Martin Slumbers, chief executive of UK-based golfing body The Royal and Ancient (R&A), is set to step down by the end of 2024 after nine years in the role.

Slumbers, who replaced Peter Dawson in 2015, said he will oversee the 152nd Open at Royal Troon, the return of the AIG Women's Open to St Andrews, and the 43rd Curtis Cup match at Sunningdale before stepping down at the end of this year.

The R&A said an executive search firm has been appointed to help source his successor.

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 honor, for nearly a decade, to have been the custodian of all that The R&A and the game of golf more broadly represents.”

During his tenure, Slumbers led the merger with the Ladies’ Golf Union and its subsequent integration, the growth of both the Open Championship and Women’s British Open in commercial terms, the development of its first Playbook, had oversight of the 2019 modernization of the rules of golf, the roll-out of World Handicap System in 2020, and the Distance Insights process in 2023.

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He also launched the global G4D Open tournament for disabled golfers in 2023, while in 2024 a new Africa Amateur Championship will be founded, joining the Slumbers-introduced Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific championship and the Women’s Amateur Latin America championship.

Slumbers has also served on the boards of the Official World Golf Ranking, the International Golf Federation, and the Ladies European Tour in this time.

Niall Farquharson, chairman of the R&A said: “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. 

“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.”