First R&A female members announced

Seven ladies admitted as honorary R&A members, including Dame Laura Davies

Laura Davies
Laura Davies is one of seven new R&A female members
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has announced seven new lady members following the organisation's vote to open its doors to females in September 2014

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has announced seven new female members following the organisation's vote to open its doors to women in September 2014.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Dame Laura Davies, Renee Powell, Belle Robertson MBE, Lally Segard, Annika Sorenstam and Louise Suggs have accepted honourary membership invitations.

"It is an honor and a privilege for The Royal and Ancient Golf Club to welcome these remarkable women as honorary members," said George Macgregor OBE, captain of the club.

"The Princess Royal enjoys a strong bond with Scotland and has shown great energy and commitment to developing sport through the world in the Olympic movement.

"This is an historic day for the club and we could not be more proud to welcome women who have distinguished themselves in golf over many years, and have been great players and champions.

"They are extremely worthy additions to our roll of honorary members and will become ambassadors for the Club, as they have been for the sport of golf throughout their careers."

The Princess Royal follows in the footsteps of The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of York and The Duke of Kent as royal representatives of the club.

She is a member of the International Olympic Committee and helped organise the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Dame Davies and Sorenstam - both World Golf Hall of Fame inductees - have been recognized for their on and off-course achievements.

Renee Powell became the first woman to be a head professional at a golf club in 1979 and has developed inner-city youth golf programmes in the USA.

Belle Robertson is a former British Ladies Amateur Champion and seven-time Curtis Cup player, Louise Suggs was a co-founder and former President of the LPGA and Lally Segard is one of France's best-ever female golfers.

Some 85% of R&A members voted in favor of female admission last year.

Nick Bonfield
Nick Bonfield

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel with The Masters and USPGA respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x