The R&A - How We Operate


Golf is played by more than 66 million people across the world. The sport has enjoyed a significant increase in popularity worldwide since 2016 with over five-and-a-half million additional golfers taking it up. As we seek to attract more people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and abilities into the game, The R&A is at the forefront of modernising the sport and making it more accessible and welcoming to all. Martin Slumbers is the Chief Executive of The R&A, supported by an Executive Leadership.
How We Operate


We are involved in staging leading championships and in a range of initiatives to broaden golf’s appeal on a global scale and address some of the challenges facing the sport. Staged by The R&A, The Open is golf’s original championship. Played since 1860 on iconic links golf courses, it is the sport’s most international major championship with qualifying events on every continent. It was founded by pioneering golfers who had one guiding principle – to crown the Champion Golfer of the Year. For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans. The Open delivers an annual economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game worldwide. The R&A also oversees the AIG Women’s Open, one of the five major championships in professional women’s golf, and attracts competitors from across the world. It acts as a championship to inspire all ages, is played at world-class venues and has title partnership from AIG to 2025.

The Open
Royal Liverpool
AIG Women's Open
Walton Heath
The Amateur
The Women's Amateur

Other Work and Activities

Working with the USGA, the Rules of Golf have been modernised and updated and a new World Handicap System (WHS) has been developed to create a consistent measure of playing ability for all golfers, regardless of nationality, ability, age or gender.

In 2018, The R&A introduced the first Women in Golf Charter as part of its drive to increase the number of women and girls participating in golf and to encourage more opportunities for women to work within the golf industry.

The R&A also organises leading amateur championships, such as The Amateur and The Women's Amateur championships, and Home International matches. We also manage Great Britain and Ireland teams for the Walker Cup, Curtis Cup, Vagliano Trophy and Jacques Léglise Trophy.

Women & Girls' Golf


The Women in Golf Charter was created by The R&A in 2018 to inspire an industry-wide commitment and conversation with the ultimate goal of enabling more women and girls to maximise their potential at all levels of the sport.  The #FOREeveryone campaign creates a more accessible platform which the golf industry is uniting behind and through which existing and prospective golfers can engage.