New donor funding to enable the R&A Foundation to support more golf-related programmes across the world

The support will provide more opportunities for individuals and communities to benefit across five broad themes of accessibility, sustainability, health, heritage and talent

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Funding for golf through The R&A includes Golf Sixes at Yas Links Abu Dhabi. - Supplied photo
Funding for golf through The R&A includes Golf Sixes at Yas Links Abu Dhabi. - Supplied photo

Published: Tue 18 Jun 2024, 9:48 PM

Several golf-related programmes around the world are to benefit from The R&A Foundation’s support thanks to donations generated by a global philanthropy programme.

Since 2023, donors have been invited to support The R&A Foundation and increase the funding reinvested by The R&A into the sport through proceeds from The Open. This is providing more opportunities for individuals and communities worldwide to benefit from golf across five broad themes: accessibility, sustainability, health, heritage and talent.


Since the start of this new phase, donors have pledged more than £6.3 million and £2 million has so far been realised. Supporters include Rolex, The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation, AIG and an international group of individual donors.

More than £700,000 in unrestricted donations – funds which can be used for any purpose in line with The R&A Foundation’s charitable objectives – is now being allocated to a range of programmes that will transform lives and communities through golf. Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said, “Thanks to additional funds raised through our global philanthropy programme, The R&A Foundation can substantially increase its support for individuals and communities worldwide through golf.


“Using unrestricted donations, we have the flexibility to support a wide range of important projects around the world across our five themes,” he added.

“This demonstrates the positive impact the philanthropy programme has had in only its first year of fundraising and the generosity of our donors.”

Beneficiaries include The Royal and Ancient Golf Club Scholarship, a new award which is designed to identify, support and develop the next generation of golf’s leaders.

Projects at Golf It! in Glasgow and The R&A World Golf Museum in St Andrews are also being supported, as well as greenkeeping initiatives and the international roll-out of a Community Golf Instructor programme.

Allocation of 2023 R&A Foundation unrestricted funding:

Accessibility

Creation of a ‘Fairways to Learning’ programme at Golf It! in Glasgow, an annual senior school programme for secondary students to attend the facility over ten weeks to develop personal and employability skills and gain work, training and real-life experiences.

Establish the Community Garden project at Golf It! to grow fresh produce to be used within the neighbouring communities. Elements of the garden construction were undertaken by prisoners at HMP Barlinnie who are enrolled in joinery and steel fabrication courses.

International roll-out of a Community Golf Instructor Programme, including in Romania, the Netherlands, Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt and Uganda, after the training programme was pioneered in Great Britain and Ireland.

Health

Donation of a Paragolfer to Woburn Golf Club, host venue of The G4D Open, to create a legacy from the Championship and enable those with lower limb disabilities to stand to play the sport. The Golf Trust will work with Woburn and engage in community projects to raise awareness, and confidence and create the pathway from community to club.

PhD funding to study the mental health of elite golfers across professional tours.

Heritage

AIG Women’s Open exhibition ahead of the Championship at St Andrews in August.

Materials capture (photography and oral history) of the experience of Caddies in St Andrews over the last 60 years, in preparation for a new exhibition at The R&A World Golf Museum.

Sustainability

Support of First Green – a golf industry initiative to inspire the next generation of greenkeepers – and promote the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills found in golf.

Creation of a unique international Scholars exchange programme in collaboration with the USGA. Providing R&A Greenkeeping Scholars and USGA Interns with the opportunity to attend championships overseas and for The R&A Sustainable Agronomy team and USGA Green Section to host international students and interns.

Promotion of international ‘Thank a Greenkeeper Day’, with a particular focus on underrepresented groups in the profession and resources available through The R&A Global Alliance: Golf Development Portal.

Postgraduate research funding at the University of St Andrews focused on the use of technology to measure the carbon sequestration potential and positive climate impact of golf courses.

The worldwide roll-out of The R&A’s Golf and Nature study pioneered in Great Britain and Ireland to produce one-year studies on the nature and biodiversity found on golf courses in Europe.

Talent

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club Scholarship to fund an initial cohort of up to 12 young people with education and golf bursary support for up to four years.

Support to African High-Performance players (for travel, accommodation and entry fees) to compete in World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) events domestically and within Africa, thereby building experience and providing opportunities for progression.

Support to the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Academy to cover the costs of coaches and custom-fitting, following the model successfully developed around the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. Involving 12-14 women from countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the UAE, Singapore and Vietnam for six days in person plus an online platform for follow-up development.

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