New sensational change at the top of world

“I am thrilled and honored to be taking on roles at the R&A and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, joining the world of golf, a sport I have always loved"

by Andrea Gussoni
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New sensational change at the top of world
© Getty Images Sport - Angel Martinez / Stringer

The end of June brought with it two important changes at the top levels of world golf. The first was widely expected. Last January Martin Slumbers announced that by the end of the current year he would relinquish both roles he held (CEO of the R&A and secretary of St.

Andrews). Well, the change has happened: Mark Darbon has been at the helm of the governing body of European golf and of the secretariat of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews since 1 July. Darbon is stepping down as CEO of Premiership rugby team Northampton Saints.

Before working in the world of rugby he was CEO of Madison Sports Group, a company focused on the world of cycling. In 2012 he was part of the Organizing Committee of the London Olympics and Paralympics.

Darbon, statements

Darbon said: “I am thrilled and honored to be taking on roles at the R&A and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St.

Andrews, joining the world of golf, a sport I have always loved”. The second change was instead a real bolt from the blue. June 30th was the expiration date of the contract that tied Seth Waugh to the PGA of America.

Last Thursday, without any warning, Waugh announced his intention not to renew his contract. The man who has led the US pro association since September 2018 thus abruptly leaves the scene without having first identified his successor.

The position will be filled on an interim basis by Kerry Haigh, current head of the PGA of America Championships. “From the beginning, the goal was to leave a better overall situation than we found,” said Waugh.

“Golf has never been so young, and it has never reflected all segments of the population so well. It has never been more forward-thinking, more popular or considered cooler than today." “I have often said that golf is one of the greatest engines of good on earth, and I am one of the greatest beneficiaries of this good”. With that of Waugh there are already three changes at the top of world golf.

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