Former rugby chief Firework Phil Anderton pivoting to golf

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Former rugby chief Firework Phil Anderton pivoting to golf

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) is the oldest and most prestigious golf club in the world. It is based in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, and is regarded as the worldwide "Home of Golf" Phil Anderton is the former chief executive of Hearts and the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU).

The experienced Anderton has held a number of key jobs in a variety of sports and has a reputation as a moderniser. His early career involved roles with Procter & Gamble and The Coca-Cola Company before he moved into high profile positions with the SRU and Hearts.

He was then chief marketing officer of the ATP Tour and chairman of the ATP World Tour Finals before becoming chief executive of Al Jazira Sports Club in Abu Dhabi. “I am delighted to be starting a new role working for the R&A and it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to help shape the sport worldwide.

Our goal is to ensure the sport thrives by becoming more appealing, accessible and inclusive and the R&A has a huge role to play in driving that effort. The sport has so much to offer and I look forward to working with our affiliated national associations, federations and partners across golf to make this happen,” Anderton said about his new role.

He earned the nickname “Fireworks Phil" during his time at the SRU for introducing spectacular pyrotechnics into the pre-match entertainment.

Afterwards he worked for Hearts during the early, rollercoaster days of the Vladimir Romanov era.

The jack-of-all-sports also has experience working in tennis with the ATP Tour. While at the ATP, he reviewed the golf industry’s work in growing participation at grassroots level to help inform tennis. More recently, he has run his own consultancy businesses.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “Phil joins us at a time when the importance of developing golf around the world and building momentum on the growing interest in the sport has never been more important.

Anderton’s appointment follows Duncan Weir’s recent retirement after 35 years with the R&A. He will take on Weir’s strategic and operational responsibilities for golf development and amateur championships.

He will also assume responsibility for sustainability, the British Golf Museum and for the R&A’s international offices in Singapore and Argentina. “He is very well placed to harness the investment we make to grow golf in so many different ways and ensure it is managed sustainably.

Phil will play a key role in shaping our future strategy and delivering our commitment to ensuring golf is thriving in 50 years’ time,” continued Slumbers. Phil Anderton will be based at the R&A’s headquarters in St Andrews.