Through our quadrennial Working for Golf Conference, which typically welcomes representatives of the men’s and women’s game from over 60 countries to St Andrews, our affiliates are frequently consulted on the game’s current issues, shaping policy as golf moves forward further into the 21st Century.
The R&A’s Rules and Referees schools endeavour to make it possible for members of affiliated unions to develop their Rules knowledge without the expense of, in some cases, long flights to Scotland. Since 2000, over 50 schools have been staged in more than 30 countries. In turn, the knowledge that is passed on at these schools will be disseminated by national officials at schools of their own.
Affiliated unions are also invited to send two junior golfers, a boy and a girl, to our Junior Open Championship, which is played every biennially on a links course near that year’s Open venue, just before the Championship gets underway. The youngsters, many of whom will be experiencing links golf for the first time, compete for a variety of prizes based on handicap and region, with one player becoming Junior Open Champion.
The support of our affiliates is crucial to the ongoing success of The R&A and, in return, we endeavour to act productively and responsibly in their collective name.
The R&A has over 150 affiliates that operate in approximately 140 countries around the world. Most of these affiliates are the national governing bodies for golf in each respective country, some are pan-continental organisations, others represent professional golf. For information about affiliation to The R&A, see the Affiliate Regulations.