Leighton’s new golfing captains are separates by half a century

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Fifty years separate Josh Banwell and Terry Wright, but the golfing duo have one thing in common – they have both just been installed as Captains at the Leighton Buzzard Club.

Josh, 17, is the new Captain of the 50-strong Junior Section at the Plantation Road club, while Terry, 67, is the new Captain of the Senior Section.

Both groups play competitions both at home and at and against other clubs in their respective age groups.

In his last year as a junior member of the Leighton club he joined five years ago, Josh is a former Cedars student now training to qualify in quality control in the engineering sector. A seven-handicap golfer – dad David plays off five and brother Ollie off a generous 14 – hopes to encourage more young people to take up golf where skills can last a life time.

Seniors skipper Terry spent 27 years in the RAF, most of that time spent training pilots in a flight simulator before moving into the computer software industry. Originally from the North East, Terry lives in Bancroft, Milton Keynes and joined the Leighton Club five years ago. A 15-handicap golfer, Terry, he intends to take advantage of his new role to improve prostate cancer awareness.

The Leighton Club Captain is Steve Leng, while the Ladies Section skipper is Debbie Pollard-Barns.

Two members of the greenstaff who have clocked up 50 years service at the Leighton club have been presented with engraved watches in recognition of their dedicated service.

Ian Soper, 47, and David Coleman, 45, both joined the Plantation Road club 25 years ago, since which time they have made a major contribution to maintaining and improving what is considered to be one of the most attractive and challenging courses in the region.

The green-fingered pair are part of a six-strong team directed by Course Manager Paul Harris and responsible for maintaining an estate covering around 150 acres.

Immediate Past Captain Derek Lindley, who presented the watches on behalf of the club, said Ian and David had been cornerstones of the greens team for a quarter of a century, adding: “With our woodlands and varying ground conditions, Leighton presents a tough challenge for both golfers and our staff, but our greens are better now than they’ve ever been.”

Having now been granted a licence to hold civil ceremonies on the premises, the Leighton club opens its doors on Sunday for people wishing to attend a wedding fair, when representatives from 20 wedding-related businesses will be offering advice and help to plan their special day. The doors open to visitors from 11.30am; parking and entrance is free and refreshments will be provided.