Peter Dawson to retire

Peter Dawson, the most powerful European in Golf, and the 7th most powerful person in the world, according to Golf Inc. magazine, is stepping down after a 16 year run as the secretary of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the chief executive of its commercial arm, the R&A. He’ll officially step down in September 2015.

During his time in office, Dawson skillfully managed the business side of international golf. He helped to open new markets for the game, attracted deep-pocketed corporate sponsors, enhanced the status (and boosted the profits) of the Open Championship and helped to identify new sources of revenue for the sport of golf. And just weeks ago, in what may turn out to be his last major initiative, he set the stage for a long-overdue vote that will likely admit women to the Royal & Ancient. 

Dawson succeeded Sir Michael Bonallack as Secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club in 1999. 

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 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.

Dawson was a key figure in securing golf’s return to the Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

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