Former captains gather in Leighton to watch President David lift trophy

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Sixty former Captains of golf clubs in Bedfordshire met at Leighton’s Plantation Road course last week for their Autumn shoot-out but it was three local men who stole the show.

Leading the hit-parade was Post Office transport chief David Hawkins, who, just months before he takes over as President of the County Association, used his new set of Ping clubs to maximum effect by winning the event with a 41-point haul.

David, a 12-handicap golfer who completed a two-year stint as President of the Leighton club earlier this year, posted 17 points on his front nine before carding a further 24 points over the back nine to pip Martin Pettitt (John O’ Gaunt) on countback.

And hard on his heels was his Linslade-based Leighton Presidential successor John Preston, who took third place with 38 points.

They were amongst a contingent of 12 former Leighton club captains taking part in the Autumn meeting of the Bedfordshire Captains Golf Society at which Leighton’s Syd Pniewski stood down after completing his year as Captain.

The highlight of his successful year in office was leading the Bedfordshire team to victory in the Queen’s Jubilee Trophy, beating runners-up Kent and five other counties for a title Bedfordshire has won only once previously in the 48 years since the competition started.

Two former Captains of the Ladies Section at the Leighton club met in the final of the Lucking Cup – with Jackie Stimpson clawing back a three-hole deficit to take the match into ‘extra time’ to beat Lesley Brazier on the second sudden-death hole.

Kate Knight was the highest scorer in Leighton Ladies stableford competition. Her 35 points pipping Val Berry for the Silver Division top spot.

Lynne Newnham won the Bronze “A” division with 34 points ahead of Sylvia Dell with Barbara Healy winning Bronze “B” with 34 points, one clear of Sue Preston.

Leighton’s Mixed team has enjoyed back to back wins over Dunstable Downs and Mid Herts. Captain Steve Leng and Debbie Pollard-Barns, Ian Alexander and Alice Ward, Lance Lawes and Norma Stevens Hack, Mark and Kate Knight and Ada Stephenson and Angela Samuels won in the 5-3 victory over Dunstable, with John Bateman and Sandra Bellis and Pat Quinlan and Christine Bateman halving their games.

Leighton whitewashed Mid Herts 8-0, with wins by Steve Leng and Debbie Pollard-Barns, Lance Lawes and Sue Preston, John Preston and Ann Tilbury, Nigel and Jackie Phelps, Mark and Kate Knight, Richard Samuels and Alice Ward, Dennis Leitch and Margaret Osborne and Ada Stephenson and Angela Samuels.

The funeral took place on Friday of Leighton club stalwart Olive Wood, who died on October 3 aged 102.

Olive, whose father Jack was one of the founder members of the Leighton club, joined when it opened in 1925 and was Ladies Captain in 1946.

A nine-handicap golfer, Olive won the Bedfordshire County title in 1958 after losing in the final on three previous occasions.

Born and educated in Leighton Buzzard, Olive worked at the code-breaking Bletchley Park during the Second World War.