Ian Smith put a little local knowledge to good use as he won the England Golf Captains’ Final at Woodhall Spa.
The former captain at Peterborough Milton Golf Club took the title with a 36-hole Stableford points total of 76.
An opening tally of 41 points on the Hotchkin course gave Smith a healthy first round advantage.
And he held his nerve to post a second round tally of 35 points to win by four points from Robert Hardie from Branston.
For Smith, his time spent as a country member at Woodhall Spa a few years ago came good when it mattered most.
After receiving the trophy from Jenny Clink, immediate past president of England Golf, Smith admitted: “I was a country member here for a year and loved my time.
“I only left because I had to have a shoulder operation and I wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to play the year after.
“I probably will come back some day, but at the moment I’m playing a lot of senior opens.”
Smith – who plays off a handicap index of eight – admitted all that could go right for him, did go right as he he took a lead on day one which he never relinquished.
“It all happened in the first round with 41 points which is really just unbelievable,” confirmed Smith.
“I was level 2’s after 11 and then had a birdie blitz.
“That doesn’t happen to me normally, but it did on day one.
“It’s a tricky course and normally one bad shot gets punished with two or three shots. I got a way with a few and that’s crucial.”
Smith is one of over 5000 captains and past captains – both men and women – who are part of the England Golf Captains’ programme.
As well as discounted green fee rates, prize draws and competitions there are eight qualifying events open to all members with the top placed competitors in each event making it through to the grand final.
This year’s events took place at Lindrick, Pannal, Wilmslow, Coventry, High Post, Stowmarket, Saunton and Berkhamsted.
“There are lots of benefits and the competitions that are run are great fun. It’s played in such a great spirit and it’s just perfect,” added Smith.
“You play good courses and, if you’re lucky enough, you get to the final at Woodhall Spa.
“If you can play in it, you should.”
For more details on how to join the England Golf Captains’ programme, click here
Photography credit: Leaderboard