LAURA DAVIES and Annika Sorenstam have declared themselves honoured after being named among the first seven honorary female members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
The club voted last September to end its male-only membership policy after 260 years.
Davies and Sorenstam were joined by British Princess Royal, Renee Powell, Belle Robertson, Lally Segard and Louise Suggs as well as seven other women who have been handed regular membership.
"It's an incredible honour and I'm so flattered," said four-time major winner Davies.
"This is such a historic moment in golf's history and I feel very lucky to be a part of it."
Sorenstam, who retired in 2008 with 10 majors to her name, took to Twitter to express her delight at the news.
"Thanks everybody for the nice tweets about the R&A membership announcement today," she said. "I am very honoured to be one of the lucky ladies."
Powell, 68, is an African-American former LPGA tour player who since her playing days has encouraged development in junior golf, particularly with inner-city youngsters. She was named the PGA of America's First Lady of Golf in 2003.
Scottish amateur Robertson, born in 1936, played on seven Curtis Cup teams for Great Britain and Ireland, and captained the side twice, while France's Segard won 14 titles, including the British Ladies' Amateur in 1950 before becoming president of the World Amateur Golf Council, now known as the International Golf Federation.
American Suggs won 11 majors between 1946 and 1959. Now 91, she is a former president of the Ladies Professional Golf Association, of which she was a co-founder.