Sydney golfers may have heard of the name Kevin Donohoe. The 80-year-old is a 2-marker at Elanora Country Club – yes, he has a handicap of TWO! – and has been blitzing his opposition for most of his storied 73-year playing career.

To this day Donohoe consistently shoots better scores than his age, something he jokes “gets easier every year as I gain an extra shot”.

This remarkable man started playing golf when he was just seven years old. His father was a member at The Lakes in Sydney’s east, and they lived very close to the 13th hole of the famous Australian Open venue. Donohoe became an unofficial member like a lot of children in the area, spending countless hours on the course during his childhood. Donohoe and his friends would hit balls in the rough when the ranger patrolled and play on the course when he didn’t. It would be the beginning of a life-long golf story and a calibre of golf that few can claim.

Annabel Rolley: Kevin Donohoe

Amateur golf has been a huge part of Donohoe’s life and he has achieved great success in many of the country’s most prestigious tournaments. His amateur record is a clear indication of the talent he possesses, and it is evident he most definitely could have had a successful career in professional golf. The late, great Norman Von Nida was a mentor and friend to Donohoe and advised him that he should play on the pro tour, however, Donohoe had no desire to
follow suit.

“I was first and foremost a family man who had more interest in pursuing business opportunities than professional golf,” says Donohoe, adding how Von Nida was a wonderful man; a friend and a great help to many golfers like himself. “I loved playing the game but was never eager to practise for hours every day, as professionals must do in order to make the grade.”

Donohoe’s working life has been spent in general insurance brokering. Thanks to his golf background, he put together the Australian Golf Clubs insurance program. The program has insured 550 of the main golf clubs across the country.

Regarded as a pioneer among his peers. Donohoe has managed to conquer the delicate balancing act of golf, family life and a successful career. He admits that had he chosen to play professional golf, this may not have been the case.

Club golf has been hugely important to Donohoe. He has been a member at Elanora Country Club for the past 30 years and prior to that he belonged to St Michael’s, The Australian, Metropolitan and Pymble at various stages throughout his life. He moved from Pymble to Elanora 30 years ago on a handicap of 2 and has maintained that number ever since. When asked what his current goals are he says: “I aim to keep enjoying the game and the friendships I’ve developed with players, irrespective of their standard.” Such statements speak volumes of Donohoe’s character and demonstrate how important the people in his life are to him.

Donohoe values friendship and looking after other people. Another goal he mentioned was “helping some of my friends in their 80s continue to improve their game”. He is a kind and caring person and clearly loves to share the wonderful game of golf with those he plays with.

So often the question is asked about who is in your dream fourball. Donohoe’s response?

“My fellow players in my Thursday and Saturday groups.” Yep, he wouldn’t trade his Elanora friends for the world.

Golf gives us all so much and Kevin Donohoe is a perfect example of someone that has given his heart to golf in return.

PROFILE

Name: Kevin Donohoe

Age: 80

Handicap: 2

Club: Elanora Country Club, Sydney

  • 1965 Australian Amateur champion
  • Member of the winning 1966 Eisenhower Cup team
  • 1963 and 1964 NSW Amateur champion
  • Represented Australia 10 times
  • 1964 and 1965 Australian Foursomes Champion
  • Three-times leading amateur at the Australian Open

  Annabel Rolley is an Australian golf professional and host of Australian Golf Digest TV www.annabelrolley.com