R&A Golf Club of St Andrews announce first female members
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has announced Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Dame Laura Davies, Renée Powell, Belle Robertson MBE, Lally Segard, Annika Sorenstam and Louise Suggs have accepted invitations to become honorary members of the Club.
The move follows the vote by members last year to admit female members for the first time in the club’s 260-year history.
More than three-quarters of the club’s global membership took part with 85 per cent voting in favour of welcoming female members
George Macgregor OBE, 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.
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" “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.”
The Princess Royal follows Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of York and The Duke of Kent in becoming an honorary member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club.
Dame Laura Davies, is widely regarded as Britain’s greatest female golfer having won four Major Championships and 79 events around the world.
She won the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale in 1986 and the US Women’s Open in 1987.
She played in every Solheim Cup match from 1990 to 2011 and is the leading all-time points scorer. A former world number one, Laura Davies was the first non-American to finish at the top of the LPGA money list and also won the LET Order of Merit a record seven times.
In 2014 she was appointed DBE for her services to golf and in July 2015 she will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame at a ceremony in St Andrews.
Renée Powell played in more than 250 events, having joined the LPGA Tour in 1967. In 1979, she became the first woman to be a head professional at a golf course in the United Kingdom, at Silvermere, near London.
The great Scottish amateur golfer Belle Robertson won the British Ladies Amateur Championship in 1981 and the Scottish Ladies Close Amateur Championship on seven occasions.
She represented Great Britain and Ireland in seven Curtis Cups and was part of the first team to win the match on American soil in 1986. She captained the team twice. Belle Robertson was voted Scottish Sportswoman of the Year on four occasions and Woman Golfer of the year three times.
Lally Segard (née Vagliano) is one of France’s greatest golfers, winning the British Girls’ Championship in 1937 and, as Vicomtesse de Saint-Sauveur, 14 international titles including the British Ladies’ Amateur in 1950.
One of the most successful golfers in history, Annika Sorenstam is a former world number one who won 89 events around the world, including ten Major Championships.
She won the Rolex Player of the Year award on eight occasions and represented Europe in the Solheim Cup eight times between 1994 and 2007, before serving as vice-captain for the victorious European side in 2011 and 2013.
Annika Sorenstam was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003 and retired from competitive golf in 2008 to focus on establishing the Annika Academy and the Annika Foundation, which support aspiring junior golfers.
Louise Suggs, a co-founder and former President of the LPGA, won the US Women’s Amateur in 1947 and the British Ladies’ Amateur in 1948, before turning professional and winning 58 events, including 11 Major Championships.