Adair, Rhona (Kathleen) (1881–1961), amateur international golfer, was born 2 September 1881 at Glenavon, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, one of six children of Hugh Adair, linen manufacturer, and (Mary) Augusta Lee Adair (née Graves). The family, who were presbyterian, were keen golfers: her father was a founding member of the Golfing Union of Ireland, while he and his wife served as captains of Royal Portrush men's and ladies’ golf clubs respectively. Having begun playing at the age of 8, Adair spent her early golfing years primarily at her home club of Killymoon, Co. Tyrone, though she also became an active player at the Royal Portrush club during the family's summer holidays. She was largely self-taught and, as a junior, won numerous events at both clubs.
Elected as a member of Royal Portrush in 1892, as a teenager she made a major impression in Irish golfing circles. Runner-up in the Irish ladies championship in 1899, in July of that year she became a major talking-point among British golfers when she visited St Andrews in Scotland and played a 36-hole challenge with ‘Old’ Tom Morris, who beat her by just one hole. In April 1900 she was invited to the prestigious Royal Lytham and St Anne's ladies open meeting, where she won the long-driving contest with a drive of 173 yards (158.19 m). That year also marked the beginning of a series of victories at major championships. Winner of the British ladies championship in 1900 and 1903 and runner-up in 1901, entering as a member of Royal Portrush, she won four successive Irish close titles (1900–03) as a member of Killymoon. In the autumn of 1903 (her last major competitive year) she travelled to the USA and from there to Canada, where she experienced great success in exhibition matches. Among her notable victories over leading American players was her defeat of Margaret Curtis in the final of an invitation tournament at Merion, Philadelphia. Her power and skill so impressed her hosts that the Illustrated Sporting News described her as the foremost lady golfer in the world. Throughout this period her rivalry with fellow Royal Portrush member May Hezlet (qv) was a significant aspect of her career. For a time Adair and the Hezlet sisters dominated the ladies competitions in Ireland, to the extent that in 1907 T. H. Millar, then vice-president of the Ladies Golf Union (LGU), sent a team of four men to Portrush to play them. The supremacy of the Portrush players was confirmed when all four men were comfortably beaten. May Hezlet had a high opinion of her rival, and wrote of her: ‘She is a very powerful player and is renowned for her absolute steadiness and her capacity to play up better the more she is pressed.’
Adair married (1907) Captain Algernon H. Cuthell of the West Yorkshire Regiment; they had two children. She moved with her husband to Aldershot, Hampshire, and though she played relatively little competitive golf, she did represent the Hampshire county team in the years before and after the first world war. Widowed in 1915 when her husband was killed in action at the Dardanelles, she returned to Ireland in 1924 and settled in Portrush, where she again became active in the local social and golfing scene. She took an interest in drama, and was a one-time president of the Ballymoney Drama Festival. Throughout the second world war she was active in the Women's Voluntary Service. President of the Irish Ladies Golf Union (ILGU) (1932–3), she was life vice-president from 1934. As lady captain of the Royal Portrush club (1928, 1929, 1948) she organised team matches, while continuing to participate in the Irish ladies championships well into the 1930s. She was appointed lady president in 1950, and held this post till her death (27 March 1961) in the Hopefield Hospital, outside Portrush.