The R&A has published its 2005 Annual Review covering rules, championships, development, course management and heritage activities. The review also reports an increased operating profit for the second year of operations in a corporate structure.
Commercial success is inextricably linked to the performance of The Open Championship and with television and other major commercial rights fully taken up, and near record attendances at the event in St Andrews, operating profit advanced to £9.1m (£5.25m) in the year to 31 December 2005.
Ensuring that The R&A’s worldwide governance role can be guaranteed into the future, the organisation again added to its reserves.
Commenting on the financial outcome R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said, “Revenue is traditionally strongest when The Open is staged at the home of golf in St Andrews and 2005 was no exception, with even more spectators turning out to see Jack Nicklaus play his last championship round.
“Our stated ambition, to deliver more than £50m of grant aid and other benefits to the game by the end of the decade, from the new ownership structures put in place in 2004, remains on track”, added Dawson.
In the year, R&A development grants to the game totalled £3.7m (£3.6m), and a further £3.5m (£3.3m) was provided to support governance activities and other championship events, including the Amateur, the Walker Cup and the Senior British Open.
Highlights of 2005 included:
- An independent study commissioned by The R&A found The Open at St Andrews to be worth £72m to the Scottish economy
- A new host broadcaster television rights agreement for coverage of The Open Championship was agreed through to 2011 with the BBC
- Open Championship broadcast distribution reached record totals for level of coverage (1,700 hours), the number of broadcasters transmitting coverage (47), and the number of territories reached worldwide (194)
- Lexus joined MMC, Nikon, Rolex, Royal Bank of Scotland and Unisys as a Patron of The Open Championship
- R&A funding support for the China-Scotland Golf Partnership passed £1m in the year
- The Gabonaise and Serbia and Montenegro Golf Associations affiliated to The R&A
- Work started on a new R&A Equipment Test Centre on the St Andrews Links
- Student athlete support from The R&A reached £250,000 in the year
- The R&A took Rules of Golf Schools to: China, Italy, Korea, Singapore, South Africa and Switzerland and ran a tournament organisation seminar in Beijing
- The R&A Best Practice Website on sustainable course management was made available in 5 languages and over 1,600 courses from 93 countries were registered at the year end
- The R&A funded PGA coaching visits to14 countries: Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, India, Iran, Peru, Sri Lanka, Uruguay and Venezuela
- The British Golf Museum, substantially funded by The R&A Foundation, attracted over 63,000 visitors following major front of house and retail redevelopment
During the year The R&A’s founding club, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews again gifted listed investments to The R&A Foundation, raising net assets at the charity to £11.4m (£6.4m) at the year end.
The R&A 2005 Annual Review can be read or downloaded from www.randa.org and abbreviated accounts will be available later this year on request and from Companies House