Irish golf in mourning after death of Dr David Sheahan

​​​​​Former Ireland international Dr David Sheahan, who was rated among the leading players of his era and a Walker Cup star in 1963, has died at the age of 76.

  • 27 October 2016
Caption: Dr David Sheahan on his way to victory at the Jeyes Pro-Am in 1962

Most famous for his victory against the professionals at the Jeyes Pro-Am in 1962, the amazing Dr David Sheahan was the envy of his peers.

Sheahan was a student prince at Royal Dublin on 6 June, 1962. Despite being immersed in his medical studies at UCD, the then 22-year-old emerged victorious after a 72-hole stroke play tournament featuring some of the world’s biggest names including five Ryder Cup players. Sheahan’s 10-under par total of 282 was too good for likes of Christy O’Connor Senior, Bernard Hut, Dai Rees, Harry Wetman and Ralph Moffat.

Playing the 18th in that final round, Sheahan made birdie for a one-shot win over South African Denis Hutchinson. His success as an amateur among professionals was unequalled in Europe for 45 years, not until Pablo Martin’s win at the 2007 Estoril Open de Portugal.

The golfing doctor gained international honours in 1961 and was selected on the Great Britain and Ireland team for the 1963 Walker Cup at Turnberry, where he won both of his singles matches.

A three-time winner of the Irish Amateur Close, Sheahan recorded his wins at Co Sligo in 1961, Royal Dublin in 1966 and at his home club Grange in 1970. He played 54 times for Ireland from 1961 to 1970, winning 25 matches and featured on victorious Irish teams at the European Team Championships in 1965 (Sandwich) and 1967 (Turin).

Below: David Sheahan at Royal Dublin in 1966 during his victory at the Irish Close
Sheahan swing 1.jpg

“He definitely, in his spare, became a legend,” said Des Smyth in conversation with Shane O’Donoghue for his book, Legends in their Spare Time. “He barely practiced at all, as far as I know,” Smyth recalled.

In fact, Sheahan played infrequently after the ’63 Walker Cup as he concentrated on his medical career but he returned to the amateur scene with a bang in 1966 when he won the second of his Irish Close titles.

Below: David Sheahan receiving the Castletroy Scratch Cup in 1965
sheahan cup.jpg

A much loved member of Grange, Dr Sheahan served as club captain in 1993 and club president in 2009 and 2010. Even at the age of 73, he was a force to be reckoned with on the golf course and was golfer of the year at Grange in 2013, still a Category 1 player off a handicap of five. Most recently, he played off six. 

Beloved husband of Maureen and loving father of Leonard, Darren and Lisa, he will be sadly missed by his family, his grandchildren Ciarán, Mira and Eilis, daughter-in-law Katarina, brother Gerry, sisters-in-law Doreen and June, brothers-in-law David and Brian, nieces, nephews, relatives and a wide circle of friends.

His removal took place lastThursday evening to the Church of the Three Patrons, Rathgar. Funeral Mass was on Friday at followed by burial at Kilmashogue Cemetery.