The Royal and Ancient complete merger

The merger of the Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU) and The Royal and Ancient (R&A) has been finalised, it was announced Monday.

The agreement between the two governing bodies was signed last June and will now come into full effect from January 1st, 2017.

An agreed governance structure has also been implemented to give LGU Board members representation on relevant R&A Committees, while The R&A will assume responsibility for staging the LGU’s championships and international matches next year.

The Ricoh Women’s British Open will continue to be managed by IMG in 2017 under the existing agreement with the LGU.

Trish Wilson, Chair of the LGU, said, “The completion of the merger is a progressive and important step for the development of women’s golf.

WOBURN, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 31: Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand poses with Diane Bailey the President of the LGU (l), Leona Maguire of Ireland the leading amateur and Trish Wilson the Chairman of the LGU (r) after her three shot victory in the 2016 Ricoh Women's British Open on the Marquess Course at Woburn Golf Club on July 31, 2016 in Woburn, England. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

“Bringing the two organisations together creates a platform that will allow us to develop our aspirations for women’s golf on a global stage and encourage more girls and women to play golf and become members of clubs.

“The success of the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the Curtis Cup demonstrates the growing strength of women’s golf in both the professional and amateur game and we look forward to building on this with The R&A.”

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “The integration of the two organisations puts us in a better, stronger position to realise our collective vision for growing the game of golf around the world.

“Our combined resources and staff expertise will help us to achieve our shared aims for the development of golf, including increasing girls’ and women’s participation and encouraging more families to enjoy golf as a recreational activity.

“Both organisations have an excellent track record of successfully staging prestigious championships and international matches and we are looking forward to a great season of events next year.”