19 SEPTEMBER 2003
Prince Andrew assumed the captaincy of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews on Thursday, becoming the sixth member of the Royal Family to do so.
To mark his new role as the head of the UK's oldest golf course, the Prince hit an opening drive on the first tee as a cannon shot rang out. Caddies rushed to retrieve the ball, which travelled an estimated 265 yards, and the man who found it – St Andrews employee Ian Reddie – received a gold sovereign from the Prince, in line with a tradition which began in 1922 with the future King Edward VIII.
Prince Andrew said he has high aims for his stint in the course's top post. "I hope that throughout my captaincy there will be an air of celebration for the game of golf – not only here but throughout the golfing word," he said.
The Royal and Ancient, widely considered the most famous golf club in the world, was founded 250 years ago. Other members of the Royal Family who have served in the captain role included, in the 19th century, the Prince of Wales and Prince Leopold, and in the 20th century, the Prince of Wales, Duke of York and Duke of Kent.