One of Leighton Buzzard’s most successful golfing families are searching for old golf clubs inscribed with the name ‘George Stephenson’ after their teenage son with the same name used a vintage 80-year-old club on the day he was installed as Captain of the Junior section of the Plantation Road club.
The Leighton club was formed in 1925, and three years later appointed George Stephenson as its professional with a wage of £2 a week. He moved to Ellesborough golf club in 1941.
But one of his clubs was retained by 1948 Leighton Captain and ex-President Walter Kyle and later given by his family to 1993 Club Captain Kevin O’Donoghue.
Kevin recently passed it over to 2016 Club Captain Adrian Stephenson, whose 15-year-old son George is now Leighton’s 2022 Junior Captain, following in the boot prints of brother Ed, with both having been crowned junior champion.
Having started playing golf at the age of seven with a handicap of 54, George, now studying for his GCSC’s at Vandyke, has reduced his handicap to eight; Ed, a former Leighton champion now also playing at Woburn has a handicap of two, while dad Ada has a handicap of 9.
The Stephenson family have now recovered two other of their namesake’s old clubs – a putter and a 4-iron blade – both bearing the inscription “George Stephenson – LBGC” and are continuing their search through social media platforms and sporting memorabilia outlets.
Says Ada: “The clubs have very little commercial value, but they are part of Leighton’s history on which we will be reflecting when we celebrate our centenary in three years’ time.”
Adds George, who used the vintage 4-iron when he teed-off on his first day as Junior Captain: “It’s amazing how golfers managed with the clubs they used 80-100 years ago; technology has made massive improvements to golfing equipment over the years impacting on the distance and accuracy you can hit the ball. “
 Four pairs of golfers have now qualified for the final of Leighton’s Captains’ Cup, with the winners of other Saturday and Sunday qualifiers joining them before the final on April 8.
Chris Hawkins and Dharm Diwaker have qualified after carding 47 points to beat Gary Bennett and Gareth McGrady by three shots, while Dean Mercer and Ian Woodman scored 23 of their 44 points on the last six holes to beat John Latimer and Stuart Mills on countback.
They join earlier weekend qualifiers, Club Vice Captain Tim Mitchell and John McKay along with Simon Rose and Barry Witherden who carded high-scoring finishes.