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Virginia Politics
Posted at 04:39 PM ET, 06/17/2011

Hey Mr. President, why not play golf in Fairfax?

Did you hear? There’s a big golf match in the Washington area this weekend.

As everyone knows by now, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will be teeing off together for the first time Saturday, with Vice President Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) rounding out the foursome.

The location? That’s still a secret, though we know that the most appropriately named area course — Congressional Country Club in Bethesda — is already booked.

Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) has another suggestion: The Laurel Hill Golf Club, conveniently located in Fairfax (and Connolly’s district).

“On the outside chance you haven’t already decided on a course to play,” Connolly wrote in a letter Friday to Obama and Boehner, “I want to recommend a wonderful public golf course in the Lorton area of Fairfax County, Virginia, that would provide a great venue for you to escape the heated rhetoric of Washington for some relaxed and meaningful dialogue.”

Aware that both Obama and Boehner take their game seriously, Connolly noted that Laurel Hill “ranked 13th in Golfweek’s 50 best municipal courses of 2011 and Golf Digest rated it as one of the top 10 new courses of 2008.” And he even took the chance to plug the fact that the club was constructed, with the help of federal legislation, on the site of a former prison.

A Boehner spokesman said, “The President invited the Speaker, so — as host — the venue will be his decision.”

Any chance the Golfer-in-Chief will heed Connolly’s advice? The White House had yet to respond to a request for comment as of this posting. Connolly’s full letter is after the jump.

Dear Mr. President and Mr. Speaker,

I am glad to see that both of you are going to have a golf outing this weekend in an effort to find common ground on some of the critical issues facing our nation today. Although I’m not a golfer, I am told that the game of golf provides a time-honored opportunity for participants to meet on neutral ground and strengthen relationships.

On the outside chance you haven’t already decided on a course to play, I want to recommend a wonderful public golf course in the Lorton area of Fairfax County, Virginia, that would provide a great venue for you to escape the heated rhetoric of Washington for some relaxed and meaningful dialogue.

The Laurel Hill Golf Club is a short-drive from the Nation’s Capital. It was ranked 13th in Golfweek’s 50 best municipal courses of 2011 and Golf Digest rated it as one of the top 10 new courses of 2008. Northern Virginia golfers assure me, and I want to assure you, that Laurel Hill would provide plenty of challenge for golfers of your caliber.

A visit to that golf facility, run by the Fairfax County Park Authority, would also give you an opportunity to see how federal legislation, coupled with strong community involvement, can take an outdated eyesore like the former Lorton Reformatory, a federally-established prison, and turn it into a facility that includes the premiere golf course, the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center, a memorial to the suffragettes who were imprisoned there, and other similar uses that maintain the character and history of the location.

Despite the often-heated rhetoric of today’s political arena, I applaud your decision to meet on the golf course because it shows your commitment to overcoming differences of opinion to find workable solutions.

I hope you will choose Laurel Hill for your golf match, but wherever you end up playing, I wish you the best of luck in your discussions. Have a good round!

Sincerely,

Gerald E. Connolly

By  |  04:39 PM ET, 06/17/2011

 
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