Martin Slumbers was appointed Chief Executive of The R&A and Secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in 2015. An early achievement has been the design, development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan for the organisation. He has also driven a number of initiatives to bring more women and girls to play and work in golf including the launch of the Women in Golf Charter in 2018.
Born in Brighton and educated at Lancing College, Martin gained a BSc in Production Engineering and Economics from the University of Birmingham. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in London before embarking on a career in investment banking. He spent 12 years working for Salomon Brothers International in London and Hong Kong, becoming Chief Financial Officer in Asia and then Europe.
In 1998, he joined Deutsche Bank and served in a number of senior executive roles. He was appointed Global Head of Deutsche Bank’s Investment Banking Operations in 2006 and the following year as Global Head of Global Business Services.
Martin is a member of several golf clubs including Crail in Fife and Worplesdon in Surrey.
Chief Commercial Officer
Neil joined The R&A in 2016 as Chief Commercial Officer. He leads the Commercial department at the governing body and oversees the commercial and marketing operations and activities at The Open with responsibility for driving revenues across ticketing, hospitality, commercial partnerships, broadcast, retail and licensing. The objective is to drive the commercial success of The Open to enable The R&A to invest £200million in development projects around the world over the next ten years.
Neil has worked in the sport industry for more than 15 years across sports sponsorship, broadcast, hospitality, premium ticketing and sales as well as developing and implementing strategic business development programmes in sports rights management and commercial partnerships.
Originally from London, Neil graduated from Loughborough University and moved into sales roles with Coca-Cola and ITV before entering the sport sector as Head of Hospitality and Events at Saracens in 2003. He became Commercial Director in 2005 with an oversight for generating revenue across all areas of the Club’s commercial activities. Neil subsequently joined the Rugby Football Union as Head of Business Development in 2008 with responsibility for maximising the sales and business development activity of the RFU and delivering business transformation projects to generate essential funds to invest in the game at all levels and continue to grow and develop rugby in England.
He plays to a handicap of 8.
Executive Director - Championships
Educated at Loretto School near Edinburgh, Johnnie Cole-Hamilton graduated from the University of the West of England with a degree in Social Science. He then attended Strathclyde University where he completed a Masters in Human Resource Management.
He began his career in golf administration in 1995 as Tournament Director at the PGA, before joining The R&A in the Rules Department in 1999. Eighteen months later he returned to Championship staging responsibilities and has since been involved in the running of over 20 Open Championships.
Johnnie was appointed as the Executive Director - Championships in 2012 and managesthe team responsible for staging The Open. He also leads on R&A involvement at theAIG Women’s British Open and the Senior Open.
Executive Director – Finance
John Murray was educated at Banchory Academy and graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in Business Studies and Accountancy. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in Edinburgh before continuing in practice with Coopers & Lybrand. He moved into the golf industry in 2000 and spent 12 years with IMG Sports Management Group as Vice President - Finance for IMG Golf EAME, based in London.
In 2012 he joined The R&A as Executive Director - Finance, with financial responsibility for The R&A Group and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
He is a keen golfer and a member of The New Golf Club St Andrews, where he plays to a handicap of two.
Executive Director - Corporate Communications
Karen joined The R&A in May 2018 in what is a new role for the organisation. She is responsible for communications strategy across both internal and external stakeholders. Her focus is currently on developing The R&A’s profile and purpose, not only within the world of golf but among a wider audience.
During 21 years with The Automobile Association, where she began as a PR assistant and traffic broadcaster, Karen led the communication of the AA’s demutualisation and sale to Centrica and became the AA’s Director of Communications under Centrica’s ownership. Her responsibilities also included the then traffic broadcasting division AA Roadwatch and AA Signs.
With media owner Time Inc. UK (formerly IPC Media and now TI Media) – known for over 50 brands ranging from Country Life, Horse & Hound and Golf Monthly, to TV Times, Woman and Homes & Gardens - Karen had a wide communications remit as Communications Director for 11 years.
More recently Karen had an interim communications role with the British Equestrian Federation.
Executive Director - Chief Technology Officer
Professor Steve Otto is The R&A’s Executive Director - Chief Technology Officer. In this role he oversees the evaluation and testing of golf equipment, organises research into the fundamental science of golf, together with overseeing the use of technology within The R&A’s work and coordinating the organisation’s work on ranking systems. He is based at The R&A’s state of the art research and testing facility, Allan Robertson House situated at Kingsbarns.
