Calipari had fun time golfing with Obama

Associated Press

Kentucky head coach John Calipari listens to a question during an NCAA Tournament news conference on March 28 in Kansas City.

LEXINGTON _ John Calipari looked tanned and relaxed when he met with a small group of sports reporters Sunday for a round-table discussion at the University of Kentucky.

Calipari spent time in Italy early in the summer. Toward the end of August he got the chance to play a round of golf with former President Barack Obama.

After the round, Calipari posted photos on social media with Obama on the green and wrote that the two played a round of golf and spent four hours talking in the golf cart at Farm Neck Golf Club at Martha's Vineyard.

Calipari talked about the famous round of golf Sunday. It was set up by Calipari friend Robert Wolf, who worked in the Obama Administration.

A Friday afternoon tee time was worked out, and Calipari had his clubs shipped to him in Boston. He'd had a hip replaced five years ago and didn't think he could walk 18 holes.

"But, would you play? Yes, you play," Calipari said. "I had my clubs shipped to me, get me with a pro for three days to see if we can get a swing. After the first day he said 'you're probably right, let's put the driver in the bag and just hit the 3-wood.'"

Calipari was impressed with how youthful Obama looked.

"Looks like he's 35," Calipari said of Obama. "And he's a good golfer. The great thing was the fourth player was worse than me."

Calipari admitted being nervous walking to the first tee box.

"I did not sleep the night before, it was like we were in the national championship game," Calipari said. "I haven't started breathing yet. We get up to the first tee box, I haven't played, I stand over the ball. I hear rustling."

There were two Secret Service agents in front of the group, two beside them, two behind them, and later Calipari learned there were two more in the woods.

"I hit one, they said 'fore', and I see one scurry out of the woods," Calipari said.

He looked back from the tee box and saw people on the deck shooting video of him getting ready to hit.

"I haven't played in five years, and I've got to hit this ball," Calipari said.

Calipari's story was he hit it 220 yards down the middle.

"The President said 'you're not a 20 handicap,'" Calipari said. "The next tee box, no one watching, I rolled it off the tee box."

"He has a great demeanor," Calipari said. "He's 59, I thought he was 51. It was fun, glad I did it."

Calipari said he may play with President Donald Trump next year if he gets the chance. He's met former President Bill Clinton. "I'd like to play with (President) George W. (Bush). The President I didn't get to meet that I'd really wanted to meet was Ronald Reagan, I would've loved to spend time with him. I liked his leadership, he brought people together."

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