Peter Forster drove into office as the new captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in the traditional ceremony on the first tee of the Old Course on Friday morning.
Mr Forster (70), a retired farmer from Wormit, has been a member of the R&A since 1972. As with tradition, his ball was teed by the R&A’s Honorary Professional, St Andrews pro Jim Farmer, for the 8 am ceremony, and a cannon fired as the new captain hit away.
Mr Forster will serve a year in an ambassadorial role for The R&A to support its work in developing golf around the world and will attend R&A professional and amateur championships, including The 150th Open at St Andrews next July.
‘Truly honoured by this wonderful tradition’
The town of St Andrews comes out to see the new Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club Peter Forster drive in for his year in office.🏌🏽♂️💣 pic.twitter.com/HPHE1ceEcO
— The R&A (@RandA) September 24, 2021
“I am truly honoured to be the Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews,” said Mr Forster.
“I look forward to representing the Club and The R&A in the coming year, one in which we will celebrate the historic staging of The 150th Open here in St Andrews.
“It was fantastic to see so many fellow Members and people of the town turn out for this wonderful tradition. I was certainly relieved and delighted to make a good contact with the ball and give the caddies a decent shot to retrieve.”
Part of the tradition is that the new captain buys his golf ball back with a gold sovereign from the local caddie who retrieves and returns it.
‘I’m going to stand short left’
Ed Rankine, from Leven and a caddie in St Andrews since 2019, returned the ball to Mr Forster.
“I actually caddied for Peter during the recent Calcutta Cup event,” said Ed. “So everyone was asking me ‘where do you think his drive’s going to go?’. I said ‘well, I’m going to stand short left of the fairway’. That’s how it turned out in the end.”
Born in Edinburgh, Mr Forster entered the family tenanted farm at Peacehill near Wormit in 1972. He purchased the business in 1990, expanding the property through acquisitions to 1800 acres owned and 700 acres rented.
Mr Forster has served in a number of posts connected with the R&A including chairmanship of the club committee from 2001 to 2003.
Former chairman of St Andrew Links Trust
— Dumbarnie Golf Links (@dumbarniegolf) September 24, 2021
He was a trustee of the St Andrews Links Trust from 2004 to 2013. He served as chairman in the latter four of those years.
In 2020, he was elected chairman of the Inter-Club Liaison Committee of St Andrews.
Mr Forster currently plays off 18. He is also a member of Scotscraig Golf Club, Tayport, and the Ten Golf Club of St Andrews.
Mr Forster is also a rugby enthusiast, having played for Panmure RFC in Dundee. He served as President of the Broughty Ferry club from 1999 to 2001. His other interests include fishing, hillwalking, skiing, snowboarding and tennis.
He and his wife Mary have a daughter and a son, and six grandchildren.