Alan “Spanky” Haigis had a weekend to remember on May 22-23. On Saturday, Haigis shot a 5-under 67 on his home course at Val Halla in Cumberland to win the weekly amateur tournament of the Maine State Golf Association.

The next day, his Val Halla foursome of Ryan Wingard, Chad Allen and Chris King teamed to win low gross at the state team championship held at Belgrade Lakes in Belgrade.

Haigis’ team wasn’t the only one from Val Halla at Belgrade Lakes to finish the day as winners. The team of Jay Plourd, Jim McKay, Tom Hansen and Tony Polito won first net. They also finished second in gross.

According to the MSGA, which conducts the annual state team championship, it was the first time in the event’s history that two teams from the same course won gross and net honors. The format called for two out of four scores on each hole. Also, foursome members had to be members of the same course.

Haigis, Wingard, Allen and King shot 8-under 134. Plourd, McKay, Hansen and Polito had a net score of 127, 15 under.

There were a total of 37 teams entered.

In 1998, a Val Halla team of Hansen, Ted Bonville, Ron Murray and Steve Tsujiura won the state team championship at the Samoset Resort.

Haigis, 56, who grew up in Scarborough (Haigis Parkway is named after his father, Dr. Phillip Haigis), has been playing golf since he was 11. In the 1980s, he spent four years in the PGA’s apprentice program in Florida. It took him eight years to regain his amateur status after he left that program.

“I moved back to Maine in 2001 and started playing competitively again in 2004,” said Haigis.

Less demanding of his game than before, Haigis enjoys playing four days a week at Val Halla and entering the occasional state tournament.

“This is the best I’ve played in a long time,” said Haigis, who works for a trucking company. “Everything fell into place on Saturday. I don’t play in a lot of weekly amateurs. It’s nice to play well in one on your home course.”

Assessing his game, Haigis said: “I’ve always driven it straight. I’m hitting my irons really well.”

Val Halla’s nines were reversed at the start of last season. The course is a par-72 and in its best condition in years, said Hansen, a longtime member who holds the course record of 64.

Haigis shot a 36 on the front nine and then turned it on on the back nine with a 31. He eagled the par-five 18th with a chip in from the side of the green. His round included four birdies, a bogey and the rest pars.

Val Halla has had a strong core of players over the years.

“Bob Darling Jr. grew up there,” said Hansen of the Fox Ridge pro and one of the state’s top players for years. “So did Brian Bickford, our current pro. Dick Ingraham Jr. is the head pro at Sky Meadow Country Club in Nashua, N.H. Holly Anderson learned to play at the course and K.C. Hughes was also a strong player here.”


TEE TO GREEN: A reminder that the deadline to enter the 91st men’s Maine Amateur is Monday. The tournament is at Kebo Valley in Bar Harbor July 6-8. Non-exempt players for the championship have their choice of qualifying at one of three courses — Fox Ridge in Auburn, Toddy Brook in North Yarmouth and Penobscot Valley in Orono.

The first MSGA scholarship tournament is June 8 at the Portland Country Club. Proceeds from the tournament help raise money for the MSGA’s Scholarship Fund, which awards grants to students who are involved in golf to pursue higher education.

There are still openings for the June 13 state Father and Son tourney.


Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]


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