Donegan was educated at St Modan's High School and the University of Glasgow, where his musical career began. He was the bassist in The Bluebells, whose biggest hit was "Young at Heart," and Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. After Lloyd Cole and the Commotions split, Donegan became a journalist and an author. In between times he worked as the House of Commons assistant to Brian Wilson MP. While in that role, he was part of a one-off band called the Stop Its that recorded an anti-poll tax song of a similar name. The band also included David Hill, later press spokesman for Tony Blair. and Tim Luckhurst, who later became editor of the Scotsman newspaper and is Professor of Journalism at the University of Kent. In the late 1980s Donegan made a number of appearances with top South London football side, Belair Casuals FC. Donegan is a now golf journalist for The Guardian, having previously worked at The Scotsman. He has held a post with the former publication since 2004, although he has been at the newspaper since 1994, as a general reporter and then as the Scotland Correspondent from 1997-2004.
He has written four non-fiction books:
- Four Iron in the Soul (Penguin, 1998) - the story of his year caddying for Ross Drummond, the 438th best golfer in the world at the time, also published as Maybe It Should Have Been A 3-Iron in North America.
- California Dreaming: A Smooth-running, Low-mileage, Cut-price American Adventure (Washington Square Press, 1999) - about the time he spent as a used-car salesman in the United States
- No News at Throat Lake (Penguin, 2000) - about working for a bi-weekly newspaper in the small Donegal village of Creeslough.
- Quiet Please (Yellow Jersey Press, 2004) - about his experiences as a Ryder Cup steward.
He is writing a novel based on the story of the Shergar kidnapping, which he anticipated would be released in the summer of 2012.
- Lawrence Donegan, The Guardian, accessed 13 January 2008
- Celtic Underground Podcast 97 - Golf, Politics and Rock & Roll, 9 July 2010, accessed 11 July 2010
- Pendennis Spin those discs, 14 September 2003, accessed 13 January 2008