The traditional driving-in ceremony for the new Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews took place on the 1st tee of the Old Course on Friday.
Gavin Caldwell 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 along with a number of Past Captains including HRH The Duke of York.
As Captain, Mr Caldwell 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.
After hitting his tee shot, Mr Caldwell said: “This is a great thrill for me because I am only the third Irishman ever to be Captain of the Club in its very long history. This moment has been on my mind since I was asked to be Captain.
“I have a wonderful year ahead representing The R&A at many events all around the world. It’s important to me to be a good Club Captain and it is truly an honour to take up this new role. I’m looking forward to spending time with the members and participating in events that happen here in St Andrews.”
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1947, Mr Caldwell was club Captain and Chairman of the Walker Cup Committee when it hosted the 1991 match. A former Trustee of Portmarnock Golf Club, he enjoyed a successful university golf career and is President of Dublin University Golfing Society.
Mr Caldwell was educated at St Columba’s College and Trinity College, Dublin and embarked on a career in investment management. In 1980, he was appointed as the founding Chief Executive of Ulster Bank Investment Managers, the Irish subsidiary of NatWest Group, a role he held until 2003. He is currently a non-executive director of several Irish subsidiaries of international investment companies.
Mr Caldwell has served on the Amateur Status and Championship Committees of The R&A and was a member of the General Committee from 2010-2013. He has been a member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club since 1996. He resides in Howth, County Dublin with his wife Jane and has five children, Robert, Sarah, Sonia, Jennifer and Gillian.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews holds a unique position in golf. Established in 1754, it evolved through two and half centuries as a leading authority in the world game.
As the Club celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2004 it devolved responsibility for the administration of the Rules of Golf, the running of The Open Championship and other key events, and the development of the game in existing and emerging golf nations, to a newly formed group of companies collectively known as The R&A.
As a separate entity, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews remains as a private club with a world-wide membership of 2,400.
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