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 today.
Keith Macintosh began his year in office with a drive at 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 of the Club.
As Captain, Mr Macintosh 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 Macintosh said, “I was a little more relaxed on the driving range than I was there. I was a bit quicker there but I won’t tell anyone where I was aiming.
“When you look around at all the distinguished past Captains it makes you feel pretty intimidates and humble really. I am very much looking forward to serving as Captain and representing the Club.”
A distinguished amateur golfer, Mr Macintosh won the Scottish Amateur Championship at Prestwick in 1979 and the Belgian Open Amateur Championship the following year. The former Scotland international was also a member of the Great Britain and Ireland St Andrews Trophy team that defeated the Continent of Europe 19 ½ - 10 ½ at Royal St George’s in 1980.
Mr Macintosh has served on the Amateur Status and Finance Committees of The R&A. He has been a Member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club since 1994 and, in 1999, won the Royal Medal, the Club’s principal scratch medal prize at its Autumn Meeting. He is an Honorary Member of Cardross Golf Club and was Chairman of Prestwick Golf Club in 2014/15. He plays to a handicap of 3.
Born in Cardross, in Argyll, Scotland in 1949, Mr Macintosh studied law at Glasgow University before serving his legal apprenticeship in Glasgow and becoming a solicitor at a practice in Dumbarton. In 1987, he was appointed Company Secretary of Clydesdale Bank PLC. After nine years in the role he returned to practising law as a Partner in practices in Glasgow and then Dumbarton and Helensburgh. He retired in 2009.
Residing in Helensburgh, Mr Macintosh lives with his wife Diana and has two sons, Stewart and Scott.
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. Experienced caddie John Boyne returned the Captain’s ball for the first time in his 15th season as a on the links. “I’m relieved because I can’t run any more. I’m getting older and older and I was thinking this moment was disappearing. Since 2002, I’ve been watching the ball going down my right side, or left side, and never actually into my arms – so I’m delighted for a change.”