Obama kicks off birthday weekend golfing with pals
This Aug. 1, 2014, photo shows President Barack Obama as he smiles near the conclusion of a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. President Barack Obama is starting his birthday weekend with a round of golf before escaping to the Maryland mountains. Obama turns 53 on Monday. In what's become an annual birthday tradition, he's joining friends on the green for an early morning round at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland. He'll board Marine One later Saturday for the short helicopter flight to Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama puts on a glove before starting a round of golf at Andrews Air Force Base on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.Â (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
CORRECTING BY REMOVING FOUR-COUNTRY TRIP TO EUROPE - President Barack Obama drives a golf cart as he arrives to play golf at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Saturday, March 22, 2014. Obama leaves Sunday night for a long planned four-country trip, which begins Monday in the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama, left, walks with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to the second green as they golf at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual holiday vacation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama plays golf at the Mid Pacific Country Club, Wednesday, .Jan. 1, 2014 in Lanikai on the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
President Barack Obama is seen walking toward his ball, shown in the foreground, on the golf course at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., during a round of golf with Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Monday, May 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
By JOSH LEDERMAN
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama opened his birthday weekend on Saturday with a round of golf with friends before escaping to the Maryland mountains.
Obama turns 53 on Monday. In what's become an annual birthday tradition, he joined friends on the green for an early morning round at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland, where the clouds threatening rain held off long enough for the president to get in 18 holes.
Rounding out his foursome were presidential pals Mike Ramos, Bobby Titcomb and Greg Orme, the White House said. All three are longtime friends dating back to Obama's childhood in Hawaii.
Although they teed off against eight other golfers, Obama and his team finished with the winning score, the White House said. In another birthday ritual, that victory earned Obama's three teammates a ride with the president aboard Marine One for the short flight to Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains.
Also aboard the president's helicopter: Obama personal trainer Cornell McClellan. The other golfers, who weren't identified by the White House, were expected to travel to Camp David by car.
The White House didn't say what Obama had in store for the rest of his birthday weekend or whether first lady Michelle Obama would be joining him. Obama planned to return to the White House on Sunday afternoon.