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President Obama

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrived on Martha's Vineyard for vacation in August, 2013. — The Boston Globe

President Obama and his family are scheduled to arrive by helicopter at Martha’s Vineyard Airport on Saturday for the start of a two-week vacation. The public will not be allowed to welcome the Obamas on their arrival, which will be private.

President Obama will mix vacation with work and fundraising, according to a White House staff member. On Monday, August 11, the President will attend a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee event hosted by Berklee College of Music President Roger Brown and his wife, Linda Mason, in Tisbury, Politico reported.

On Sunday, August 17, the President will return to Washington, D.C., to attend meetings at the White House. He will return to the Vineyard on Tuesday, August 19. On Sunday, August 24, the President will depart Martha’s Vineyard and return to Washington, D.C.

The Obamas will stay in Chilmark, the town that is clearly their favored vacation spot on Martha’s Vineyard. The family will stay in a secluded house at 72 Gosnold’s Way off Prospect Hill Road that overlooks the north shore and Vineyard Sound. The seven-bedroom, nine-bath, 8,100-square-foot house sits on a 10-acre lot and features 17 rooms in total, expansive water views of Vineyard Sound, an infinity pool and hot tub, and a dual tennis-basketball court.

Mr. Obama and his family have vacationed on the Island every year since his 2008 election, with the exception of 2012, when he was campaigning for re-election.

Past presidential vacation activities have included golf, more golf, bike trips with the family, hikes, and dinners with friends.

Catch a photo of President Obama on vacation and you could win a three-pound lobster for dinner.

President Obama walks to the podium for a statement on Libya at his vacation home on Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, Massachusetts Monday, August 22, 2011. — Vince DeWitt - Pool via CNP
Jeffrey Maida of The Net Result has a lobster for one lucky presidential photographer.
Jeffrey Maida of The Net Result has a lobster for one lucky presidential photographer.

President Barack Obama and his family are scheduled to arrive Saturday, August 9, for a two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

It will be the Obamas’ fifth Island vacation during his presidency. There are no scheduled public appearances, and if past practice is a guide, the Obamas will spend much of their time out of sight of the press corps.

The Obamas will behave much like other summer vacationeers, albeit with the advantage of a motorcade. There will be outings to restaurants, golf courses, beaches and shops where their unexpected appearance will generate plenty of excitement and lots of photos.

The Times welcomes your photos of presidential encounters and will publish submissions in print and on mvtimes.com.

Please send photos to photos@mvtimes.com. Please include your name, a contact phone number, and the time and location of the photo.

All submissions will qualify for a drawing to win a three-pound lobster from The Net Result, a full service fish market open seven days located at The Tisbury Marketplace in Vineyard Haven (508-693-6071).

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A round of golf in the summer can be pretty pricey but there are ways to lower the cost.

President Barack Obama, shown here on the first day of his 2013 vacation at Farm Neck Golf Course in Oak Bluffs, is among the many Island visitors who spend time on the links on Martha's Vineyard. — File photo by Nancy Lane/The Boston Herald

Affordable golf. On Martha’s Vineyard? In the summer? Actually, yeah. In fact, there’s even an inexpensive option.

Island golf courses appear to have constructed a fee schedule designed to maximize income during the season and still provide affordable in-season golf to a pretty passionate group of year-round Island golfers who hold a resident membership in one of the Island’s many clubs and visitors able to play at off-peak times. Affordable off-season and winter memberships are offered by Edgartown and by Mink Meadows. Off-season rates at Island courses are in line with off-Island courses.

One might think the five courses here would probe the outer limits of pricing as Island purveyors sometimes do. But that’s not the case with golf.

Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs and the Edgartown Golf Club have not raised prices in years, and while in-season midday rates are zesty, $160 at Farm Neck, reading the small print can get you on for just a few dollars more than nearby off-Island public courses charge in-season. Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown is a members-only club and doesn’t have public play or rates.

