It was announced today that Peter Dawson is to retire as Chief Executive of The R&A and Secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
Mr Dawson will step down in September 2015 after 16 years leading the body which organises The Open Championship and governs the sport worldwide in conjunction with the United States Golf Association.
Having succeeded Sir Michael Bonallack as Secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club in 1999, Mr Dawson took over in an important period in the Club’s history.
In 2004, the same year that the Club celebrated its 250th anniversary, the private members’ club formed a separate group of companies to run The Open and conduct its governance responsibilities. This evolution enabled The R&A to focus on its governance role, running successful championships and supporting the growth of the game around the world and the Club to concentrate on catering for the needs of its more than 2,000 Members.
The Open Championship has enjoyed continuing commercial success throughout Mr Dawson’s tenure enabling The R&A to invest substantially in supporting the development of golf around the world through Rules education, grassroots initiatives, coaching, the provision of greenkeeping equipment and university golf.
The R&A now works with 152 affiliated organisations from the amateur and professional game in 138 countries and jointly administers the Rules of Golf, the Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and the World Amateur Golf Ranking™ with the USGA.
Mr Dawson became the Joint Secretary of the International Golf Federation in 1999 and was a key figure in securing golf’s return to the Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016. He was appointed President of the IGF in 2010 and the IGF Board has extended his term of office to 2016.
The recruitment of Mr Dawson’s successor will be handled by international executive search firm Spencer Stuart and the position will be advertised this weekend. An appointment is expected to be made in sufficient time to allow for an appropriate handover period in 2015.