The new captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club St Andrews has begun his year in office after a traditional driving-in ceremony at the Old Course.

Alistair Low teed off from the first tee at 8am in front of a large crowd with cannon fire accompanying the drive.

His position as captain of St Andrews will see him travel the world representing both the club and the game of golf.

Speaking after the shot, Low said: “I was pretty nervous I must say. It all got to me in the last couple of minutes but I think it was an alright shot. I kept it on the golf course at least.

“I will be an ambassador for the club, flying all over the world and I will be in attendance at all of the major championships run by The R&A. I’ve always enjoyed coming here so I am particularly looking forward to spending more time in St Andrews.”

Low has been a member of the club since 1968 and brings considerable experience to the role having chaired the championship committee from 1985 to 1988. He was subsequently chairman of the general committee between 1991 and 1994 and was also chairman of the Scottish Golf Union from 2002 to 2008.

Oliver Horowitz was the winner of a gold sovereign after being the successful caddy to retrieve the ball from the fairway. The filmmaker from New York will caddy for musician Huey Lewis at next week’s Dunhill Championship.

Horowitz said: “When he hit it I was way over on the left and I suddenly realised he had hit a bit of a cut and it was going right. I saw it in mid-air, caught it with my left hand on the fly but dropped it.

“So my hand is now throbbing as we speak and will be black and blue tonight but it’s definitely worth it.”