May 6th, 2016
Sir Bob Charles becomes Honorary Member of the R&A
New Zealand legend gets recognition
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
Open Championship winner Sir Bob Charles CBE has become an Honorary Member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
The 80-year old New Zealander, who won the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1963, was admitted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008. Now he’s being honoured by the R&A.
"I am extremely proud and gratified to be invited to become an Honorary Member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club,” said Charles.
"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."
Sir Bob’s breakthrough as an amateur came at the New Zealand Open in 1954, which he won at the age of 18. He then enjoyed a stellar career as an amateur before turning professional at the age of 24.
He became the first left-handed golfer to win on the US PGA Tour at the Houston Classic in 1963, and then won The Open Championship later that year, which was to be his only major title.
He also had a successful senior career, winning The Senior Open Championship on two occasions, first at Turnberry in 1989 and then at Royal Lytham in 1993.
He received a CBE for services to golf in 1992, a knighthood in 1999 and was appointed to The Order of New Zealand in 2011.
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."