Last Friday, the traditional driving 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.
Eter Forster started his year in office with a practice at 8 o’clock sharp as a cannon fired off the tee.
As Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Mr. Forster will serve as an R&A Ambassador to support his golf development work around the world and compete in both professional and amateur R&A championships, including the 150th Open. in St Andrews. next july.
After hitting his tee shot, Forster said: “I am truly honored to be the captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews. I look forward to representing the Club and The R&A in the coming year, as we celebrate the historic staging of the 150th Open here in St Andrews.
“It was fantastic to see so many members and people from the town taking part in this wonderful tradition and enjoying the atmosphere around the first tee. I was certainly relieved and delighted to have good contact with the ball and give the cadets a decent shot to recover.
Born in Edinburgh, Mr. Forster was educated at Rannoch School and then at Agricultural College in Aberdeen. He began working on the family farm at Peacehill, Wormit, ten miles north of St Andrews, in 1972. He purchased Peacehill Farm in 1990, expanding the property through acquisitions to 1,800 owned acres and 700 leased acres. . He is now retired and continues to be a director of Peacehill Farming Ltd and Peacehill Gas Ltd.
Mr. Forster became a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in 1972. He was elected to the club committee from 1999 to 2003 and served as its chairman from 2001 to 2003. He was appointed director of the St Andrews Links Trust from 2004 to 2013 and was its chairman from 2009 to 2013. In 2020 he was elected chairman of the club liaison committee in St Andrews.
Mr. Forster is also a member of the Ten Golf Club of St Andrews, the Scotscraig Golf Club and the Seniors Golfing Society. He is the locust chief of the Locust Golf Society, founded in 1964 by four members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. He is a member of the North East Fife Rotary Club and was named Paul Harris Fellow in 2019.
The 71-year-old Forster currently plays with an 18-year-old handicap. He is married to Mary and they have two children, Karina and Ross, and six grandchildren. His other interests include fishing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding and tennis. He played rugby for the Panmure Rugby Club and served as its president from 1999 to 2001.
In the past, the club captain’s office was awarded to the winner of the annual challenge for the silver club, but by the beginning of the 19th century the captain’s office had become an elected office. Part of the tradition has it that the new captain redeems his golf ball from the caddy who collects it and returns it with a gold ruler.
Ed Rankine, who lives in Leven and has been a caddy at St Andrews since 2019, successfully returned the ball to Mr Forster on his third attempt at the driving ceremony.
“It’s great to have returned the ball,” said Rankine. “I actually was Peter’s caddy in the Calcutta Cup, so everyone was like ‘where do you think his training is going to go?’ and I said ‘well I’m going to stand just to the left of the fairway’ and that’s how it went at the end.