George drives into office as captain

George Macgregor OBE, the new captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, drives in to office.

George Macgregor OBE, the new captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, drives in to office.

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George Macgregor OBE started his reign as captain of the The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews with a bang on Friday.

Mr Macgregor was watched by a group of spectators as he took to the first tee at the Old Course for the traditional driving-in ceremony which begins his 12 months in the prestigious position.

The crowd saw Mr Macgregor hit a long drive down the middle of the fairway, which was accompanied by the firing of a canon, with his drive finishing just short of the Swilcan Burn.

As captain, Mr Macgregor will represent The R&A and support its work in developing golf around the world.

He will attend R&A Championships in the professional and amateur games and assume an ambassadorial role for the club.

Mr Macgregor said: “It’s a pretty unique tradition in the world of golf.

“To be captain is a fantastic honour and I am very much looking forward to it.

“The R&A is making great strides within that with a range of initiatives in different parts of the world.

“I think my role is to build on the work that previous captains have done.

“Sandy Dawson, whom I am following, has travelled thousands of miles around the world and has made a great effort to go out there and meet with golfers and organisations all over the world.

“That’s an important part of this role.”

Born in 1944 in Roslin, Midlothian, Mr Macgregor is one of Scotland’s most successful amateur golfers.

He represented Great Britain and Ireland on five occasions at the Walker Cup and also served as Captain in 1991 and 1993.

His Scotland international career spanned 18 years and he won the Scottish Stroke Play Championship in 1982, the same year he reached the final of the Scottish Amateur Championship.

He has served on The R&A’s Championship, Amateur Status and Selection committees and has been the Director of Championships at the Scottish Golf Union since 2010.

He was awarded an OBE in 1996 for services to amateur golf.

Part of the tradition is that a gold sovereign is paid by the new captain to buy his golf ball back from the caddie who retrieves and returns it.

Oliver Horovitz successfully returned the captain’s ball.