UK Golf Federation news

Welcome to our new pages. Please select a category from the list below

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club R&A CEO Martin Slumbers announces surprise exit amid golf’s turmoil
The R&A has surprisingly announced Martin Slumbers is to leave his role as the chief executive. Slumbers, 63, has been in position since succeeding Peter Dawson in 2015. He will depart golf’s ruling body by the end of this year, with a recruitment team already having been appointed to find a new chief executive. Sources at the organisation insist Slumbers always intended to stay in post for between five and 10 years but there had been no indication the Englishman was about to depart St Andrews. Slumbers will exit with his sport still trying to plot a path towards a successful future involving existing tours and the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. Slumbers said: “It has been a privilege to serve golf at the highest level. It is a role that I have been proud to carry out on behalf of the R&A’s employees, the members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club and all our global partners. In any career, there is a time to allow the next generation to have its turn. I am grateful to have had the honour, for nearly a decade, to have been the custodian of all that the R&A and the game of golf more broadly represents.” Tiger Woods has worn Nike clothing throughout his professional career Tiger Woods and Nike bring $500m, 27-year partnership to an end Read more The R&A broke with their own tradition by turning to Slumbers, a fine amateur player who had a career background in banking rather than golf administration or the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. The R&A’s chief executive also serves as the secretary of the golf club. Key successes during his tenure involve the sharp growth of both the Open Championship and Women’s British Open in commercial terms. Slumbers has also been at the forefront of plans to limit driving distances for elite players, with new regulations aimed at “rolling back” the golf ball due to come into operation later this decade. Slumbers has made sustainability, both of golf courses and the sport in financial terms, a key theme of his time in office. He has been a highly popular figure within the R&A, where he is viewed as an innovator. Recently, Slumbers’ willingness to court Saudi Arabia has raised eyebrows. At last summer’s Open Championship, he refused to rule out commercial partnerships between the R&A and the Saudis. He later held a series of meetings with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the PIF, with the duo playing partners during the autumn’s Dunhill Links Championship. The R&A later confirmed it is in talks regarding the supporting of “development projects” in the kingdom. Saudi’s march into golf, primarily through the LIV tour, has proved hugely controversial. With alliances between the R&A and the Saudis strengthening all the time, a new chief executive will have to pick up the baton. Niall Farquharson, chairman of the R&A said, “In Martin, we have been fortunate to have a CEO who has steered the organisation through a period of growth and enhanced the profile and reputation of our sport to make it more accessible, appealing and inclusive. Through his stature and influence in the world of golf and sport more widely and in growing the proceeds of the Open to invest back into the game, he has been true to the R&A’s purpose of golf thriving 50 years from now and has shown transformational leadership. He speaks often of reflecting history in a modern way and that will be his legacy to the R&A and to the club.”