Lila picks up silverware after taking an unexpected break

Lila Garrod with Avril Simpson
Lila Garrod with Avril Simpson

Lila Garrod’s retirement plans to take up golf were thrown into turmoil when she slipped and broke her leg – on the very day she was awarded an official playing handicap at the Leighton Buzzard club she joined five years ago.

But after a six month lay-off, and being crowned Leighton Ladies Most Improved Player two years ago, Dutch-born Lila’s back in business big time, carding 37 points to win the Chris Gretton trophy, much coveted by the 100-strong ladies section at the Plantation Road club.

Immediate Past Ladies Captain Angela Samuels was runner-up with 36pts.

Explained Lila, a 65-year-old mother of two: “I was working as credit manager for a transport company when I took up golf as part of my plans for retirement. But with a full time job, it took ages to get an official handicap so I could play in club competitions – and on the day I did, I slipped and broke my leg.

“I didn’t play again for six months, but with the help of professional group lessons at Leighton, I got down to a handicap of 32 before dropping back to 35, and after winning the Chris Gretton trophy, am now playing off 34.

“There’s still work to do, but after scoring 20 points on the back nine at Leighton to win a club competition, I’m confident I can improve further.”

Lila lived in The Hague before moving to London “to improve my English”, stayed, married and has a daughter and a son.

Leighton’s Mid-handicap team has reached the semi-finals of the Bedfordshire League having taken the scalp of the South Beds club on their own turf.

Tim Mitchell got Leighton off to a flying start with a six-hole win and with Steve Richardson cancelling out Darren Valentine’s defeat, John Latimer secured a 3-1 win for Leighton before Josh Banwell halved his match.

Having lost only two of their league matches during the season, Leighton will now play the league semi-final on a neutral course once their opponents have been drawn.