Ladies Golf Union and The R&A complete merger

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The merger of the Ladies' Golf Union (LGU) and The R&A has been finalised and will come into effect from 1 January 2017.

The agreement between the two organisations was signed in June leading to the integration of the LGU's business operations and its members of staff into The R&A group of companies.

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An agreed governance structure has also been implemented to give LGU Board members representation on relevant R&A Committees.

The R&A will assume responsibility for staging the LGU's championships and international matches next year but 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.

"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."