Both of degrees are in mathematics and he worked at NASA Langley as a Staff Scientist, before becoming a Senior Lecturer in mathematics at the University of Birmingham, where he now holds an honorary Chair.
He has authored two books, over eighty scientific papers and supervised 20 PhD projects, over half of which have been focussed on golf.
Executive Director – Governance and Chief of Staff
Born in St Andrews and educated at Madras College, David Rickman graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in Business Studies and Accountancy. He returned to St Andrews and joined The R&A in 1987, before taking over as head of the Rules department at the end of 1995.
David is now The R&A's Executive Director – Governance, a post he has held under different titles since 1996. He is responsible for The R&A's governance functions – Rules of Golf, Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and Handicapping. David has extensive refereeing experience at over 30 Open Championships, 15 US Masters, 12 US Opens and 10 World Amateur Team Championships. He is Chief Referee at The Open and the AIG Women's British Open.
In 2016, David was appointed to the additional role of The R&A's Chief of Staff, responsible for operational oversight of R&A strategy as well as HR, IT and Facilities.
He is a keen golfer, playing off a handicap of 6 and is a member of the New Golf Club, St Andrews.
Executive Director - Club Strategy
For 18 years (2001-2019) Aubyn Stewart-Wilson was the Members’ Secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, responsible to The Secretary/Chief Executive for the running of the Club, and the immediate point of contact for the Club’s circa 2,500 Members worldwide. In 2019, Aubyn was appointed to the newly established position of Executive Director Club Strategy, a role focusing on several different areas including the Club’s relationship with The R&A; local relationships within the Town of St Andrews; the Club’s membership profile; and Club history.
Aubyn was educated at Glenalmond College and graduated from Bristol University with a BSc Hons Degree in Geography. In 1985 he joined the British Army, attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and being commissioned into The Royal Green Jackets. Following the Army, Aubyn joined the Willis Corroon Group in the City of London, managing a specialist team providing consultancy and training services to minimise insured clients’ exposure to the threat of kidnap and extortion. After 10 years in London, Aubyn moved home to Scotland and joined the staff of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
Aubyn has served in St Andrews as a Governor of St Leonards School, and is a Trustee of the New Park Educational Trust and The St Rule Club. He is a member of The Queen’s Bodyguard for Scotland (Royal Company of Archers); the Atholl Highlanders (the Duke of Atholl’s private army) and the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers. In addition to playing golf, he enjoys skiing, watching sport in general and bagpipes.
Executive Director - Business Affairs
Born in Northumberland, Mike graduated from Dundee University with a degree in English law. After leaving University he joined the European Tour as a referee in 1986, then as a Tournament Director from 1987 – 1992.
He was then appointed Executive Director of The Ryder Cup in 1992 and was responsible for the staging of the 1993 Match at The Belfry. After the Match he began working with Volvo Event Management in the inaugurating and staging of the Volvo China Open, and assisted in establishing the Volvo China Tour and the Volvo Asian Masters series in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
As a Member of The R&A, Mike served on the Rules of Golf Committee, refereeing at thirteen Open Championships, the Equipment Standards Committee and the Championship Committee.
He joined The R&A staff in 2001 as Assistant Secretary and has since become Executive Director- Business Affairs, where he is responsible for relationships with The Open sponsors and Patrons. Mike is a sports enthusiast, Newcastle United supporter and plays golf to a handicap of four.
Executive Director – Membership, R&A and Members’ Secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews
Stephen Toon graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in European History, before embarking on a career in golf club management with Gulf Leisure Properties. With a career in golf spanning almost 40 years, Stephen has held senior roles in prestigious golf clubs and venues in Portugal, Spain, England and Scotland including Penina, La Manga and Skibo Castle, and has been involved in hosting a series of prestigious championships including, most recently, the Women’s British Open, the Senior Open and International Final Qualifying for The Open. He spent 14 years as the Secretary of Sunningdale Golf Club, and he previously held the position of Secretary at the Duke’s Course in St Andrews.
Stephen was appointed to his current roles in February 2019. He oversees the day to day running and administration of the Club and is responsible for the Club’s busy calendar of competitions and matches.
He is an Honorary Member of Brora Golf Club and also holds memberships at Royal Dornoch, Hartley Wintney, the Seniors’ Golfing Society and the James Braid Golfing Society. He plays to a handicap of ten.
He is a former Board Member of the National Golf Clubs’ Advisory Association, a past Captain of the London and Home Counties Golf Club Managers’ Association and a Member of the Club Managers’ Association of Europe.