Gar Golden, RIP

​The death has occurred of Gar Golden, past president of the Golfing Union of Ireland (1990), former chairman of the Connacht branch of the GUI (1985-1988) past captain (1975) and past president (1990-1992) of Westport Golf Club, following a short illness.

  • 21 September 2019

A single-figure golfer for most of his life, Gar Golden enjoyed a distinguished career in the game, from shooting 62 at Castlebar in 1963 to win the Boyden Cup for Westport to an All-Ireland Junior Cup title in 1980.

In Padraig McLoughlin’s ‘Westport: 100 Years of Golf', he describes Gar’s selflessness at that particular final in Lahinch:

“But his golfing memory for life will be the wining of the All-Ireland Junior Cup as a playing member of that brilliant team. His contribution as selector and playing member to that team was vital and it is to his credit that he did not hesitate to cry off the final team after his lost his match in the semi-final".

In a remarkable turn of events, Westport’s current Junior Cup team will tee it up on Saturday morning in Westport in the All-Ireland Semi-Final.

As an administrator Gar played a central role in securing the current Carrowholly site for Westport Golf Club and was made trustee of the club in 1973. 

It was in his year of captaincy in 1975 that the current course was opened by Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave.

In 1977 and 1985 Gar played a central role in bringing the Irish Close Championship to Westport and was elected as Chairman of the Connacht Branch in 1985.

From there Gar served Connacht in many different roles, before taking on the office of President-Elect in 1989 and on Friday 23rd February 1990, he was elected President of the Golfing Union of Ireland. 

During his year of Presidency Gar witnessed Darren Clarke capture the North of Ireland, South of Ireland, the Spanish Amateur and the Irish Close.

And perhaps the highlight of his year for him personally was the 1990 Cups and Shields Finals which were held at Westport – where we are this week for the same festival of golf.

As McLoughlin wrote in his book:

“It would be impossible to quantify the man hours given so generously by Gar Golden to the development of golf in Westport."

It would be equally challenging to put into words what he did for golf in Ireland.

A minute's silence will be held at the All-Ireland Cups and Shields Finals today (Saturday) at 12 noon in memory of Gar.

Funeral arrangements

Gerard (Gar) Golden Phc. PC, and past-president Golfing Union of Ireland (1990), Leenane Road, Westport and formerly Bridge Street, Westport. 20/9/2019. Predeceased by his treasured wives Judy (1968) and Agatha (2019), brother Joe, son David, grandson Tim. He is deeply missed by his sons Conor and John, daughters Pauline (O'Donovan), Judy and Laura, son-in-law Ben, daughters-in-law Lorna and Kim, sisters Margaret Sutherland (Glasgow), Mary O'Beirne (Baltinglass), brothers-in-law John (Thurles), Richard (Baltinglass) and Alastair (Glasgow), sisters-in-law Caroline O'Flanagan (Blackrock) and Anne O'Donovan (Tullamore), grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.

Gar will be reposing in Navin's Funeral Home, Westport on Sunday Sept 22nd from 4pm - 6pm. Funeral arriving St. Mary's Church, Westport on Monday Sept 23rd at 11.30am for Mass at 12.30pm. Burial afterwards in Aughavale Cemetery. House private please. Family flowers only donations, if desired, to Cancer Care West.​