Margaret teaches younger rivals a lesson to claim Olive Wood trophy

Margaret Osborne (left) receives the Olive Wood trophy from Ladies Captain Avril Simpson.
Margaret Osborne (left) receives the Olive Wood trophy from Ladies Captain Avril Simpson.

Former school headmistress Margaret Osborne gave younger rivals a golfing lesson when she won Leighton Buzzard golf clubs’ long-established Olive Wood trophy – at the age of 81.

The great grandmother who received a congratulations card from the Queen when she recently celebrated her 60th anniversary to husband Eric, was just ten years old when the trophy was donated by the late centerarian Mrs Wood, who was Leighton Ladies Captain in 1946.

But Margaret rolled back the years as she drove, chipped and putted her way to a trophy winning 37 points beating joint runners-up Chris Robinson, Oonagh Russell and ladies Captain Avril Simpson by a point.

Margaret and husband Eric, 83, both joined the Plantation Road club 40 years ago having been founder members of the Stockwood Park club for the previous four years. The couple, who have a daughter Theresa, son Martin, five grandchildren and a three-year-old grand-daughter, regularly compete in events at the Leighton club where Margaret has served on the ladies committee and been competitions secretary.

A teacher at a Luton infants school for 25 years, Margaret has won several trophies over the years, including the Beck trophy, Ladies Handicap cup and Davis Cup.

Once a 13-handicap golfer, she now plays off 31, completing her trophy winning round without carding a “blob”, scoring points on every hole.

Margaret was also a member of the Leighton Ladies squad that beat the club men’s team by 430 points to 405 in the recent annual clash. Although Margaret and Jenny Rathbone lost their match against Chris Chehade and Eddie Young by 46-34, the Ladies won nine of the 11 pairings.

Avril Simpson and Patti Marriott beat Adrian Stephenson and Jeremy Taylor 44-39; Rosie Hartnell and Anne Tilbury beat Tony Simpson and Steve Marriott 49-42; Val Berry and Judy Ammon beat Graham Freer and Harry Adam 45-39; Jackie Stimpson and Joyce Young beat John Preston and Peter Sheridan 48-46; Josie Sheridan and Sue Preston beat Trevor Stimpson and Nick Rathbone 46-44; Chris Rimmer and Carmen White beat Ian Alexander and Terry Dell 38-36; Carol Alexander and Christine Bateman beat Ian Rimmer and George Darbyshire 44-41; and Kate Knight and Maggie Shaw beat Mark Knight and Derek Shaw 50-36.

Kevin Winchester and Robin Lawes also won for the men, beating Sylvia Dell and Barbara Bradley 36-32.

Retired nurse Zan Nicholl teamed up with Debbie Gibb to win Leighton Ladies Invitation Day with 47pts, two clear of Sylvia Dell and Jane Nichols with Barbara Deacon and Maria Hall a shot behind.

Niki Clarke won Leighton Ladies Croxford Cup, beating Oonagh Russell and Alison Hurville on countback after the trio all finished with 39pts.

Stephen Maddison, Martin Broadley, Joan Waples and Sheila Turnock teamed up to win Leighton’s Ladies and Seniors Texas scramble with a nett 57.2, just 0.3 of a shot clear of runners-up John Preston, Geoff Dimmock, Gillian Chehade and Judy Ammon.

Father-and son Alex and Mark Sandham won Leighton’s Bunny Winter greensomes with 46 points, with Alex Gowen and Jamie Thomson runners-up with 44pts, two clear of Jake Hall and Craig Simmons and Paul Ellam and Steve Richardson.

Danny Poulter, brother of Ryder Cup legend and Leighton former professional and life member Ian, won Leighton’s Pro-Am last week, joining finishing two under with Chase Davies (Sproston Manor) in a competition contested by 31 teams.