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A Leighton Buzzard schoolgirl who took up golf less than four years ago has caught the eye of club and County officials after slashing her playing handicap by two thirds – at the age of 10.

Sports-mad Sommer Chan was given a handicap of 54 when she joined Leighton’s Plantation Road club at the age of six.

Now, despite the playing and practicing restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the Covid virus, bubbly Sommer is playing off a handicap of 17.7 having just carded the lowest nett score in the Bedfordshire Schools scratch championships played at Aspley Guise.

Linslade Academy student Sommer was pipped for top spot in the Schools event by Rosin Scanlon (Bedford Girls) who plays off a handicap of three. There was just two shots difference in their scores after the event was called off after nine holes due to heavy rain, thunder and lightning.

Sommer, whose other sports include swimming, diving, skiing, mountain biking, archery and horse riding took 44 shots to complete the nine holes, giving her a nett score of 35. That follows hard on the heels of a super show in Leighton Ladies championship, her nett 72 playing off a handicap of 19 earning her a special award from Ladies Captain Christine Rimmer for her “exceptional performance.” Last month, she also played in an interclub match against Cainhoe Wood and carded a nett 69 which earned her team an impressive 40 points.

Despite the sporting lockdown, Sommer practices her chipping and putting every day, and consistently hits the ball 185 yards with her driver. Which explains why Bedfordshire County officials have invited Sommer to special coaching lessons next year, a place in the second team and an outing with the first-team squad.

Says mum Winnie:“Sommer is a very confident and talkative girl who just loves playing golf. Everyone says she has great potential and we just hope her achievements encourage other boys and girls to take up the sport.”

Sommer, whose dad Stephen is a regular companion on the course, is coached by Leighton professionals Maurice Campbell and Will Tebbs.

[]  Leighton Buzzard golfers have donated more than £880 to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. The money was raised in entry fees for a dedicated VE/VJ day competition, boosted by other contributions from members of the Plantation Road club.

Says Club Captain Simon Rossiter: “Although the competition was abandoned due to heavy rain, the generous entrants gave the full fee this year’s Poppy Day appeal. Their kindness and support for this worthy cause has been fantastic.”