JUPITER, Fla. — President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe disappeared from public view for more than three hours here Saturday at one of Trump’s signature golf courses for what was billed as some fairways diplomacy.

Both leaders share a passion for golf and had expressed hope that their time at Trump National Golf Club be among their better bonding opportunities during Abe’s visit this weekend to South Florida. He and his wife have been staying at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in nearby Palm Beach.

A media pool traveled in Trump’s motorcade to the luxurious club, where an oversize American flag greets golfers entering the clubhouse, but was not offered a glimpse of the two men. After Trump and Abe had entered, reporters – including a Japanese contingent – were led down to a basement suite where windows were covered with black plastic so they couldn’t see out.

The White House’s decision to keep the traveling press pool from seeing Trump and Abe golfing together was somewhat of a departure from past administrations.

Although Barack Obama golfed several hundred times while serving as president, his outings with dignitaries were often open to the press pool, so photographers and other journalists could document the occasion.

When Obama held a similar summit in 2013, with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Sunnylands in California, the media was provided several opportunities to see the two leaders interacting, including during a leisurely walk around the Sunnylands estate.

A photo of the outing with Abe showed up Saturday on Trump’s Facebook page, and a video was posted on an aide’s Twitter feed. In the Facebook photo, Trump and Abe appeared to be high-fiving each other.

Trump, who has operated 17 golf courses around the world, is said to be one of the best golfers in presidential history. Abe is a little more modest about his abilities.

“My scores in golf is not up to the level of Donald at all,” Abe said in a joint news conference that the two leaders held Friday in Washington, according to a translator.

Following their outing here Saturday, Trump and Abe headed to the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach. The Trumps and Abes were scheduled to dine together Saturday night back at the Mar-a-Lago estate.

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