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Thompson Park Golf Course opens for the season Monday

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Get the golf clubs out of the garage and get ready for the season.

The Thompson Park Golf Course opens on Monday.

With so much rain during the last two weeks, only nine holes will be ready for Monday’s opening, with the other nine by May 1, golf course Manager Jordan Northrop said.

“The rain definitely put us behind,” he said, “so this week we have to get it mowed.”

It’s the second year that the city will run the 18-hole course in Thompson Park after buying 63 acres for $3.4 million from Michael E. Lundy in 2023.

For months last year, the $3.4 million price tag divided the community, caused heated debate among City Council members and produced lots of headlines.

But that was last year.

“I think the controversy is behind us,” Northrop said, stressing he’s optimistic for the season.

The golf course has signed up 16 tournaments, up from nine. Calling it “a lofty goal,” he’s targeted 200 memberships, an increase from 171.

“I think this is going to be a cultural change year,” he said.

Initially, local golfers didn’t know what to expect last year after there was so much angst and turmoil. That might have kept some of them away, he said.

As the season went on last year, golfers heard there was a change in atmosphere at the golf course. Staff made it a focus to know members by name and to greet them, Northrop said.

“It felt more like a country club,” said Taylor LaVere, the assistant golf course manager.

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The future could be golf at former Watertown YMCA building

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Ives Hill Country Club owner Jake Johnson is the potential buyer in the process of acquiring the former YMCA building.

He has a $450,000 purchase offer on the two-story, brick building at 119 Washington St.

Johnson, who owns Ives Hill Country Club on West Flower Avenue, plans to transform the building’s interior into an indoor golf business, where golfers can improve their game “all year round,” he said.

After the season is over, golfers will still be able to play digitally on the Ives Hill Country Club golf course inside the old Y during all times of the year, Johnson said.

“It’ll be like they’re playing at Ives Hill,” he said.

The Watertown Local Development Corp.’s Revolving Loan Committee on Wednesday morning approved a $150,000 loan that will be used to purchase the old YMCA building. The loan will go to the full Watertown Trust board today.

Donald W. Rutherford, the Watertown Trust’s CEO, called the deal “a straight real estate transaction” and a “fairly low risk” for the Trust on the loan.

In August, Johnson purchased nine of the 18 holes at Ives Hill for $1.9 million from P.J. Simao. Johnson has completed substantial improvements to the golf course and renovated the clubhouse before opening it in December.

The golf course under Johnson’s ownership will open for the season this spring.

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Watertown gets one proposal for golf course’s clubhouse

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The city on Thursday received one proposal from a local man with 10 years of restaurant experience who wants to run the Thompson Park Golf Course clubhouse.

David Marconi, who has worked as a manager and server at several area restaurants, submitted the only proposal to operate the concessions at the clubhouse for the Thompson Park Golf Course.

The city’s purchasing department opened the proposal on Thursday morning.

Afterward, Marconi said he would “offer a simplified menu,” consisting of subs, burgers, salads, appetizers and a couple of entrees.

“I would cater to the golfers,” he said, adding that he also would accommodate park-goers and offer takeout service.

He would pay the city $6 to run the clubhouse for next season.

The owners of Spokes, a Public Square nightspot that closed in December, ran the clubhouse after the city took over the golf course last year. Spokes paid $1 to the city to run it last season.

Under Marconi, the clubhouse would be open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and have a staff of about 10 to 12 people. He’s targeting a May 1 opening and a mid-October closing for the season.

He’s excited about the prospects of running the clubhouse, adding that he’s wanted to run his own restaurant for a few years now.

“I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity this time around,” he said.

Over the next two to three weeks, the city’s purchasing and parks and recreation departments will review his proposal before making a recommendation to City Council. Purchasing director Tina Bartlett-Bearup expects council to consider the proposal during its Feb. 20 meeting.

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Thompson Park’s giant golf ball has been returned

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The giant golf at the golf course in Thompson Park is back.

The golf ball sign was returned Tuesday afternoon.

“It wasn’t there when I went out and then I went out again, it was there,” golf course manager Jordan Northrop said.

