Jack-of-all-trades John Tarbox has proved that he’s master of at least one of them – winning golf trophies.
For the 71-year-old former works manager who’s had five jobs since Walk Off Mats switched production from Leighton to Manchester nearly 15 years ago, has just landed his 20th trophy in a sport he took up over 30 years ago.
Linslade-based John has won 18 of his trophies at Leighton Buzzard’s Plantation Road club, the latest being the Austin Farrell, an event coveted by Leighton’s seniors with 60 bidding for the title.
It was the resilient “Tarby” playing off a handicap of 11 who took the silverware by the narrowest of margins after three players each carded 40 points in the stableford event. With final placings determined by the points scored on the back nine holes, John took top spot with 22 points, beating Chris Ive with points scored on the last six holes. Terry Wright took third place, two shots clear of David Bishop and Nigel Chapman.
It was a victory for John secured after a “wobbly” start, two double bogeys on the first five holes costing him valuable points before the former vehicle parts salesman got his game into top gear.
The event was founded in 1980 by former club Captain and President Austin Farrell with Harry Rooney, the uncle of John’s wife Bridget, winning in 1984.
“It’s great to have the trophy back in the family,” said John, who in addition to winning 18 trophies at Leighton, has also won two Bedfordshire County senior titles for his age group.
John also remains the only golfer to hit birdies on all four Par 3 holes on the Leighton course, a feat first achieved in 2004 whilst competing for the 50th Anniversary trophy, and never equalled since.
That record almost fell 10 days ago when club champion Ed Stephenson got birdies on three of the holes on his way to winning the Club stableford. Ed bagged 43 points to beat Stephen Boud by a shot, with Chris Newnham taking third place with 41 points. But at the age of 17 and playing off a handicap of two, Ed has years on his side to equal 71-year-old Tarby’s unique feat.
Leighton’s Mixed team secured an impressive 3-2 win at Dunstable Downs, with three matches halved. Club Captain Robbie John and Ladies Captain Carmen White Lawes got Leighton off to a flying start, followed by a win by Howard Till and Sandra Carter. Ties by John Tarbox and Marilyn Myatt, Peter Sheridan and Leslie Bednarek and Ian Rimmer and Barbara Rickard followed with Robin Lawes and Stephanie Howlett winning the last match to secure victory for Leighton.
Leighton’s Mid-Handicap league team has reached the final of the Bedfordshire knockout, facing The Bedford at Beds & County on October 20.
President Brian Carter and John Preston got their team off to a winning start in the annual match against The Club on Sunday before the wheels came off and vanquished Club Captain Robbie John and his Vice Simon Rossiter romped home 7-1 winners.
John Tarbox (right) is presented with the Austin Farrell Trophy by Seniors Captain Peter Myrants.