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.
Neil Donaldson started his year in office with a drive at precisely 8am as a cannon fired alongside the tee.
A large crowd, including Past Captains of the Club, gathered to watch the ceremony.
As Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Mr Donaldson will serve in an ambassadorial role for The R&A to support its work in developing golf around the world and will attend its professional and amateur championships.
Proud to be an ambassador
After hitting his tee shot, Mr Donaldson said, “It is quite an experience to hit a drive from the first tee of the Old Course with so many people watching. I must admit to feeling a little nervous but I really enjoyed it and was pleased to hit a decent shot.
“It is very special to have so many of my family and friends here as well as past Captains of the club, my fellow members and people of the town.
“I am honoured to serve as Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club and proud to be an ambassador for the club and for The R&A as it carries out its responsibilities to the game around the world.”
A successful businessman
A successful businessman for more than 45 years, Mr Donaldson has enjoyed a long career in the timber industry and served in senior executive and non-executive roles in a number of companies. He is currently President of the James Donaldson Group, one of Scotland’s largest privately owned and family run companies, and is the fifth generation of the family to be involved in the business. He has received two lifetime achievement awards from the timber industry.
Mr Donaldson (68) is a former Chairman of investment trust Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon and of the Securities Trust of Scotland. He is on the board of the Old Course Ltd, which oversees the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, and was previously Chairman of Crieff Hydro for ten years. He is also involved in a number of charities, including the Donaldson Leadership Academy which he founded in 2008.