Cole-Hamilton and Murray appointed R&A Executive Directors

The R&A has announced the appointment of Johnnie Cole-Hamilton as its new Executive Director – Championships as part of a wider management reorganisation.

Cole-Hamilton (pictured), who has held the post of Assistant Director – Championships since 2004, brings a wealth of experience to the role having been involved in the staging of every Open since Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2001.

John Murray, currently Vice President – Golf; Finance at IMG, has also been named as the organisation’s new Executive Director – Finance. Murray, will join on 1 February and replaces Mark Dobell, who will retire in April after serving as The R&A’s Finance Director for the past 14 years.

The R&A’s Chief Executive Peter Dawson said: “I am delighted to announce these key additions to our senior management team.

“Johnnie brings extensive experience to the role having been involved with the running of our championships for more than a decade under the guidance of our previous Director of Championships David Hill.

“I am also delighted to welcome someone of John’s calibre to the organisation. John comes with experience of the wider golf industry along with an understanding of The R&A which will prove invaluable over the years ahead.

“Over recent years the scope of The R&A’s activities has grown and it is important we react to these changing circumstances. The management reorganisation being announced today is designed to better reflect the key areas of our work and ensure that we continue to help grow the game of golf throughout the world.”

Cole-Hamilton joined The R&A in 1999 having previously worked as a Senior Tournament Controller for the PGA. He started his R&A career as a Rules Assistant, refereeing at numerous European Tour events, before making the switch to the Championships Department the following year.

The 40-year-old, who has been in charge of staging the Amateur and Senior Amateur Championships for more than 10 years, said: “It has been a privilege to be part of The R&A and its championships over the past 13 years and I am looking forward to my new role.

“It is imperative that The Open Championship is able to evolve and develop in order to maintain its place as one of the world’s most iconic sporting events. I am confident that with the team I have around me, along with these changes, we are well positioned to meet the challenges that lie ahead.” 

Murray, a graduate of Edinburgh University, is a Chartered Accountant and spent his early career with Arthur Andersen and Coopers & Lybrand before joining IMG in 2000. He brings with him experience of the golf industry, including player representation, golf event management and consultancy, and golf course design and management.

Murray said: “I am delighted to be joining golf’s governing body and am looking forward to working at the Home of Golf.

“Along with the organisation’s wider work in supporting and growing the game across the globe, I am particularly excited about the challenge of being involved with one of the world’s premier sporting events.”