Friday, September 19, 2014


On the tee ... George Macgregor drives off at the Old Course, St Andrews this morning



George Macgregor OBE began his year in office with a drive at precisely 8am as a cannon fired alongside the tee. A large crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the ceremony and saw Mr Macgregor hit a long drive down the middle of the fairway that finished just short of the Swilcan Burn.
As Captain, Mr Macgregor will represent The RandA 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.
After hitting his tee shot, 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, George 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.
Mr Macgregor was Company Secretary of Dalmore Paper Mill until 2004 and was Captain of Glencorse Golf Club in its centenary year in 1990. He has been a member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews since 1997 and plays to a handicap of three. He is married to Christine and has two daughters, Fiona and Morag.
In the past, the Club Captaincy was bestowed on the winner of the annual Challenge for the Silver Club but by the early 19th Century the Captaincy had become an elected office.
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, now in his ninth season on the links, successfully returned the Captain’s ball for the second time after also retrieving it at the driving-in ceremony of 2011-2012 Captain Alistair Low.
The delighted 28-year-old writer and filmmaker from New York said: “I completely lost sight of it and then I heard it hit down and I just charged after it. When I read that he was a five-time Walker Cup player I knew it was going to be a good drive.
“The last time I caught it on the fly and my hand swelled up to twice the size, so this time was a little less dramatic. This sovereign is going up on the mantelpiece next to the other one. It’s a big honour.”



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