For weeks, the missing golf ball was a thorny issue for some city officials. The ball was removed by former Watertown Golf Club owner Michael E. Lundy and then taken to Ives Hill Country Club on Flower Avenue West as an April Fool’s prank.

Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith wasn’t amused and threatened to have Mr. Lundy arrested.

But the golf ball was placed in the same spot at the city’s newly acquired golf course at about 3:40 p.m.

The city has renamed the 18-hole course the Thompson Park Golf Course.

The ball no longer has the Watertown Golf Club logo, It’s been painted over.

“No one saw it returned,” Mr. Northrop said. “Don’t know who brought it back.”

The city purchased the Watertown Golf Club for $3.4 million from Mr. Lundy in January. The purchase has been a political hot potato, mainly for its price.

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Cute Dog Walking Around Golf Course has Collected 6,000 Lost Golf Balls Which Are Donated to Charities

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An eagle-eyed pooch has become an expert at finding lost golf balls in London, so much so that he’s helping provide golf charities with the balls they need to teach kids around the world.

Charles Jefferson must have felt he hit a hole-in-one when one day his dog, a cavapoo named Marlo, emerged from the bushes with a pristine tour-grade ball on the puppy’s first visit to a local London golf course.

Jefferson, a top-level amateur golfer for four decades who used to work with the European Tour, realized that a retrieved mint condition Titleist Pro V1 retails for around £3.50, and that his Marlo might have a unique ability for finding lost balls.

He spent the next six years walking up and down courses with Marlo, watching and chatting, and getting out in the open air.

Between Mitcham Golf Club and Wimbledon Common Golf Club, Mr. Jefferson and Marlo filled dresser drawers with golf balls, but rather than a single instance of selling around 600 to a mate, he never had any interest with the “retrieval market” a cottage industry that’s cropped up around recovering golf balls.

As an advertising and branding agent, Jefferson leapt at the chance to turn Marlo’s abilities into a force for good after he heard of a donation drive to promote the prevention of litter from lost golf balls.

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Proposal surfaces for city to purchase Watertown Golf Club

in Local News/Place/Sports 183 views

Oct. 14—WATERTOWN — Two developers at the center of a controversy involving the Watertown Golf Club at Thompson Park have come up with a way to resolve the club’s long-standing issues with the city.

Developers Michael A. Lundy and P.J. Simao are proposing that the city buy the nine holes that Mr. Lundy owns at the golf course.

City Manager Kenneth A. Mix confirmed Thursday that talks are “continuing” with Mr. Lundy about the city purchasing the portion of the golf club that Mr. Lundy owns. The club owns holes one through six and 16 to 18 of the course, while the city owns the others.

Council members have talked about the issue twice during executive sessions in recent weeks, but it appears that the deal was not moving forward.

Several weeks ago, Mr. Lundy and Mr. Simao met with Mr. Mix, Councilwoman Lisa A. Ruggiero and city attorney Robert J. Slye about the proposal.

Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith, who did not attend the meeting, opposes the deal, saying that the proposed price for the city to acquire the property is too high. He would not say how much was being asked for the property, but said that it exceeds the $3.1 million that it cost to build the pool at Thompson Park.

“No way for that price,” he said.

Under the proposal, the deal would end all litigation against the city involving the golf course and it would allow Ives Hill Country Club, which Mr. Simao owns, to reopen.

If the deal can be consummated, Mr. Simao would not pursue future legal action. In recent years, he has kept Ives Hill closed.

Over the years, the golf club has been the source of legal battles with both developers, much of it involving how golf club members have parked on city-owned land at the park.

Mr. Simao also has accused the city of subsidizing the golf club by allowing a below-market lease for the city-owned land used by the golf course.

Most recently, Mr., Lundy became incensed that zoning for the land he owns at the golf club would change under sweeping zoning changes proposed by the city.

Under the proposed changes, Mr. Lundy’s property would be rezoned from residential to open area for park land, thus ending Mr. Lundy’s plans to possibly someday build homes on it.

While he would not talk about selling the land to the city, Mr. Lundy made it known on Thursday night exactly how he feels about the zoning change, which would prohibit his plans to build houses on his property.

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