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Anne Condon makes history at Letterkenny Golf Club

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Once again, Letterkenny Golf Club have made an historical entry into their history books.

Following on from the club’s recent centenary celebrations in 2013 and having a juvenile u-16 team win a Donegal Matchplay pennant for the first time last year, the club have elected a lady member to be their 2015 club President.

This event was made possible by a proposal, carried in 2011, that a committee, made up of representatives of ladies and gents, would make recommendations to the Parent Club for selection of the post of President.

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Since relocating from Dublin in 1990 to Golf Course Road, Letterkenny, it was inevitable that Anne, a sportswoman of talent in Dublin having played cricket for the famous Phoenix Cricket Club and also playing hockey for the Old Alex Hockey Club, would “fancy” partaking in another sport and what better hobby than golf, with the local golf course practically on her doorstep.

“At the time, Dermot and myself thought that the golf club was exclusively for members but, it was only when a friend of our’s invited Dermot down to watch a rugby match in 1991 that we realized that the club was open to membership and therefore, we joined” Anne recalled this week.

The first person to greet them as members was Michael Diffley, with whom they remained friends until Michael’s sad passing a few years back. Indeed, Michael had chosen Dermot as his vice captain in 2007.

Even though Anne was just a beginner in mid-90’s, she elected to become one of a small band of lady members who opted to take out full membership of the club.

“I was too scared [embarrassed] to ask any of the lady members to show me the game so I tortured a few of our new friends such as Michael Boucher-Hayes and Michael Boyd. I soon realised how wrong I was about the other lady members for, when they learned that I was also a member, and a beginner, they were abundant in their willingness to help me and make both Dermot and myself so welcome, not only as club members but also socially. Another new member at that time was Angela Kilgallen whom I became firm friends with and we still play golf together to this day,” she said.

In 2003 Anne, by then a member of the parent club and previously a sub committee member which overseen the opening of the new clubhouse, took up the post of Bar Convenor.

Since then, Anne’s list of posts include Parent committee, ladies club committee, handicap secretary, beginners’ convenor, PRO and, most recently, ladies’ secretary.

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“I remember once during my tenure as bar convenor that I was left with the task of stocking, staffing and running the bar. This was in addition to my day job with Letterkenny Chamber. It was good “craic” but, without the help of members such as Pat Coleman, Seamus Farren and the late Joe Foley, I would never have survived!”

Another milestone in Anne’s association with the club arrived in 1999 when Letterkenny hosted the Ladies Irish Open.

The Condon family contribution to Letterkenny Golf Club does not lay with Anne only. Dermot Condon, Anne’s husband, has served the club dilligently over the years. From his time on the mens’ and parent committees, Dermot was club captain in 2008 and in recent years as a very helpful and efficient subscriptions secretary.

Their son Garret, a well renowned junior and student golfer in Donegal who has played in numerous club teams, had practically grown up on the course. Before his departure to Galway for employment, Garret also worked in the club’s pro shop with PGA Professional Seamus Clinton.

Anne’s appointment as Letterkenny’s 23rd President, an honour for which she is both extremely proud yet humbled by, will ensure that the prestige and high standard of professionalism that has become synonymous with Letterkenny Golf Club will remain in safe hands during 2015.

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Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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