Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Princess Anne to become R&A golf honorary member

Princess Royal Image copyright PA

The Princess Royal is to become an honorary member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, five months after it decided to admit women.

The club said six other women had also accepted invitations to become the first honorary members of the club.

Last year the club voted in favour of allowing women members for the first time in its 260-year history.

The Royal and Ancient's members play on the St Andrews links course regarded as the "home of golf".

The club said that the Princess Royal, as well as leading female golf figures Dame Laura Davies, Renee Powell, Belle Robertson, Lally Segard, Annika Sorenstam and Louise Suggs had become honorary members.

It was founded in 1754.

Before the vote in September, women could play on the course, but they were not allowed in the clubhouse and had no significant part in the sport's rulemaking arm, the R&A.

That body, separated from the club 10 years ago, controls golf around the world apart from in the United States and Mexico.

George Macgregor, captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, said: "It is an honour and a privilege for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to welcome these remarkable women as honorary members.

"The Princess Royal enjoys a strong bond with Scotland and has shown great energy and commitment to developing sport through her work in the Olympic movement.

"This is an historic day for the club and we could not be more proud also to welcome women who have distinguished themselves in golf over many years and have been great players and champions.

"They are extremely worthy additions to our roll of honorary members and will become ambassadors for the club as they have been for the sport of golf throughout their careers."

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