6 May 2016

Sir Bob Charles joins St Andrews

9:23 am on 6 May 2016

Sir Bob Charles, New Zealand's most celebrated golfer, has become an Honorary Member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

Sir Bob Charles.

Sir Bob Charles. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Charles was the first left handed golfer to win on the PGA Tour and the first to win a major at 1963 Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.

He won nearly 80 titles around the world and was admitted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008.

"I am extremely proud and gratified to be invited to become an Honorary Member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club," he said.

"Winning The Open was a tremendous part of my career and I have always had a huge affinity for the Championship and the wonderful links courses on which it is played. The Club is at the heart of golf in St Andrews and it is a privilege to follow so many other great champions in becoming part of its history."

Gavin Caldwell, Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, said, "I am delighted to welcome Sir Bob Charles as an Honorary Member of the Club. He has graced the sport for many years as one of its outstanding champions and has given back so much to golf by supporting development initiatives in his native New Zealand.

"Sir Bob has made a substantial contribution to the growth of golf throughout a long and successful career and thoroughly deserves this recognition."

In 1969, Sir Bob won the World Match Play Championship and, as well as achieving numerous victories around the world, he amassed a string of top five finishes in Major Championships, including finishing tied second in The Open in 1968 and second the following year.

He then embarked on a successful senior career, winning the Senior Open on two occasions, at Turnberry in 1989 and at Royal Lytham, 30 years on from his victory there in The Open.