Obama Quietly Picks Up the Golf Clubs in the Vineyard

Day one of President Obama's ten day trip on Martha's Vineyard and the commander in chief is back on the golf course. But don't expect to see any pictures of him enjoying a round of 18. The president is playing Vineyard Golf Club, a private club in Edgartown. No media is permitted on the property.

Critics have anticipated this moment in advance of the vacation, saying it sends a bad message of luxury and indulgence at a time when the country is struggling economically. Not to mention the president's approval rating at an all time low. They say voters want to see their leader working on his economic plan, not enjoying downtime. Presidential historian Stu Rothenberg warns that golfing "is always a problem for the White House in tough economic times. It points out the distance between how the president lives and what the president does and what the rest of the country is doing."

The White House may have taken that advice when selecting such a private setting for the president's round Friday. According to a recent Marist Poll, fewer people are taking time off this summer than at any time in the last decade. Americans are cutting back on vacations and the White House doesn't want to promote the Obamas' extravagant trip.

Today is the 77th round of golf Obama has played as president. He golfed last Saturday for the first time in more than a month. The heat wave and debt ceiling negotiations in Washington kept him away from his clubs for all of July. But with temperatures in the upper 70s and a light island breeze, conditions are perfect on the green.