Obama hits the links with New Zealand PM

President Obama used his round of golf Thursday for some international diplomacy, hitting the links with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

It was a rare mix of business and pleasure for Obama, who customarily limits his golf games to personal friends and close aides. The president and Key were joined by the prime minister’s son, Max, and White House aide Marvin Nicholson.

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The foursome teed off at a military base near the president’s vacation home, where he’s been staying through the holidays. New Zealand media reports that Key owns a vacation home on the island of Oahu.

Reporters caught a brief glimpse of the group as they approached the second hole. After Obama struggled on the green, Key’s son upstaged the group by sinking a put.

"He's doing it in front of the cameras, too,” Obama jokingly bemoaned, before giving the teenager a high five.

The president was also observed making fun of Nicholson after one of his putts went astray.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes tweeted that New Zealand was one of America’s “closest friends” and “home to very good golfers.”

Key and Obama, who were elected within weeks of each other in 2008, have developed a friendship while working together on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement designed to strengthen multilateral trade.