Courses in upscale communities such as Pembroke, Wayland, and Scituate feature greens fees with a cart in the $60-70 range for 18 holes. Pinehills in Plymouth, a top-quality course, gets $100-110 for 18 holes and a cart in season and charges about the same as Farm Neck and Edgartown for early and late day rounds. Mink Meadows is less expensive than Pinehills for off-peak tee times.

You can play Farm Neck early in the day for as little as $80, half its midday in-season rate. Edgartown plays all day for $70, though you need to play a round with a member before earning three additional rounds at that price without a member present. Mink Meadows in Tisbury offers 18 holes for $95, with a cart for $113, midday in-season, but you can play nine early for $35, or $46 with a cart. Play nine late in the day for $45, $56 with a cart at Mink.

“I think Island golf fees are reasonable,” Mark Hess, general manager at Edgartown Golf Club said this week. “Our rates have remained the same for about five years. And relative to resort areas, golf rates here are really reasonable. Go to Hilton Head [S.C.]: you’re looking at $150 or more easily. There are fair rates out there and you ought to be able to get on. The number of Island golf courses is sufficient to meet demand.”

Farm Neck is humming along nicely, head pro Don Costello said. “Our rates have been unchanged for three years,” he said. “Greens fees at other top-rated resorts are two or three times higher than ours. The number of rounds are up this season. Our pro shop does a good volume of business. We have top brands and we’re less expensive than the (golf) warehouses. We see it as a service for Island golfers for their clubs and equipment.”

But the hands-down most affordable, and probably the coolest golf experience you’ll ever have, is offered by The Ancient and Honorable Chappaquiddick Links (AHCL) on North Neck Road on Chappaquiddick.

This 105-year old course was built by and is maintained by descendants of the Marshall family which owns the property and attendant buildings. It’s nine holes, and a classic Chappy experience. Featuring two par 4s and seven par 3s, the 1,325 yard beauty wends its way along the Cape Poge Bay shoreline. The family maintains the rustic course as a matter of love.

“No, it’s not a moneymaker,” said Brad Woodger, who manages and maintains the course for the family. The AHCL, also known as the Island Ball Watchers Society, is real golf presented in a droll, understated Island way.

It’s a private club, which actually means pretty much anyone can play at a rate of $40 a round, though recognized Islanders often get a discount. There is still be an honor box for off-season golfers. Sir Reginald the Crow is the course mascot and logo-bearer and keeps an eye on all things golf. The Ancient and Honorable is reluctantly up for sale by the family. Golf course, main house, outbuildings and 18 acres for $12.5 million. No buyer yet.

Mr. Hess and Mr. Costello play Chappy and enjoy it. “It’s really a fun course and golf doesn’t come any more affordably,” Mr. Costello said.

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The president and his family are expected to stay in a home well off North Road in Chilmark that features a basketball court and pool.

A view of President Obama's vacation getaway at 72 Gosnold's Way in Chilmark. — Photo by Nathaniel Horwitz

The White House late Wednesday confirmed that President Obama and his family will return to Martha’s Vineyard for two weeks of vacation in August.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arriving on Martha's Vineyard last year for their summer vacation.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arriving on Martha’s Vineyard last year for their summer vacation.

“On Saturday, August 9th, the President and the First Lady will travel to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts,” a White House official said on background. “They will remain there until Sunday, August 24th, when they will return to Washington, D.C. There are no public events scheduled at this time and further details on travel will be released when they are available.”

The president is expected to return to Chilmark, the town that is clearly their favored vacation spot on Martha’s Vineyard. The family will stay in a secluded house off North Road that overlooks the north shore and Vineyard Sound, according to property owners familiar with the elaborate security preparations that precede a presidential visit.

Though not confirmed by the White House, the Obamas are expected to stay at the home of Joanne Hubschman at 72 Gosnold’s Way off Prospect Hill Road, said neighbors and Prospect Hill residents, some of whom requested anonymity because Ms. Hubschman told them on condition of secrecy. The seven-bedroom, nine-bath, 8,100-square-foot house, sits on a 10-acre lot and is assessed at more than $12 million. It features 17 rooms in total, expansive water views of Vineyard Sound, an infinity pool and hot tub, and a dual tennis-basketball court.

