It could be one of the more interesting driving-in ceremonies of the Royal & Ancient's long history, writes Nick Rodger.

When George Macgregor strides on to the first tee of the Old Course on Friday September 19 to usher in his year as captain by smacking a ball down the fairway, the symbolic shot could signal the R&A's drive into a brave, new world.

The day before, as Scotland goes to polls for the independence referendum, the members of the Royal & Ancient will have their own Yes-No vote on whether to allow women to join for the first time in its 260-year existence. The outcome of that should be common knowledge by the time Macgregor takes a couple of practice swings.

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A former Walker Cup player and captain, Macgregor was one of Scotland's most successful amateur golfers and still plays off a handy three. A former captain of Glencorse Golf Club, Mcgregor has been a member of the R&A since 1997. He has sat on its championship, amateur status and selection committees and has been the director of championships at the Scottish Golf Union since 2010. He was awarded an OBE in 1996.

If the R&A vote Yes, he may be paraded up Grannie Clark's Wynd with a marching band.