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Longboat Key Friday, Oct. 2, 2009 11 years ago

On golf course, Clinton takes shots at right

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Longboat Key Club and Resort Golf Director Terry O’Hara saw potential in the golfer. He made some good shots, although he missed a few shots to the right. The golfer said that the game is his favorite way to clear his mind. He was visiting Longboat Key for the first time, but he admired the Key Club’s Harbourside Golf Course and told O’Hara that recent upgrades to the course would be a big hit with members.

So, just who was this mystery golfer? Former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton flew into Sarasota late Tuesday night to attend a private fundraiser for his charitable organization and give a lecture at the Ringling College Library Association’s lecture series. He arrived at the Key Club around 1:15 a.m. Wednesday morning. Key Club staff members thought he would head straight for bed, but instead, he went to the bar area to play Yuka with his Secret Service agents.

Later that morning, Clinton played at the Harbourside Golf Course. That’s when O’Hara noticed he was missing some right shots. O’Hara gave him some pointers. One of his tips:

“You want to keep your hands relaxed,” he said.

Clinton’s cell phone rang throughout the game. He told at least one caller to hold while he putted before resuming the conversation.

Clinton thanked O’Hara for the pointers, saying they would help his future game. Clinton signed a flag that will be hung in the Key Club’s locker room and also posed for pictures and signed autographs for staff members. Then, it was off to a busy schedule of fundraising and speaking before leaving by plane for Haiti.

“You forget that this guy was the most powerful guy in the world for a while,” O’Hara said.

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