Oil recycling company boss Adrian Stephenson has been installed as the new Captain at Leighton Buzzard golf club, driven to the first tee dressed as JR Ewing in an open-top Mercedes to the strains of the hit television series Dallas, and accompanied by his on-screen wife Sue Ellen.
Sunday’s drive-in ruse was the work of Adrian’s Vice Captain John Smith who drummed up support from a handful of club colleagues to ensure Leighton’s Larry Hagman “oil geezer’s” year got off to a high-octane start.
The role of Sue Ellen, Hagman’s alcoholic wife in the Southfork-based series, was convincingly played by Leighton club professional Maurice Campbell with a supporting cast of club members and the Merc supplied by former Ladies Captain Rosie Hartnell.
Adrian, 51, set up his own oil supply-and-recovery business, Southern Oils, 16 years ago having worked for many years with his late father Douglas and mother Rita in various capacities at the town’s former Gossard ladies clothing factory.
Sunday’s drive-in witnessed by around 160 Leighton club members including partner Tracy and children Naomi, Eddie and George.
Guests included Adrian’s pals Ray Hill and Andy Conquest who he has known since his first day at Leighton’s Leedon Lower school over 45 years ago.
Adrian, a nine-handicap golfer, was presented with his Captain’s brown-jacket by outgoing skipper and long-time friend Steve Leng who revealed on Friday that he and ladies Captain Debbie Pollard Barns incredibly raised over £20,000 last year for their joint charity, Keech Cottage - a fantastic achievement.
Adrian and Steve packed down for Leighton rugby third team for a decade before switching to play cricket and then golf.
Steve was ceremoniously thrown-out on Saturday, following Friday’s club AGM when Simon Rossiter, Margaret Browning and Graham Freer were elected members of the club management committee.
During his year in office, Ada and Ladies Captain Angela Samuels, who also teed-off on Sunday with Seniors Captain Robbie John and Junior Captain Tim Martin, will be raising money to help multiple sclerosis suffers and rheumatoid arthritis research.. Fund raising got off to a flying start with over £1,000 raised during Sunday’s drive-in activities.
The drive-in golf competition was won by Martin King, who works for an American electronics company.
The 56-year-old 15-handicap golfer scored 37 points using just two clubs and a putter for his first trophy win since joining the Plantation Road club over two years ago.
John Latimer and Andy Jones were runner-up with 36 points.
Four golfers tied for top-spot in Leighton’s first competition of the year, all finishing the traditional “cross country” event with a nett score of 20.67.
Maggie Shaw started the year where she left off the last, claiming the top spot from Steve Molyneaux, Manny Barker and Paul Dowdeswell with husband Derek finishing 16th three shots adrift.
Phil Coumbe and Andy Ashall teamed up to win Leighton’s Yellowsomes event with an impressive 37 points, five year of runners-up John Preston and Richard Samuels, with Ada Stephenson and David Hawkins taking third spot with 29 points, well clear of Andrew Money and Barry Wills.
Jackie Phelps won Leighton Ladies seven-club competition with 26pts over 12 holes, with Angela Samuels runner-up.