R&A and LGU merger to target family golf

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams April 8, 2016 16:38

The latest proposed merger between two of golf’s governing bodies will be used to get more families to play golf, after shocking research revealed the average English golf club has less than three girls as members.

Basha Girls Golf

Flickr / Devon Christopher Adams

The R&A, golf’s governing body outside of the USA and Mexico, and the Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU), the governing body for women’s and girls’ amateur golf in Great Britain and Ireland, are set to merge on January 1, 2017.

Last year the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association merged and in 2012 the English Golf Union and the English Women’s Golf Association also amalgamated, as the game has tried to be seen to be more inclusive to women.

One of the most shocking statistics to have been revealed in recent years was in 2013 when England Golf disclosed that the average golf club in England has less than three girls for members.

Recent research has also found that less than 15 percent of UK golf club members are women – significantly less than the European average.

“This is a tremendous opportunity, both for the R&A and the LGU,” said Martin Slumbers, The R&A’s chief executive. “The LGU feel very positive that The R&A can help them and we feel they can help us achieve our objectives.

“Not long after The R&A becoming a mixed club, this is the next step in the process of The R&A supporting the game as a whole.

“It is a practical step and we are delighted because by having men’s, women’s, boys’ and girls’ golf under the same umbrella it means that we can talk about golf as whole.

“Growth of family golf is also the best opportunity for the game to grow than any other demographic group.”

“The LGU has a long and proud tradition of supporting women’s and girls’ golf,” said LGU chairman Trish Wilson.

“Funded by the lady golfers of Great Britain and Ireland, the LGU has positioned golf as a game for all women and girls.

“Building on the strong relationship it already enjoys with The R&A, the LGU looks forward to realising the potential of this merger.”

Asked if the merger meant the letters LGU would disappear from the golfing alphabet, he replied: “Yes, over time. But the LGU will continue as planned this year, when the events include a Curtis Cup, before we get full integration on 1 January, 2017.”


Emma Williams
By Emma Williams April 8, 2016 16:38
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