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Leighton Buzzard golfer Colin Aitken was a teenage schoolboy when he first took up the sport in his native Scotland.
Twenty-five years later and now aged 41, he has completed his first session of professional coaching lessons, knocked six shots off his playing handicap in less than a year and won his first major trophy.
“I was just playing social golf and not focusing on improving my game,” says Colin, adding: “a couple of years ago, I joined the local Sandhouse Golf Society and realised I could improve my game if I put my mind to it, joined Leighton Buzzard golf club and had lessons which have improved my swing and made me more consistent.”
Which was clearly evident in his Sandhouse performances this year. With the best three scores out of the five matches played determining the aggregate winner, Colin carded rounds of 38, 43 and 40 points for a total of 121 to beat defending champion Keith Edmunds by just four shots and be crowned 2021 Sandhouse Series champion.
It means Colin will automatically be Sandhouse Captain next year, with Keith becoming President.
Adds Colin, educated in his native Lanarkshire and Glasgow University before moving South over 20 years ago:  “I’ve put in a lot of work this year to improve my golf, and it’s paid off, especially with the Sandhouse spirit and team competitions which seem to bring the best out of me.”
Ledburn-based Colin, an IT Services manager with The Gap Partnership in Berkhamsted, played at the Bedfordshire club and Three Locks before joining Leighton’s Plantation Road club, has this year reduced his handicap from 26 to 20.
Stephen Boud won the last Sandhouse match of the season at Northampton, beating Phil Rickard on countback after both finished with 37 points, two clear of Keith Edmumds and Paul Ellam.
Eddie Edwards won Leighton’s October Medal with a nett 67, a shot clear of Paul Dowdeswell, with Paul Ellam, Will Sampson, Dean Oakley and Colin Jeffery heading a chasing pack with nett 69s. It was Eddie’s second competition win in a month, having teamed up with Colin Jeffery to win the Bunny Winter foursomes.
The October Midweek stableford was won by Roger Chapman with 39 points, a shot clear of Stephen Maddison and David Miles, with Ian Alexander fourth with 37 points, a shot clear of Stephen Boud, Mike Manning and Richard Samuels.
Sandhouse champion Colin Aitken.