Former Mini race-ace David Banwell swapped high performance cars for driving golf balls on Leighton Buzzard’s lush fairways – and has just won the Seniors’ Ian Mann championship trophy for the fourth successive year.
You have to be aged 55 or over to compete in the annual event, and in his first qualifying year, David finished runner-up, beaten by a shot. But he’s won the event every year since.
Now aged 59 and playing off a handicap of four, Heath and Reach based David completed the Plantation Road course in 73 shots, a near-perfect back nine holes cancelling shots dropped in the early stages of his round.
“I thought I had blown my chances early on, but my back nine saved the day,” said David, whose sons Josh and Ollie are also keen golfers.
Runner-up for the championship was Peter Sheridan who beat Mike Smith on countback after both finished in 78 shots, with Mark Hammond a shot behind and Mike Turnock 5th with 80 shots.
In-form retired account director Ian Kempsell won his third trophy in his 27 years as a member of the Leighton club by claiming the Peter Myrants Cup for the best nett score, an impressive 63. Grandad Ian credits his success to a handful of lessons with his professional golfer son-in-law Sam Smith before winning the Barney Hallam trophy and topping his “alternative seniors” group league table.
Runner-up was builder Neil Laming with a nett 69, beating seasoned campaigner Keith Powell on countback, with Roger Kingston taking fourth place with a nett 70 ahead of Morley Smith and Mike Manning, who won the Geff Tweed Trophy for completing his round with just 22 putts, the lowest number by the 106 competitors.
The Tom Davis Cups for age group winners returning the best cards were won by Danny Nairne (Over 70’s) for his nett 71; Fred Ritchie (Over 80s) nett 79, and Ted Kingston for his nine hole nett 36.
 Hairdresser Anne Tilbury is the new holder of Leighton Ladies Olive Wood trophy, her 38 point haul beating Stephanie Howlett by a shot with Rosaline Miles third with 36 points. Other leading scores were: 35pts – Oonagh Russell; 34pts – Josie Sheridan, Barbara Bradley; 33pts – Lesley Bednarek; 32pts – Lesley Brazier, Alison Shirville.
 Five players tied for top spot after each carding 38 points in Leighton’s August midweek stableford – with the verdict going to five-handicap golfer Alexis Panayalotou on countback. Daniel Hill was runner-up ahead of Phil Coumbe, Chris Hawkins and Andrew Reinke. Other leading scores were: 37pts – Ian Shoubridge, Peter King, Joshua Rowles, John Waiting; 36pts – Lee Harnett, Steve Richardson, Russell Rowles; 35pts – Oliver Banwell, Brandon Sanders, David Roberts.
 Champion David Banwell receives the Ian Mann Trophy from Seniors Captain Ian Rimmer, pictured with Mike Manning, Danny Nairne, Tom Davis and Fred Ritchie.