Nigel Hirst extolled the virtues of Halifax Golf Club and the Halifax-Huddersfield Alliance after registering a popular success at Ogden yesterday.
Hirst, a professional at Halifax in the dim and distant past, plotted a faultless route around the course in the fifth Alliance meeting of the winter with equally impressive partner Peter Jackson.
The pair scored 42 stableford points in breezy conditions over a wet course to not only win the pro-am section but beat all the am-am combinations as well in a field of 52 pairs.
Hirst has been professional at Dewsbury for 37 years after four at Woodsome Hall and two at Halifax.
He has played in Alliances for all that time and reckons he has had at least one win each season.
“I’m the biggest winner of the tour,” quipped Hirst, who knew that negotiating the tricky first five holes without dropping a shot was the key to success.
The pair picked up two points or more on all 18 holes, Hirst having birdies on six, 13 and 15 and seven-handicapper Jackson having three-pointers on eight, 10 and 16.
Hirst, pro at Ogden in 1974 and 1975, said: “I played golf here for two years and I know all the shots - I feel at home here.
“You have to drive well and play good long irons. We didn’t three putt once.”
Halifax has made no secret of the fact that, in spite of the course’s spectacular setting, it is short of members.
Hirst added: “It is very sad but back in the ‘70s it was the same then. A boom period for golf followed and although it is now over, Ogden will get through it.”
Other past and present Halifax members were also prominent yesterday.
Tim Pollard, who recently moved across town to Bradley Hall as Dave Delaney’s assistant, had the second best score of the day with 41 points partnering six handicap home player John Jennings.
Five combinations scored 40 points to head the am-am lists.
Independent Huddersfield pair Rob Turner and David Hughes had the best back nine, finishing in the fading light and pipping Todmorden’s Dave Stafford, who had an eagle on the long 15th, and West End’s Frank Greaves.
Turner, now head greenkeeper at West End, and past captain Hughes were Ogden members in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
Pro-am - 42: N.P.Hirst pro & P.Jackson 7 (Dewsbury).
41: T.Pollard & J.Jennings 6 (Bradley Hall/Halifax).
40: J.Pearcey pro & M.O’Hara 8 (Bradley Park), A.Walker pro & A.Schnacke scr (Ind Huddersfield).
39: G.Evans pro & M.Campbell 7 (Crow Nest Park).
38: T.Wild pro & G.Ward 9 (Bradley Park).
37: R.Stansfield pro & M.Waddington 10 (Bradley Park), D.Arber pro & K.Higgins 15 (West End).
36: A.Cranston pro & L.Pilkington 3 (Crosland Heath).
33: D.Delaney pro & M.Appleyard 7 (Bradley Hall), S.Race pro & I.Saxton 6 (Meltham).
Am-am: 40: R.Turner 8 & D.Hughes 12 (Ind Huddersfield), D.Stafford 1 & F.Greaves 1 (Todmorden/West End), R.Fairburn 7 & R.Popps 20 (Bradley Hall), D.Hartley 2 & R.Speight 5 (Dewsbury), G.Broadbent 11 & A.McMahon 8 (West End/Dewsbury).
39: G.Dobby 6 & K.Pell 15 (Halifax).
38: T.Morrison 8 & P.Hessleden 12 (Bradley Hall), R.Badrock 15 & F.Leek 18 (Castlefields), T.Gerrard 6 & J.Broadbent 14 (Halifax).
37: J.Lawton 5 & M.Atkinson 12 (Outlane), R.Johnson 15 & M.Guymer 7 (Meltham), N.Hirst 10 & G.Hirst 7 (Outlane), J.Gerrard 10 & A.Oldroyd 12 (Halifax), J.Ward 1 & C.Ward 13 (Dewsbury).
36: M.Sheldrake 9 & A.Wilby 19 (West End), E.Howker 15 & P.Binks 13 (Bradley Hall), B.Martin 12 & B.Workman 14 (Bradley Park), R.Wimpenny 13 & S.Whitham 15 (Crosland Heath), M.Dempsey 9 & P.Newey 13 (Ind Huddersfield).
35: D.Mallinson 11 & P.Heywood 13 (Marsden), S.Hopkinson 7 & S.Sandie 6 (Bradley Hall).
34: R.T.Owen 12 & R.T.Williams 14 (Crosland Heath), D.Braithwaite 12 & A.Harper 18 (Marsden), S.Wilkinson 13 & K.Ellis 15 (Bradley Hall), A.Harrison (20) & T.Stead 16 (Outlane), D.Senior 10 & R.Bright 18 (Hebden Bridge/Halifax).
33: N.Paxman 9 & T.Baier 13 (Meltham).
32: R.Allott 14 & C.Richards 10 (Hebden Bridge).
31: E.Doherty 12 & A.Brown 20 (Bradley Park).
30: B.Cassidy 9 & S.Senior 10 (Outlane).
29: E.Shaw 1 & K.Bruce 19 (Marsden).
28: J.Hemmings 14 & P.Wharton 12 (Meltham) 12, C.Hoyle 12 & S.Frewin 12 (Hebden Bridge).
27: S.Hanley 16 & A.Mills 12 (Meltham).
25: G.Bolton 17 & K.Law 20 (Hebden Bridge).
23: R.Tighe 20 & M.Robertson 20 (Hebden Bridge).