Dan Hennessey to represent Europe in 2020
Dan Hennessey from Welwyn Garden City Golf Club in Hertfordshire, has been chosen to represent Europe in the Inaugural Cairns cup from 7th - 13th September 2020 at Celtic manor.
Dan's story :
"I am a Professional golfer with a disability, playing sport is most children’s dream and it was mine and in September this year that dream became a reality.
My road to becoming a professional is not one that you would necessarily hear every time but none the less, it shows you can achieve what you want and by telling my story I hope to encourage others to go out and chase their dreams whether its sporting or otherwise.
I was born with asthma and it was rather controlled, although I had maybe one or two hospitalisations a year, this continued until the age of 19 when all of a sudden my asthma became more violent and I was unable to control it, it began one Sunday evening when I was sitting at home and all of a sudden I had an attack, this attack wasn’t like my normal attacks and within minutes I was unconscious, only waking up days later having been in a coma, having suffered what’s called a respiratory arrest, this is where both lungs collapse and you stop breathing totally.
After this my life was never the same, I would have 50 plus attacks a year and they would range in severity from home nebulisers to further respiratory arrests, ultimately this culminated in me having so much scaring on my lungs that one collapsed and never re-inflated and I only have the top half use of my other lung, meaning I currently operate with a quarter lung capacity of a normal person.
When I became ill I had to give up all sport and being as sporty as I was this was hard to take, I sold my golf clubs and didn’t pick one up for 8 years.
Then last year someone mentioned to me that there was disability golf group and they invited me to meet them, so I went along. They are an amazing group and they inspire you to be better. We have people that are amputees, suffer with MS, arthritis and fibromyalgia to name but a few.
I got my love for golf back and realised I could still compete. Initially I believed I wouldn’t compete at able bodied level again but was happy competing at disability events. That however wasn’t true and after a year of committed hard playing and practicing, I managed to get down to a handicap of 1.8 and decided to turn professional.
I am now playing on the Thomson tour for able bodied professionals and I intend on playing on the Jamega tour and European disabled golf next year.
I have been selected to play for Europe in the Cairns Cup in September 2020 at Celtic manor. This is a disability Ryder cup style event.
I hope people will see that having a disability doesn’t need to define you but you can still be the person you want to be."
For more information about the event and support Dan's progress please click HERE
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