The Legislature Is Fore! Saving Ponkapoag

The Legislature continues to wrangle with the 2009 budget, working into the night to strike compromises on all the sundry items that need to be resolved before it makes its way to Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk.

1215006358We figured the holdup was due to big issues, like education funding, or trying to scrounge up some change to expedite repairs on the Longfellow Bridge. But the Globe reports the troubled Ponkapoag Golf Course is responsible for a large part of the delay.

We understand it’s a national treasure, but we can think of three bridges off the top of our heads that could probably use some work before we worry about a grassy field.

Apparently, the power players in the Legislature don’t agree, and are hashing out a plan to possibly privatize the course.

Sources who were briefed on the talks said [Senate president Therese] Murray was pushing hardest for a lease of the course. When approached yesterday in a State House hallway, however, Murray adamantly declined comment.

“Who told you that?” she said. “No comment on the Ponkapoag. I don’t talk about what goes on in conference.”

House Speaker (and renowned golfer) Sal DiMasi also refused comment, but at least cracked wise about the deteriorating course.

“Have you ever been to Ponkapoag?” he said, laughing as he repeated the question. “Have you been to Ponkapoag?”

We admit we haven’t, but after reading this quote, we may reconsider.

“It could be a better course,” said Matt Donahue, 20, of Westwood, who said higher fees could discourage the sort of golfers who play without shirts or drink beer on the course. “I’d just like to see it where it could be.”

Nobody told us it was a place for shirtless, drunken golfing. Now we see why we’re concerned with keeping the course going instead of addressing how to pass a budget that doesn’t decimate the state’s rainy day funds.