“She told us it was a secret, but I guess the secret’s out,” Lillian Kellman, a neighbor, said in a conversation with The Times at the front door of her home. “The whole Island probably knows by now. My husband will remember when we first heard it.”

Ray Kellman, Ms. Kellman’s husband, was cutting zucchini in the kitchen. He paused in his kitchen chores to retell his story.

As he did last summer, President Obama is expected to spend a lot of time on the Island's golf courses.
As he did last summer, President Obama is expected to spend a lot of time on the Island’s golf courses.

“We first heard about it when a friend of ours said, ‘I hear the Obamas are staying on your road this summer,’ a few weeks ago, before we’d heard anything about it,” Mr. Kellman said. “Then the real estate guy, Tom Wallace, called us. He explained that Obama would be here and that they were coming to stay nearby, and that they appreciated our help, since they wanted to keep a communications vehicle — no one will be in it — at our house, powered with electricity from our garage. Wallace came by, he looked around, took some pictures looking for the best spot for the vehicle. I thought that there are too many trees around here, but Wallace said the vehicle has an antenna that can go up 150 feet, above the treeline.”

A visit by a Times reporter to 72 Gosnold’s Way brought Ms. Hubschman to the door. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” she said, smiling. “I’ve heard nothing about that.”

Real estate agent Tom Wallace of Wallace & Co. in Edgartown has handled housing arrangements for the Obamas during previous Island visits.

In a telephone conversation with The Times late Wednesday, Mr. Wallace would not confirm any visits to Gosnold’s Way, but he did confirm his involvement again this year in helping to find a vacation retreat. “As you can imagine, there are security concerns, so I can’t confirm any locations,” he said. “Each year we choose three viable options, and we have not executed a final decision for this year.”

Asked what he looks for when seeking properties for the President’s visit, Mr. Wallace said, “A basketball court is great, a swimming pool is nice, privacy is obviously important.”

The Prospect Hill Association is scheduled to hold a meeting at 9 am, Saturday morning where residents of the exclusive subdivision are expected to learn more about checkpoints, the screening process, and whether or not there will be a list of names of people approved to enter Prospect Hill during the first family’s stay, according to one member of the association who asked not to be identified. The Hubschman property is not part of Prospect Hill, but its access runs through the subdivision.

Agents for the Obamas originally inquired about renting the home of Frank V. Sica at 60 Prospect Hill Road, which also has a pool, vast water views and access to the Prospect Hill Association’s tennis courts. They ultimately decided to look at the next road over, Gosnold’s Way.

Ms. Hubschman makes her home in Greenwich, Conn., and had four children with her husband of more than 25 years, Henry Hubschman, who had a distinguished career in law, government and business until his death in 2011, according to his obituary. He was president and CEO of General Electric’s Aviation Services and Infrastructure divisions, which grew from assets of $10 billion to $49 billion under his leadership. “He took special pleasure in hosting friends and family at their summer home on Martha’s Vineyard,” read his obituary in the Washington Post.

Word of a repeat presidential visit began circulating around the Island in March. The president brings a large entourage of Secret Service agents, White House staffers, and support personnel, and the White House began arranging for lodging this spring, according to sources.

Mr. Obama and his family have vacationed on the Island every year since his 2008 election, with the exception of 2012, when he was campaigning for re-election.

In 2009, 2010, and 2011, the first family rented Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark, a 28.5-acre secluded compound on Tisbury Great Pond. The house was sold in December 2011 to architect Lord Norman Foster and his wife, Lady Elena Foster, of Thames Bank in Great Britain under the name of a holding corporation.

Last year, the first family also stayed in Chilmark, renting a 5,000-square-foot, four-bedroom house valued at $7.6 million just a short distance off South Road. Owned by David M. Schulte, the home has an attached, two-bedroom guesthouse, small basketball court, and water views. That visit necessitated the closure of South Road, much to the irritation of many local residents and Chilmark selectman Warren Doty. No road closures are anticipated this trip.

Past presidential vacation activities have included golf, more golf, bike trips with the family, hikes, and dinner with friends.