Pitch in with your memories on this 1981 Hartlepool golf event

What a scorcher of an event that was under a blazing Hartlepool sun.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 11:00 am
The Hartlepool pro-am tournament gets under way in 1981.

This week’s attention goes to the sport of golf and the most successful pro-am tournament that had ever been held in the town.

At least, that was the opionon of the players and officials who took part in the 1981 event at Hartlepool Golf Club.

Not least, because of the number of prizes which were handed out. There was an impressive 60 of them and the prizegiving ceremony lasted for more than two hours!

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The prizes on offer ranged from a sunbed to a deep fat fryer, portable television to a suitcase, and a quilt to a sweater. There was dinner for two and a stay in a hotel.

There were prizes for the best scores at individual holes and at one, there were 15 people who shared the best score!

The winner was only chosen by a name being drawn out of a hat.

All this happened on the hottest day of the year so far and a Hartlepool Mail report at the time said it was “rather like Christmas.”

The biggest winner of them all was John Downie who stepped into the competition at the last minute when another professional had to drop out.

John had a superb round on what the Mail described as ‘a brilliant 66 on slick, sun-kissed greens which bewildered most of his fellow pros.”

Runner-up was Mike Ingham but he grabbed a more than useful extra prize for the longest drive in the competition.

Players came from as far as Whickham, Westerhope, Barnard Castle and Beamish for the competition as well as plenty from closer to home.

Also among the prizes was Alastair Rae, 18, from Seaton Carew who won £30 for his round.

Other local winners included Alan Doxford, the Hartlepool captain, who won the prize at the seventh hole for being nearest the pin. He got the ball within 5ft 3ins.

The Hartlepool Mail report at the time said full praise for the success of the event should go to “the organisers headed by Derek Short and Robin Priest, to the quiet man who looked after the pros so efficiently, K Reddall of the North East PGA, and to the ladies led by lady captain Jan Burnett.”

Do you remember the event, or is there another sporting occasion from Hartlepool’s past you would prefer to recall?

We would love to hear from you, no matter which sport gets your preference.

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