Formed in 2004 and based in St Andrews, The R&A engages in and supports activities undertaken for the benefit of the sport of golf.
Despite deriving its name from the members’ golf club, The R&A is separate and distinct from The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
The R&A organises The Open, golf’s oldest and most international Major championship.
The R&A also organises a series of amateur and junior golf events, such as The Amateur Championship and The Boys Amateur Championship, as well as international matches including the Walker Cup, the St Andrews Trophy and the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
Together with the USGA, The R&A governs the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions while sharing a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards.
The R&A, through R&A Rules Ltd, governs worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, with the consent of 156 organisations from amateur and professional golf, and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 143 countries.
The R&A Rules Department also incorporates an Equipment Standard division. Through rigorous state-of-the-art testing, a team of scientists assess new developments in golf technology, as well as ensuring that new club and ball submissions from golf manufacturers conform to the Rules of the sport.
Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU)
On 1 January 2017, The R&A merged with the Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU) and took on governance responsibility for women’s golf. This includes overseeing the AIG Women’s Open, one of the five Major championships in women’s golf.
In amateur golf, it organises the Women's Amateur Championship and Home International events, as well as managing Great Britain and Ireland teams for representative matches like The Curtis Cup and Vagliano Trophy.
The R&A is able to distribute a substantial annual surplus for the development of the sport as a result of staging The Open each year. Through The R&A’s Working for Golf programme, emphasis is placed on encouraging junior golf, on the promotion and progression of the sport in emerging golfing nations, on coaching and on the provision of more public golf courses and improved practice facilities.
The R&A also provides best practice guidelines on all aspects of golf course management, to help grow golf throughout the world in a commercially and environmentally sustainable way.