Last September, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, at the very heart of the game since 1754, decided to allow women to join the club for the first time in its 260-year history. More than 85% of its 2,400 members voted for its change.
Now, the Scottish golf club has admitted the first seven women, who have accepted its invitation to join as honorary members.
The Queen’s eldest daughter becomes the first female member of the Royal family to join the club, after Prince Philip, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. She is a sportswoman herself, having participated in 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal as an equestrian riding her mother’s horse.
About to be inducted in the golfing hall of fame later this year, the legendary Briton has won four majors on the women’s tour and more than 70 other tournaments.
The American was the second-ever black woman to play on the professional tour. In the late 1970s, she became the first woman to be a head professional at a golf course in the UK.
Considered one of the two best female golfers Scotland has ever produced, the amateur golfer was voted Scottish Sportswoman of the Year on four occasions and Woman Golfer of the Year three times.
The Frenchwoman won 14 international titles, including the British Ladies’ Amateur Golf Championship in 1950 and was president of the Women’s Committee of the World Amateur Golf Council—now the International Golf Federation.
The Swedish former world number-one won 89 events and 10 majors before retiring in 2008. She was known as Ms. 59 after she posted that score in 2001, the only sub-60 round in the history of the women’s game.
She participated in the men’s PGA Tour Colonial in 2003, the first women to do so in sixty years, and missed the cut by four shots.
The co-founder and former head of the women’s professional tour won 58 events, including 11 majors. She was an inaugural inductee into the LPGA Hall of Fame, established in 1967, and was already a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The award for the most accomplished first-year player on the women’s professional tour is named in her honor.