As competitions and handicap secretary at Leighton Buzzard golf club, IT expert Phil Coumbe is rarely more than a chip and a putt away from controversy.
The R&A hand book containing the rules and regulations governing a sport played by amateurs in the UK and the USA alone fills 135 pages and there’s another 100 on issues ranging from administration to the policy on gambling.
And with more than 600 junior and adult playing members at the Plantation Road club, there’s rarely a week goes by before an adjudication is required on a golfing incident, competition rule or handicap status.
Not that Phil lets that interfere with his own golf. After a recent run of successes, which included victory in the July stableford , he has had his own handicap reduced to 4.2. Which is a tough challenge when you take just 76 shots to card the lowest gross score in a midweek medal ….but only finish 12th.
Days earlier, Phil had finished runner-up in the Presidents’ Putter, a competition which attracted over 170, but went one better on Thursday when he won the Leighton Sandhouse Society match at Wellingborough with 36 points, a shot clear of club colleague Paul Ellam who also won a nearest-the-pin award along with Rob Tate and John Latimer.
Phil won Leighton’s July stableford for Division One players, taking top spot on countback from Terence Roe and Andy Jenkins after all finished with 39 points. Shaun Cavenagh, Graham Hazel and Kate Knight headed a chasing pack with 38 points.
Ever-improving teenager Brandon Waddington won it for Division Two golfers with 38 points
But he had to be content with third place in the monthly medal for Division One golfers. He finished with a nett 69, two adrift of John Ager whose nett 67 pipped Ben Irvine by a shot.
They were followed on the leader board by Peter Burgoyne and Brian Wilson with a nett 70, and Peter Gadsden and Len Clarke each carding a nett 71.
The Division Two competition was won by Lee Orchard with an impressive nett 64 which earned his a three shot reduction in his handicap, with David Whittaker finishing runner-up with a nett 70, a shot clear of Mick Cox. Tim Martin and Andrew Pickering headed a chasing pack, each with a nett 72, one less than Peter Sheridan and Terence Roe.
John Allinson won the midweek medal with an impressive nett 64 with Ian Down a shot adrift and Fred Ritchie, Ken Wilson, Steve Foster, Nigel Chapman, Geoff Glover and Tom Fitzgerald all finishing with a nett 69.
Seniors skipper Robbie John teamed up with Andy Lock but lost their opening match against Dunstable Downs.
But wins by Mike Turnock and Patrick Quinlan, Andy McDonald and Graham Avery, Dave Kingham and Geoff Allatt, Paul Johnson and Terry Dell and Harry Adam and Martin Broadley earned Leighton a 5-2 victory with Dave Debell and Alec Jones halving their match.