Following an extensive consultation exercise, agreement has been reached on the merger of the two St Andrews-based bodies with the process due to be completed in the coming months.
The Ladies Golf Union (LGU) organises a series of prestigious championships and international matches including the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the Curtis Cup and the merger will be an opportunity to further develop these world class events.
An announcement was made in February 2015 that a potential merger between the LGU and The R&A was under consideration. Since then discussions have taken place between the respective Boards and the LGU’s shareholders – England Golf, Scottish Golf, the Golf Union of Wales and the Irish Ladies Golf Union – and there has been unanimous support for the proposal.
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.”
Planning is underway to integrate the staff from both organisations and to implement the agreed governance structure. The LGU’s championships and international matches will run as normal this year with the existing LGU team managing those events. The business operations of the LGU will be brought into The R&A group of companies with effect from 1 January 2017.