Slumbers To Retire At End Of The Year As R&A Chief Executive

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Martin Slumbers is retiring at the end of the year, ending his nine years as CEO of The R&A in which he orchestrated a merger with the Ladies Golf Union, raised brand awareness of golf’s oldest championship and played a big part in trying to reign in distance.

He took the British Open to Northern Ireland in 2019 for the first time in 68 years and canceled The Open in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been a privilege to serve golf at the highest level,” Slumbers said. “In any career, there is a time to allow the next generation to have its turn. I am grateful to have had the honor, for nearly a decade, to have been the custodian of all that The R&A and the game of golf more broadly represents.”

Slumbers will oversee The Open at Royal Troon this summer, along with the Women’s British Open returning to St. Andrews and the Curtis Cup matches at Sunningdale.

Slumbers, who came to the R&A from the world of finance and banking, took over in 2015 for Peter Dawson.

The merger with the Ladies Golf Union essentially allowed the R&A to run the Women’s British Open, with AIG as a title sponsor. Now the LPGA major is playing championship links courses such as St. Andrews, Royal Troon and Carnoustie.

“In Martin, we have been fortunate to have a CEO who has steered the organization through a period of growth and enhanced the profile and reputation of our sport to make it more accessible, appealing and inclusive,” said Niall Farquharson, chairman of The R&A.