St. Andrews - Martin Slumbers is to become the new secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the chief executive of the R&A, it was announced on Wednesday.
Slumbers, who will formally take charge on October 1 next year, succeeds Peter Dawson, who will be retiring after 16 years in the job of running the club which is responsible for organising the British Open and, together with the United States Golf Association, administering the sport on a global basis.
A former investment banker, Slumbers will join the R&A in March next year as chief executive designate and spend six months working with Dawson before his retirement.
"The R&A is one of the most influential bodies in world sport and I am delighted to be taking up this position," said Slumbers in a club statement.
"Golf has always been close to my heart and I am very much looking forward to living and working in St Andrews. I am honoured to be appointed to lead the R&A and to serve such an historic and prestigious club."
Last month saw the Royal and Ancient vote to admit women members for the first time in its 260-year history.
Before that ballot, women could play on the Old Course at the Scottish venue but they could not join the club, which is widely regarded as the 'Home of Golf', and had no significant part in the sport's rule-making arm, the R&A.
That body, separated from the club 10 years ago, controls golf around the world apart from in the United States and Mexico.