Amateur Golf Podcast: Rockstar turned golf writer Lawrence Donegan
20 Feb 2023
by Sean Melia of AmateurGolf.com
Lawrence Donegan might be one of the most interesting men in golf. His journey to Founding Editor of MacKellar magazine started as a bassist for two popular Scottish rock bands in the 1980s. He went to journalism school, authored five books, and secured his dream job as the golf columnist for the Guardian.
Donegan tells some great stories about life on the road in a band. We also talk about how he ended up writing his first book Four Iron in the Soul where he caddied for Ross Drummond for a season on the European Tour. Donegan’s son Niall Sheils Donegan text
just committed to play golf at Northwestern. We discuss Donegan’s experience as the father of a junior golfer and get into the challenges young players and their families face to play at the top level of junior golf in America.
On the best event he ever covered:
The best golf tournament I ever covered was a 2005 Amex at Harding Park in San Francisco. One of the greatest leaderboards. I always think that Harding Park produces really, really good leaderboards and that one ended up with Tiger and John Daly in a playoff; it was just astonishing. On the final day, the final pairing was Monty (Colin Montgomery) and John Daly. John Daly just hitting it 320 over the heads of people going over the crosswalks and crazy stuff like that. It was an amazing leaderboard, better than any major championship.
On national golf programs in other countries:
If I'm a good golfer in Sweden or Denmark my talent will be identified at 13 or 14. You take the Højgaard twins, the Danish golf Federation, brilliant organization, is so advanced in their development methods and techniques. They will spot that talent and they will take that talent inside the tent and they will develop that talent. Basically, the financial aspect is removed from families. Thanks to the Danish golf Federation, Scottish golf Federation, and English golf union. In the United States that system doesn't exist. USGA has however many hundreds of millions in the bank and there is no development. There's no national development system in the USA. So the only way that kids can develop in the United States is if their families have the financial means to support their kid.