirk, Jim Crane and Tiger Woods."
The White House pool reporter says it asked for access to the president's game for a photo-op, "like this administration and previous ones have granted in the past," but the pooler says "we were told that we were free to travel to the Floridian but wouldn't get access to POTUS."
By the late afternoon, the White House pool was holding outside the compound. The standoff ended several hours later with the pool retreating to its hotel, but not without sharing a rebuke from Ed Henry, the president of the White House Correspondents Association, who said a "broad cross section" of WHCA members from print, radio, online and TV "expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the President of the United States this entire weekend.
"There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency," Henry said.
The White House released its own statement, from Earnest who called the press access "entirely consistent with the press access offered for previous presidential golf outings."
And Earnest said the access (or lack there of) was "consistent with the press access promised to the White House Press Corps prior to arrival in Florida on Friday evening."
Earnest told reporters that Butch Harmon, Tiger Wood's former swing coach, accompanied the group for several holes and provided tips along the way - "not that any of the group necessarily needed any," the White House pool reported.