The Union’s scratch team is good enough to win the title next year.
That’s the view of their top player, Meltham’s Graham McLean, who has just won the HHUDGC Order of Merit, sponsored by Parnell Reilly.
McLean played in all seven matches and finished the season with 38 points, two ahead of Huddersfield’s Aaron Schnacke and Crosland Heath’s Andy Wilford.
He said: “I won the Order of Merit 10 years ago with 40 points, but this is a completely different team.
“A decade ago we were battling it out for pride, we were one of the weaker teams in the league, but now we are really solid right through the ranks.
“We have strength in depth and people ready to come in.
“We definitely have a great chance of coming top next year, especially if we get Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford at home.”
After a two-year absence from the team for family reasons, the 43-year-old brewery installation engineer from Hepworth has bounced back with a vengeance.
He has lost only one of his seven singles matches all year. That was against Bradford’s Mark Evans, when he was defeated on the 18th, 1up, despite being four-under-par for the round.
He puts his success down to experience and lack of nerves and having played over 70 matches for the Union over the years, he knows what to expect.
He admits to having a few butterflies when there’s often 50 spectators around the first tee, but the nerves disappear when he tees off. At away matches, he feels he has an advantage, as the pressure is always on the home player to deliver a result on his own turf.
He and Todmorden’s Dave Stafford, 47, are the eldest players, and there’s a lot of banter between them and the younger members of the team.
McLean said: “It has been nice to get back playing for the Union, it’s a good set of lads and great camaraderie.
“Half of them were not even playing golf when I started with the team in 1985-86, they were too young.
“I was shocked to win the Order of Merit. With so many good players, I wasn’t expecting it. Chris Mear has done a good job with the team, let’s hope we can go one better next time; we have the squad.”