Stephensons in search of Leighton golf pro’s old clubs

Junior captain George Stephenson of Leighton Buzzard Golf Club with his father Adrian and the engraved golf clubs

One of Leighton Buzzard’s most successful golf families is on the hunt for antique golf clubs bearing the name ‘George Stephenson’ after their teenage son with the same name used an 80-year-old vintage club on the day where he was named captain of the Junior. section of the Plantation Road club, writes Stuart Oliver.

The Leighton club was formed in 1925 and three years later George Stephenson turned professional on a salary of £2 a week. He moved to Ellesborough Golf Club in 1941.

But one of his clubs was kept by 1948 captain Leighton and former chairman Walter Kyle, then given by his family to 1993 club captain Kevin O’Donoghue.

They have found three of George Stephenson’s clubs so far

Kevin recently passed it on to 2016 club captain Adrian Stephenson, whose 15-year-old son George is now Leighton’s 2022 junior captain, following the boot prints of his brother Ed, both of whom were crowned junior champions.

Having started playing golf at the age of seven with a handicap of 54, George, who is now studying for his GCSC at Vandyke, has reduced his handicap to eight; Ed, a former champion from Leighton who now also plays for Woburn, has a handicap of two, while dad Ada has a handicap of 9.

The Stephenson family have now recovered two more former clubs of their namesake – a putter and a 4 iron blade – both imprinted “George Stephenson – LBGC” and are continuing their search on social media platforms and outlets. sports memorabilia.

Ada said: “The clubs have very little commercial value, but they are part of Leighton’s history that we will reflect on when we celebrate our centenary in three years.

Adds George, who used the vintage 4 iron when he started his first day as junior captain: “It’s amazing how golfers were doing with the clubs they used 80 to 100 years ago. ; Technology has brought huge improvements to golf equipment over the years which has impacted the distance and accuracy with which you can hit the ball.

Four pairs of golfers have now qualified for the Leighton’s Captains’ Cup final, with the winners of the other Saturday and Sunday qualifiers joining them ahead of the April 8 final.

Chris Hawkins and Dharm Diwaker qualified after scoring 47 points to beat Gary Bennett and Gareth McGrady by three strokes, while Dean Mercer and Ian Woodman scored 23 of their 44 points over the final six holes to beat John Latimer and Stuart Mills countdown.

They join qualifiers from the previous weekend, club vice-captain Tim Mitchell and John McKay as well as high scorers Simon Rose and Barry Witherden.

Michael C. Ford