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British Golf Museum

and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

British Golf Museum

Bruce Embankment

St Andrews

KY16 9AB


tel: +44 (0)1334 460046




email: [email protected]



Contact details: Laurie Rae: Museum & Heritage Senior Curator;

Kevin Knox: Museum & Heritage Curator


Date of visit: 27 August 2014


Nature and extent of collection


BGM: approximately 580 pieces (core and loan collections)

R&A: approximately 500 pieces


Established in 1990, the British Golf Museum (BGM) exists to provide education and enlightenment about the history and traditions of golf in Britain and the spread of the game worldwide.


The basic objective of the Museum's collecting policy is to assemble the finest possible collection of objects relating to the history of golf in Britain and British influence abroad, from the Middle Ages to the present day.  


The Museum actively collects medals and trophies won by champion golfers, alongside items the Museum considers to be significant in relation to the development of the game in Britain and its influence around the world.


The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) was founded in 1754, the second-oldest golf club in the world.  From 1897 to 2003 the Club served as the governing body for golf worldwide.  The objective of the Club’s collecting policy is to collect items related to the history of the Club and golf in St Andrews.


Museum staff are also responsible for the care, interpretation and display of Club collections.  The Royal and Ancient Clubhouse is not accessible to the public, except annually on St Andrews Day, 30th November.  However, a high volume of numismatic material from the Club’s collection is interpreted and on permanent display in the British Golf Museum.



All numbers below are estimated


Medals:  BGM: approx. 580 medals and trophies (amateur and professional; local, national and international) from the 18th century to present.

R&A: approx. 500 medals and trophies (amateur and professional; local and national) from 1754 to present.

Other: BGM: approx. 260 commemorative badges (ie. presented to competitors at championships/international matches etc).

Specific strengths: BGM: Medals and prizes demonstrating the development of golf in Britain and its influence on the game’s spread worldwide.

R&A: Medals and prizes symbolising the Club from its foundation in 1754 to the present.


Library: BGM: approx. 900 volumes; R&A: approx. 4,300 volumes. BGM and R&A: general golf history; periodicals [historic and contemporary]; biographies; autobiographies; club histories; championships; course architecture and design; equipment; instruction; The Rules of Golf. Each library collection has specific strengths in material covering the development of golf in Britain from the 15th century to the present, and of the game’s latter spread and establishment worldwide.





Database used: KE EMu


Proportion of collection on database: 100%


How much detail in database entries? While all core details are recorded, entries vary in depth of additional information.


Are images incorporated? This is an on-going project; at present, approximately 10% of numismatic material has been digitised and added to item records.


Is the database accessible to the public? No.


Is the database publicly accessible online? No.





Are there permanent numismatic displays? BGM: Yes.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? BGM: Yes.


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? BGM: Yes.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? No numismatic-specific temporary exhibitions have been mounted at the British Golf Museum, though such material is almost always a core element when interpreting the history of golf, of any theme.



Access to the collection


Is there a study facility? BGM: A study area is made available for researchers by appointment.


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? BGM: Yes.



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection? BGM: Not specifically, but material from the collection may be used in handling sessions as appropriate.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? BGM: Yes


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? BGM: Yes


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? N/A



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries? BGM: Yes.



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? BGM and R&A: No.


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas? Yes; numismatic curators and experts within the museum sector.


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? N/A

BGM_logo Exterior COMP Entrance COMP Section 01 COMP 1908 Olympic 01 COMP Royal Medal 01 COMP