Weve all done it, son, he said. He seemed to take the view that, like Obi Wan says to Luke Skywalker, I had taken my first steps into a larger universe, one where golf was so important it could break you in half and reduce you to a blubbering wreck. Which is exactly what a sport should be able to do to you. Now, over 30 years on, I dont break teeth or clubs quite so much. I hover on a handicap around 16 and every year on The Charlie Hodge, when I get together with the guys Alan, Graham, Peter and Stewart I dont go quite as crazy as I did in years gone by. Not to say that there arent still some world class swearing eruptions from time to time. As the best golfer in our group, seven- handicap Alan explained to me once: Face it, John, youre a fairly average golfer who is unlikely to get significantly better. He sipped his pint and added: I mean, I could beat you using a brush and an orange. I felt a kind of serenity in the backwash of his brilliant insult. He was right.

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Its a day of golf in Southern California for President Barack Obama while the nations capital recovers from this weeks snowfall. The White House says Obama teed off Saturday at the nine-hole course at the Sunnylands retreat in Rancho Mirage with childhood friends Bobby Titcomb, Greg Orme and Michael Ramos. Best news photos of the week A look at some of our favorite images of the week. Obama is spending the weekend at the estate. It used to be the winter home of the late billionaire philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg. On Friday night, Obama and Jordans King Abdullah II met at Sunnylands for talks largely focused on Syria. Obama is scheduled to return to the White House on Monday. Meanwhile, his wife Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha, are enjoying a ski weekend in Aspen, Colo. Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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