The Captain’s Drive-In took place at the Heath on the 6th March, an auspicious occasion not least due to the fact that it also coincided with the incoming Club Captain Martin Cashen’s birthday. The weather was perfect, with blue skies and sunshine, made more special as it was the first big occasion since COVID restrictions have ended.
They surprised us all by arriving across the course in a buggy. After the toasts and demonstration of the Captain’s ability with the driver, the members participated in a 12-hole scramble competition followed by food and prizegiving.
1st Joe Delaney, Christy Crawford, Sean Drennan and Eileen Fingleton
2nd Dermot Carolan, Noel C Hogan, Teresa Fingleton and Carmel Doorley
3rd Tom Tyrrell, Paul Heffernan, Tony Connolly and Esther Phelan
Martin is a native of Carrig, Birr, Co Offaly, from a farming background and one of a family of nine. Work brought him to Portlaoise in 1981 where he set up home with his family.
Before taking up golf Martin played different sports, but hurling was always and remains his favourite sport. He played and won Leinster U 21 Hurling Championship beating Laois (he really shouldn’t have mentioned that!) in the final in 1978 in Carlow.
He won two All-Ireland Garda Championships in 1978 and 1979 with Garda College and Limerick. He played club hurling with Portlaoise for ten years. The pinnacle of his hurling career was as a member of the panel of the Senior Offaly team that won All Irelands in 1981 and 1985. Off the field and when finished playing hurling he got involved in underage coaching and development and has spent the past five years as Coaching Officer and on the Board of Offaly G.A.A.
Martin joined the Heath Golf Club in 1988. It is a family affair as his wife Evelyn is a Club member and keen golfer, his sister Ann served as Lady President and his four children all played junior golf at the Club.
Martin represented the Club playing on many teams over the years including All Ireland Mixed Foursomes, Junior Cup, Jimmy Bruen and Barton Cup. He has a Jimmy Bruen Silver medal from 2000 when the Heath were beaten in the final by Kilkeel Co Down at Lahinch G.C.
Martin was Chairperson of Laois Sports Partnership in 2003 when the Board established its initial Strategic Plan 2003 -2005. He has served in many capacities on several committees at the Heath including Course Manager, Finance Committee, Junior Convener, Competitions and Men’s Vice Captain 2021. He looks forward to representing and leading the Heath Golf Club as Club Captain for 2022.
Lady Captain Angela Dunne took up golf in 2016 and joined the Heath where her brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew are regular golfers. Her late good neighbour Phil O Brien persuaded her to take up the game.
She states, it was daunting at the beginning, playing with people she didn’t know, but she soon realised that the women were very friendly and encouraging and they made her feel part of the club very quickly. Angela did not play much sport in her early years due to work, study and family commitments. She has worked for over the last 35 years in the HSE in various positions from the front line to senior management at a national level.
However, once she got the club in her hand, she took to golf like a duck to water. Her sister joined afterwards through the Get into Golf initiative. Now she loves golf and says she has made lifelong friends through participation in the sport. She has had several successes, representing the Club on the Challenge Cup team, and in the Mid Leinster District Bronze Medal final and even getting a hole in one on the 11th hole in 2019. She has featured in many competitions and won the voucher competition – one of our major competitions in 2018.
She served as Secretary in 2019 and 2020 and Ladies’ Vice Captain in 2021. She is absolutely delighted to become Ladies’ Captain of Heath Golf Club 2022. Angela says she has been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement that she has from the members and promises to work as hard as she can to make sure the Heath Golf Club continues to go from strength to strength
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