I had some fantastic news recently when I heard Joyce Young had hit her first hole in one just months after taking up the sport. Joyce managed it on our signature 11th, she used her Mizuno rescue wood for the inch-perfect shot, a rare feat amongst amateur golfers. Considering Joyce only joined the Club in May, the feat is even more remarkable.
"If ever I had any doubts about playing golf, they've gone now," said Joyce, adding: "I only took up the sport so Eddie and I could go on golfing holidays with friends. I wish I hadn't waited so long."
Work commitments put Joyce's golf plans on hold until last year, when she joined our Academy programme, which for a set fee, enables beginners to get weekly coaching and play the course at off-peak times.
Joyce, who has a playing handicap of 36, had this to say: "It's a great way of getting into the game; there were half a dozen of us on the programme last year, and we're all full members now. The coaching not only improves your game; it also gives you confidence. I would encourage other would-be golfers to sign-up for the Academy programme and join a great club like Leighton where we've been made very welcome."
Bedfordshire Golf Partnership Voulunteer Awards
The Club had some more great news when two of our members received awards at the Bedfordshire Golf Partnership Volunteer Awards. The first was Ken Wilson who joined the Management team at the Club in 2011. Ken has adopted many initiatives to help the club. Ken runs campaigns to develop new golfers, recruit regular golfers and newcomers alike. He performs inductions, runs open days and works closely with the professional team to grow membership. He actively ensures new members are welcomed and integrated into the club, by contacting every single new member weekly and introducing them to appropriate playing groups, individuals or roll ups until he is assured they are comfortable. Great job Ken.
Ken and David collecting their awards
The second award goes to David Sweetnam who received the Junior Development Award. Davis has been involved with junior golf for the last 30 years. When he left teaching in 1983 Dave became involved with Hertfordshire Schools Golf Association until 2001 then had a short break before becoming Junior Organiser at Leighton Buzzard Golf Cub between 2004 and 2009. During that period he was also supporting Paul Johnson with Bedfordshire Schools Golf, taking over as Secretary in 2009 until the present day. As well as organising all the competitions of these posts he says he's especially enjoyed getting youngsters started as well as seeing their development through to the top levels of school golf. He's used his knowledge and contacts this year to complete a huge piece of research to help to map schools in the county in terms of contacts and golf activity, which continues to inform the work of the Golf Foundation and promote links between clubs and schools.
David has worked tirelessly for many years to promote and encourage golf in Bedfordshire Schools Golf Association. From a personal perspective both Ken and David has been great with the support they have given me over the years and both deserve to be recognised for this.