IT IS THE FIRST Sunday morning in May 2011, and the president of the United States tees off on the East Course at Andrews air base. It is Barack Obama's 66th round of golf as president, and as usual, the media and the public aren't invited. Like nearly all of Obama's previous outings, the only witnesses are his playing partners -- a trio of White House staffers -- and a platoon of Secret Service agents. Obama's favorite game is basketball, a love affair that began at age 10 when the father he barely knew gave him a ball. But by his third year in office, golf has become his most cherished escape. The press corps is forbidden from following the president from hole to hole or even taking his photograph on the course. For a man who laments that he "misses being anonymous," the golf course has become the one place he can disappear.