The Prince hit the customary first drive last week in a ceremony first performed in 1922 by Edward VII. The drive was followed by a shot fired from a cannon, and then another tradition - a wild charge by the local caddies in an attempt to be the first to reach Andrew's ball. A gold soverign was given to caddie Ian Reddie when he picked up the ball - another tradition.
The R & A today is much more than just a private club. In addition to running the British Open, the group is also the worldwide controlling body for all golf outside of the United States.