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The Captain and the President teed off on Saturday at the exclusive Shadow Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas. In addition to President Barack Obama and former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, the golf foursome included Las Vegas Sun owner Brian Greenspun along with Democratic donor and businessman Stephen Cloobeck.
Since retiring Sept. 28, Jeter has dived into business with a focus on publishing. In November 2013 he announced that he would be launching Jeter Publishing under Simon & Schuster, focusing on adult nonfiction such as sports memoirs and children’s books. The company’s first work, a children’s book titled The Contract, was released this September. In October he launched another venture, a new website called The Players’ Tribune, presenting “the unfiltered voices of professional athletes.”
However, on Saturday it was all about golf. Obama remained in Las Vegas after making a speech about immigration at a highschool on Friday. He returns to Washington today, but took Saturday off to golf. The group took about five hours to play 18 holes, and then the President decided to play another nine, but only managed to get in about three holes before having to leave the course.
The Shadow Creek course is one of the most exclusive in the world, owned by MGM Resorts International. The course is surrounded by a berm, built from dirt dug up during construction, that protects its clientelle from prying eyes. In Golf.com Josh Sens wrote “what happens at Shadow Creek stays at Shadow Creek.” This is the unwritten rule at this lush desert hangout. Meaning that no one really knows what the foursome talked about.
The course opened in 1989 and still remains a hush-hush hangout for golfers like Michael Jordan and a variety of Las Vegas bigwigs. Some have suggested that getting the opportunity to play Shadow Creek might be the real reason Obama wanted to come to Las Vegas to give a speech. Regular players, few and far between at the exclusive course, may get bumped by bigwigs who claim the entire course while they play. This apparently was not the case for Obama and Jeter, as another party could be seen on the 18th hole after the group retired to the club house.
On his new website Jeter says that he thinks fans deserve more from star athletes than “I don’t knows,” or “no comment,” a statement some find interesting since he himself rarely offered any comments of real substance to the press. He says the simple, evasive answers stem from a “genuine concern” that anything a star athlete says “might be distorted.” He plans to recruit a few high-profile athletes from different sports and create a platform where these stars can “say what’s on our minds.” The Players’ Tribune is expected to be Jeter’s primary business focus for the next two years.
Jeter, who is a Hall of Fame shortstop, may want to work on his golf game if he is going to play with the President. A Golf Digest 2006 ranking of athletes who play golf put the Captain’s handicap at 30. Obama’s handicap is 17.
By Beth A. Balen