English Golf Courses

Bodies look at 'merger'

R&A and LGU begin ‘exploratory negotiations’ on amalgamation

The R&A and LGU have opened negotiations about a possible merger between the two St Andrews-based organisations. In a joint statement, the two bodies revealed they have started ‘exploratory negotiations’ towards establishing a ‘more closely coordinated working relationship’ and the possibility of a merger between the  two organisations.

“There is a great deal of synergy between the LGU  and the R&A, with both based in St Andrews and responsible for staging major championships, prestigious amateur events and international matches,” said the statement.

“Both organisations are committed to supporting the development of golf and encouraging participation in the sport.”


The news comes just months after the Royal and Ancient  Golf Club of St Andrews, from which the administrative  R&A was born, announced it was changing its membership policy to allow women to join. The three male-only clubs on the Open rota - Royal Troon, Royal St George’s and the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (Muirfield) - all subsequently signalled their intentions to review their single-gender policies.

The R&A is widely recognised as one of the two main adminsitrative bodies in the game. Along with the United States Golf Association, it has a responsibility for the overall governance of the sport, including implementing and updating the ‘Rules Of Golf’ on an ongoing basis. Formed in 2004, it is based in St Andrews and operates out of the clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient.

The Ladies Golf Union, meanwhile, is based on The Scores in the town and was formed in 1893. As well as the Ricoh Women’s British Open, it also stages several high-profile amateur events and is involved in the running of many international team competitions, including the Curtis Cup,  Vagliano Trophy and Espirito Santo Trophy.

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