By Jonathan Easley - 05/06/13 10:06 PM EDT
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) hit a rare hole-in-one while golfing with President Obama and two other senators on Monday.
But Chambliss didn’t talk up the achievement in a statement to The Hill.
“We had a delightful day of golf with folks who enjoy playing the game," he said. "We talked some business, but it was mainly a day for everyone to get away from the office for a little while.”
Chambliss later told reporters at the Capitol that he "choked down" on a
five iron for the 156 yard shot, and that afterwards the foursome — which included Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) —
signed the flag from the pin as a keepsake for the Georgia Republican.
Earlier this year Chambliss said he would retire at the end of his Senate term, citing frustration about gridlock between the White House and Congress.
Obama's golf game with the two GOP senators was the latest effort in his second-term charm offensive to win Republican allies on Capitol Hill.
Since being sworn in for his second term, the president has hosted a series of meals and meetings with Republican lawmakers, including two dinners exclusively with GOP senators.
But prior to Monday, the only members of Congress who have golfed with the president were Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.), according to CBS White House Correspondent Mark Knoller.
Obama is looking to shore up support for a bipartisan immigration reform bill that begins markup this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
He's also looking to find common ground on an overarching budget deal and grappling with deteriorating conditions and reported chemical weapons use in Syria.
All three senators are either on the Senate Foreign Relations or Intelligence Committees.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the golf outing would be a “test” of the calls for more outreach from the president.
"He's willing to try anything," Carney said. "And whether it's a conversation on the phone or a meeting in the Oval Office or dinner at a hotel or dinner at the residence, he's going to have the same kind of conversations."
Carney said the president specifically was looking to "find a willingness to move forward with a compromise on deficit reduction" as he golfed with the GOP lawmakers.
- Justin Sink and Daniel Strauss contributed