Formed in 2004 and based in St Andrews, The R&A seeks to engage in and support activities that are undertaken for the benefit of the sport of golf and, despite deriving its name from the members’ club, 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, along with a number of other amateur and junior events, some of which are sanctioned by other golfing bodies.
Together The R&A and the USGA govern the sport of golf worldwide, operating in separate jurisdictions but sharing a commitment to a single code for the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status and Equipment Standards. The R&A governs worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, with the consent of 152 organisations from amateur and professional golf and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 138 countries.
The R&A Rules Department also incorporates an Equipment Standards division, a team of scientists who, through rigorous state-of-the-art testing, assess new developments in golf technology, as well as ensuring that new club and ball submissions from manufacturers conform to the Rules of the game.
By staging The Open, one of the world’s great sporting events, each year, The R&A is able to distribute a substantial annual surplus for the development of the sport. Through the Working for Golf programme, particular 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 courses and improved practice facilities.
The R&A also provides best practice guidance on all aspects of golf course management, to help grow golf throughout the world in a commercially and environmentally sustainable way.