Carnoustie Names First Women Captain

Carnoustie Golf Club in Scotland has made history by appointing its first women's captain. The 54-hole club along the Angus coast is already home to the world's oldest surviving ladies' golf club, founded in 1873.

Patricia Sawers, vice-chair of the Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee, was elected to lead the organization by representatives of the six golf clubs that use the publicly owned links.

Her election came only a month after Edinburgh's Royal Burgess, the oldest golfing society in the world, scrapped proposals to admit women members for the first time, putting a spotlight on the continuing controversy over single-sex golf clubs.

"It is an absolute privilege to have been appointed chairman of Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee and I am looking forward to the challenges that I'm sure will present themselves over the coming months," Sawers said.

"With the help of my co-committee members we are committed to keeping Carnoustie Golf Links at the forefront of Scottish and international golf."

Scottish women's golf groups were pleased with the appointment. Shona Malcolm, chief executive officer of the Ladies' Golf Union, said: "This is fantastic news. It shows that as long as you are good at a job, it really shouldn't matter what gender you are. If you are the right person for the role then ladies shouldn't be held back from progressing through the ranks and taking up these important roles.

"I think it's a terrific appointment. She is very sensible and able lady. The encouraging thing for any ladies involved in sport is that it does send out a really good message that your gender doesn't hold you back," Malcolm added.

"I often think the whole gender thing is blown out of all proportion. It should really be about people's ability, rather than getting too hung up on these gender issues."

Carnoustie consists of three courses. In addition to the Championship Course - a regular venue on the Open Championship rota, the management committee runs the Burnside and Buddon links.