The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

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Clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews on the 18th green of the Old Course

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in St Andrews ( Scotland ) is a golf club founded in 1754 and was one of the two leading authorities in golf until 2004 .


The city of St Andrews has long been a religious and economic center in Scotland due to St Andrews Cathedral and the university founded in 1413 . Golf also benefited from this, so that St Andrews was considered the "Home of Golf". In the course of the Reformation, however, the religious significance was lost and a decline in the economy and culture was the result. Although golf had been played on the Old Course in St Andrews for more than 200 years, St Andrews was no longer the preferred destination of the political and religious elite by the mid-18th century.

So on May 14, 1754, 22 supporters of the sport ("22 Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Kingdom of Fife") met to donate a trophy for an annual tournament, the so-called "Silver Club". The founding declaration states that St Andrews was seen as the “alma mater” of golf and that it hoped to contribute to the city's prosperity. In fact, there was a renewed upswing, but probably not only because of the tournament, but also because the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith (later The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers ) were plagued by capacity problems on their golf course during this time and therefore had to change locations several times.

The increased reputation of St Andrews was evident in 1834 when King William IV gave the club the name The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews , which is still used today , and which soon shortened to R&A . The imposing clubhouse was built in 1854 and since 1873 the prestigious Open Championship has been held regularly in St Andrews, so that the former leadership role could be claimed again towards the end of the 19th century.

However, the USGA was founded in 1894 and took over regulatory responsibility for the game of golf in the USA and Mexico . In all other countries, from 1897 onwards, the rules of R&A were played. However, in 1951 the two organizations agreed on a joint approach, so that, with a few exceptions, one can speak of a globally uniform set of rules. The exceptions relate to certain details in the area of ​​permitted or prohibited equipment.

Royal and Ancient and R&A

The historically created double function - local golf club on the one hand, leading international authority of the sport on the other hand - was dissolved on January 1, 2004 and two independent organizations emerged.

The official administrative functions and responsibility for hosting the major tournaments have been transferred to a group of companies established for this purpose, collectively known as The R&A or R&A Rules Limited . This grouping is thus one of the two publishers of the official golf rules and “decisions” (rule interpretations) alongside the USGA. It is financed primarily through hosting the Open Championship . However, other tournaments are also organized, especially in the amateur field, such as the Junior Open and the Walker Cup .

The actual golf club is still called the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and is financed through membership fees. He focuses primarily on looking after the 2400 members worldwide, who in particular enjoy the privilege of playing on the Old Course .

Web links

Commons : The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews  - Collection of images, videos and audio files