Thompson Park's giant golf ball has been returned

May 16—WATERTOWN — 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.

The golf ball was not on a list of hundreds of items that were turned over to the city as part of the golf deal, so its ownership was still in question.

Mr. Lundy was convinced it was still his; Mayor Smith disagreed.

At the time of the property transfer, there was some confusion by some city officials regarding who owned it.

In recent weeks, the interim city attorney also sent two letters to Mr. Lundy demanding that it be returned.

Ives Hill Country Club owner P.J. Simao was paid $860,000 as part of the deal. He agreed that his course would be reduced to nine holes, making the Thompson Park links the only 18-hole golf course in the city.