Sunday, January 20, 2008

The R&A, Golf's Guardian

The R&A, The Royal and Ancient, has ably accepted the responsibility for the rules and etiquette for our great game. They were spun off from The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews which is an actual functioning golf club seen in the photo. The R&A issues a free "Rules of Golf" available to download from their website. Since 1952 they've partnered with the USGA to insure the game's integrity. Reading the booklet is interesting, even to an avid golfer. All sorts of forehead slapping things are in there. For example, The R&A and USGA have agreed on a common ball size. It wasn't always this way. The ball may be no smaller than 1.680". It can however be as large as you like, as long as it doesn't exceed 1.62 ounces. For my game a larger ball would be easier to hit, but wouldn't go into the hole as easily. This is going to require some serious thought. I recommend at least a cursory glance. Truly, I suggest you have it in your bag. Win the Sunday morning wars. Another book available from The R&A is "Decisions on the Rules of Golf". It's in Q&A form with a more practical use. Worth a read as well.

The R&A, since 1920, has operated and administered The Open Championship, The Walker Cup, The Amateur Championship, and numerous other tourneys. If you notice, these events are so steeped in history and tradition that reading The Open Championship is enough to recognize it as The British Open. Nuff said I guess! Proceeds from The Open Championship, through the R&A Foundation, are distributed into maintaining junior golf programs, growing the game in emerging nations, and a host of course management efforts. Recent emphasis has been placed on ecological efforts and conservation related to golf course management.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, as mentioned previously, is a functioning golf club with over 2,400 members worldwide. You can reserve a tee time from their website.

The club officially dates back to May 14, 1754 when the first organized competition was held. Mentions of golf in local annals refer to golf as early as 1413. I wonder what the sheep thought when bothered by the first golfers. The club received it's "Royal" designation in 1834 by none other than King William IV. Six members of the royal family have served as Club Captain, a annual title for the Grand Poopah, for lack of a better term. A mention of the club is lacking without referencing Tom Morris, (1841-1913), aka "Old Tom". He returned to the club in 1864 as the "keeper of the green". In the middle of his job duties he also managed to be a renowned club and ball maker, and oh by the way, win 4 Open Championships. The original clubhouse was built in 1854. Many additions have made it the structure seen today. The original clubhouse however, is still part of the current building, buried inside.

It's valuable for the average golfer to at least peek at where this great game came from. I encourage you browse these sites and see if you find them as interesting as I'm portraying them

Til' next,


  1. I need to correct an earlier comment I made. About what I would watch, NFL vs. PGA. Well the choice to watch New England play SanDiego (NFL) or the PGA, I took the NFL, well in the 1st quarter of the football game, the talk from the announcer was about the N.E. coach. Right there and then I felt it in my gut, I was watching a sport that allows cheaters to prosper, and collect awards that under no circumstance should be given to a convicted cheater. Why does this bother me so much? Well we really don’t know how much this affected the outcome of there games. Why because the NFL swept this under the rug as fast as they could. What about an investigation, not! So we don’t know what or how far this man has gone, do we? Has he stolen or paid for other teams playbooks? Has he bugged other coach’s offices or phones? We will never know now. But a cheater would do all this. A$500000.00 fine to someone who makes that kind of money is a joke, and the loss of 1 draft pick that may or may not have ever played in the NFL anyway. Now one more sport is corrupted, golf may be one of the last resorts. And in saying this, I will never overlook any kind of cheating in golf again. If I see it, ill call whomever on it. I will not allow my favorite pastime to be ruined as the NFL. 2 minutes into the second quarter I tuned to golf, I felt better about the whole day then. I’m not going to be a backer of cheating. I did watch the later game NY vs. Green Bay. Now I have two weeks to decide if I want to watch the Super Bowl, I really want to watch the Super Bowl,
    This makes me sick to my stomach and almost brings tears to my eyes. We need to make a stand, not for anyone else, just for or selves.

  2. Can't disagree with you. I do think one of the reasons they didn't come down harder is that most of the teams had done something similar, just didn't get caught.

  3. See, you suspect that there are others doing it. It should have been dealt with harshly. Leave no doubt that cheating will not be tolerated. What do you think Kenesaw Mountain Landis would do? Sorry I don’t know how to put in a link, but Google him if you don’t know him. He dealt with the 1908 black sox incident.

  4. I will. golfdean4, please place comments on PGA vs NFL under that post. That way when and if someone starts to read my crap it will follow the topic. Thanks very much.

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