Obama's Mental Health Breaks
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In The New Republic, Michelle Cottle gets herself worried about the political imagery of the President's golf habit:
Bunker Mentality Barack Obama's dangerous obsession with golf
During the 2008 race, Obama’s golf outings drew less notice than his battles on the hard court. But, now that he’s firmly ensconced in the Oval Office, the sticks have come out of the closet as Obama constantly looks to squeeze in a few holes ...

But just because other presidents have done it doesn’t mean there aren’t political risks involved. In the popular imagination, golf is the stuff of corporate deal-cutting, congressional junkets, and country club exclusivity. And, unless a president is very careful, a golf habit can easily be spun as evidence of unseemly character traits ranging from laziness to callousness to out-of-touch elitism.

I've mentioned before how most careers in 21st Century America are more or less in marketing, and how journalism is slowly turning into Marketing Criticism.
Various explanations have been floated for Obama’s embrace of golf ...
The most reasonable is mine: that Obama has made it to the top, so now he's doing what men who have made it to the top in the Anglosphere and the Far East frequently do: play a lot of golf. (Why men like to play golf I've explained at length here.)

I would guess that he'll become more addicted to golf as he plays more great golf courses. Right now, his taste in golf courses appears to be rather indiscriminate, happily playing whatever lame layout is at hand. But eventually, like Bill Clinton, he'll learn that some golf courses are better than others, and then the Presidential helicopter will be descending upon Ballybunion (the small town on the west coast of Ireland that is home to Bill Clinton's favorite golf course and the world's first statue of Bill Clinton — the other Clinton statue is in Kosovo), Sand Hills in remote Mullen, Nebraska, the National and the like.

The more interesting speculation about Obama and golf is that, like George W. Bush, he sure seems to take a lot of mental health breaks, such as when he disappears for a smoke.

Bush is an alcoholic, so that's one explanation for his constant exercising: to stay on the wagon. But what's Obama's reason for his schedule?

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