The Royal and Ancient and the Ladies Golf Union are to merge from January 2017 it was announced today. After a period of consultation, the two St Andrews based organisations will integrate their staff at the beginning of next year. Until then all LGU Championships and matches will be run as normal by existing staff. The LGU’s Amateur Championships were losing money and the LGU’s Finance Director admitted it was not tenable in the current form, particularly as they will be hosting the Curtis Cup at Dun Laoghaire this Summer. The LGU and R and A will unite to encourage more young people to play golf.
Trish Wilson, the Chairman of the LGU, said, “The LGU has a long and proud tradition of supporting women’s and girls’ golf. Funded by the lady golfers of Great Britain and Ireland, the LGU has positioned golf as a game for all women and girls. My gratitude is due to our shareholders for their foresight and support in this move.
“I would like to thank the Chief Executive of The R&A and his team, and the foresight of his predecessor, for their initiative and conviction in achieving this outcome. Building on the strong relationship it already enjoys with The R&A, the LGU looks forward to realising the potential of this merger.”
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “The LGU and The R&A have a wealth of experience in running successful championships and we have a shared focus on supporting the development of golf. The merger will enable us to capitalise on the strengths of the two organisations for the wider benefit of the sport, including the development of golf for women and girls.
“This is a historic move and an important step forward for golf on these islands. I would like to thank the LGU Board for their commitment and enthusiasm throughout this process and their stakeholders, including Ricoh and IMG, for their tremendous support.”