Royal North Devon Golf Club has introduced exclusive international life memberships for 2013.

England’s oldest golf links, which dates back to 1864, will offer the exclusive memberships to 20 overseas golfers for the sum of $5,000.

Royal North Devon, colloquially known as Westward Ho! hasn’t changed much in its 150 year history, giving overseas golfers an insight into how the game was played in Victorian England.

The links course is laid out over gently undulating common land, with the untamed Atlantic Sea as a backdrop.

The club also prides itself on the friendly atmosphere afforded to members and visitors alike, a contrast to stuffiness often associated with more traditional clubs.

International life members will also be invited to the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2014, where the World Hickory Championships, the English County Finals and other celebratory events will take place.

Royal North Devon holds a special place in English golfing heritage, and owns a collection of golfing memorabilia second only to the R&A.

To mark the introduction of the new category, eight-time major champion Tom Watson was offered an international life membership.

“It would be an honour and a privilege to accept your invitation to become a life member of your historic links; 150 years supporting the grandest game of all is quite a record. Congratulations!” he said.