USA TODAY -- President Obama practiced some congressional relations on the golf course Monday, hitting the links with a pair of Republican senators. And Georgia's Saxby Chambliss got a hole in one.
The ace by Chambliss, R-Ga., highlighted a round that also featured GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Obama on one of the courses at Joint Base Andrews near Washington.
Obama is "looking for partners anywhere he can find them," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. "Including, you know, on the eighth hole."
Chambliss -- whose office confirmed his ace on the 11th hole -- said in a statement: "We had a delightful day of golf with folks who enjoy playing the game. We talked some business, but it was mainly a day for everyone to get away from the office for a little while."
Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado completed the foursome for a round that lasted more than four hours.
Carney said the president planned to discuss "a range of issues" with his Republican golf partners, seeking "common ground"
One subject was the budget, he said. Obama wants a "balanced" debt reduction deal that includes both budget cuts and higher taxes on the wealthy through the elimination of various loopholes. Many Republicans oppose tax hikes, saying they would slow down the economy.
Corker and Chambliss are also considered key Republicans in Obama's effort to forge a major immigration bill as well as a new budget deal.
In a statement, Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, indicated that world affairs also surfaced during the round.
"With the major fiscal issues our country is facing, not to mention foreign relations issues around the world, anytime you can get the president's ear for a few hours, I think that's a good thing," Corker said.
Udall was also looking forward to playing with the president and two Republican colleagues "in the best spirit of bipartisanship," said Udall spokesman Mike Saccone.
Chambliss' office confirmed that the Georgian shot a hole-in-one on the 11th hole.
The round is the latest in outreach efforts that included a pair of high-profile dinners this year with Republican senators.
Asked if Obama believes that a golf game is conducive to these kinds of political talks, Carney said: "He's willing to try anything."
Coincidentally or not, Corker, Chambliss and Udall are regarded as highly skilled golfers. In a 2011 survey of "Washington's Top 150 Golfers," Golf Digest ranked Udall 11th, Corker 12th, and Chambliss 37th.
Obama finished in a tie for 108th place.
It may have been Washington's most political round of golf since June 18, 2011, when Obama played with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as well as Vice President Biden and Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio.
That round came as Obama and Boehner tried to reach a "grand bargain" on the budget and debt reduction, something they were unable to achieve.