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'A pretty good innings': Tour stars react to R&A chief executive's tenure ending

‘A pretty good innings’: Tour stars react to R&A chief executive’s tenure ending

Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Luke Donald all heaped praise on Martin Slumbers who will step down as the R&A’s chief executive by the end of 2024…

 

A host of European golf heroes had nothing but praise and positivity for Martin Slumbers who will be stepping down as R&A chief executive this year.

Slumbers, who worked through a merger with the Ladies Golf Union, the introduction of the World Handicap System and the announcement of golf ball roll back, will leave the hot seat by the end of 2024.

Having taken over the role from Peter Dawson in 2015, Slumbers is also the Secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

The 63-year-old’s final tasks will be to oversee The 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon, the AIG Women’s Open at St Andrews and the Curtis Cup at Sunningdale.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

golf ball roll back announcement

Ryder Cup stars full of praise for Martin Slumbers

Four-time major champion and winner of the 2014 Open Rory McIlroy offered his thoughts to Golf Digest about Slumbers’ tenure ending:

“Martin has done a lot of good things for the game and started a lot of good initiatives. He clearly feels deeply about the game.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with him and he’s always had the best interest of the game at heart. I’m not sure what the average tenure is in that position but nine years seems like a good stint.

“Hopefully, he stays involved in the game, even if not as deeply involved as he has been.”

McIlroy’s Ryder Cup teammate turned-captain Luke Donald also spoke about the R&A boss ahead of the Dubai Invitational on the DP World Tour:

“Nine years is a pretty good innings. For a lot of that time, he’s been working on some pretty big issues, not least the ball roll back.

“That is game-changing potentially. So Martin hasn’t been afraid to do things he felt would be for the betterment of the game. You have to respect that.”

Tommy Fleetwood, the man who clinched the winning point for Donald’s European side at the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome was full of praise for Slumbers:

“Martin has been great. It’s a big role and there have been some big decisions made, whether it be with equipment or where the tours go next, but we can all be very grateful for the service he has put in.”

NOW READ: Rory McIlroy reveals his ‘dream scenario’ for golf’s future

How would you rate the Martin Slumbers R&A era? Tell us on X/Twitter!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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