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 game of golf. It takes its name from The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the members' club that, before 2004, had responsibility for the game but from which The R&A is now separate and distinct.
The R&A organises The Open, golf’s oldest Major, along with a number of other amateur and junior events, some of which are sanctioned by other golfing bodies. In addition, The R&A assumes responsibility for the administration of the Rules of Golf with the consent of 152 organisations from the amateur and professional game, and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 138 countries throughout Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.
For the USA and Mexico, the USGA is the governing body, an organisation with whom The R&A has jointly issued the Rules of Golf since 1952.