ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Kinnings to Focus ‘On Unity in the Game’

Guy Kinnings is the European Tour Group’s new CEO. Picture by European Tour Group.

London, England: Guy Kinnings has officially started his new role as the European Tour Group’s Chief Executive Officer.

Kinnings, who succeeded Keith Pelley on April 2, has been the European Tour Group’s Deputy CEO, Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Director – Ryder Cup since 2018, and now becomes only the fifth person in the CEO position since the Tour was established in 1972.

He said: “Today is a very proud day for me and my family. It is a real privilege to become the Chief Executive of the European Tour Group and it is a responsibility I do not take lightly.

“Our Tour has such a wonderful history, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to help shape the next exciting phase in its evolution.

“I have been working closely with our players, our Board, our partners and our staff over the past six years and I feel we have a great opportunity to look forward and to focus on unity and alignment in the game. There has been a shift in our sport to a more global mindset and that is something, as golf’s global Tour, that we welcome.

“We have a widely recognised international footprint, stemming from 50 years of building relationships and staging tournaments in many different countries and continents and this allows us to appeal to golf fans from a wide variety of different backgrounds and demographics. We very much look forward to continuing that.”

Eric Nicoli, Chairman of the European Tour Group, said: “This is a hugely significant day for the European Tour Group as a whole and on behalf of the entire Board, I am delighted to welcome Guy to the role of CEO.

“He is vastly experienced, is hugely respected throughout the golf industry and has strong relationships right across our sport. Our deliberate and purposeful succession planning will ensure a seamless transition in our leadership at this pivotal time in the evolution of the men’s professional game.

“We are looking forward to working closely with Guy to take advantage of the opportunities that await us, and to take our Tour to even greater heights on behalf of the entirety of our membership.”

Kinnings has been an influential figure in golf for more than three decades. A law graduate from University of Oxford, he left Freshfields law firm to join IMG’s legal team in London in 1989 and moved to its golf division in 1991 where he worked with some of the world’s leading players in the professional game.

He went on to become IMG’s Senior International Vice President and Global Head of Golf, leading the company’s worldwide golf business comprising both clients and events, as well as managing its key relationships with all governing bodies and brands involved with the sport.

He joined the European Tour Group prior to the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in France and as Executive Director – Ryder Cup, he has overseen the growth of the biennial contest’s Worldwide Partner programme.

Kinnings also had overall responsibility for the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome as Luke Donald’s European Team defeated the United States 16½-11½ at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club. 

As Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Commercial Officer, he also oversaw the growth of the Tour’s commercial operation.

Alongside the Board and the Executive Leadership Team, he helped to secure the Strategic Alliance with the PGA Tour in 2020 which has helped grow the DP World Tour prize funds to record levels. He was also central to the agreement for DP World to become the title partner of the main Tour at the start of the 2022 season.

Kinnings is the fifth Chief Executive of the European Tour Group, following John Jacobs (1972-1975), Ken Schofield (1975-2004), George O’Grady (2005-2015) and Keith Pelley (2015-2024).

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