The European Tour is delighted to announce that Guy Kinnings, one of the most respected and authoritative figures in the world of golf, is to join the European Tour in the role of Deputy CEO and Ryder Cup Director, reporting to the Chief Executive, Keith Pelley.
Currently IMG’s Senior Vice President and Chairman of Golf – the company he has been a part of since 1989 – Kinnings will bring a wealth of experience and expertise in all sectors of the game to the leadership team at the Tour’s Wentworth HQ, along with valued relationships with golf’s global Tours, national Federations and corporate partners.
Keith Pelley said: “To bring someone of Guy Kinnings’ undisputed experience to the European Tour is a massive coup for everyone here at Wentworth. We will definitely benefit from his wealth of knowledge and his undoubted management skills.
“His experience in The Ryder Cup, stretching back over a quarter of a century, is unparalleled and his business know-how is equal to that. We have said on many occasions that we are a global golf Tour and Guy’s international profile will help us expand in that area.
“I am delighted to welcome him to the team and I am very much looking forward to what we can achieve together over the coming months and years.”
Aside from assisting Pelley in corporate, commercial and tournament areas of the business, Kinnings will also take over the reins of the Ryder Cup Director role when current incumbent Richard Hills steps down at the conclusion of this year’s contest at Le Golf National in September.
Kinnings said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been given this opportunity and I am very excited about what the future holds for both the European Tour and The Ryder Cup.
“I have great respect for what Keith Pelley, David Williams and the Board of Directors are achieving at the Tour. I have watched with interest the remarkable changes that have taken place in recent times and I see The Ryder Cup at the heart of future growth.
“Over twenty-five years in the game has given me an insight into the power of The Ryder Cup, as it has evolved to be not only the greatest team event in golf, but also one of the most dramatic and enthralling events in all sport.
“Since 1991, I have been fortunate to have worked with players, Captains and the Tour at almost every Ryder Cup. This has given me some fascinating insights and a close and meaningful relationship with many of the key stakeholders in the event and in the game of as a whole. I look forward to working with them and everyone at the European Tour to further develop The Ryder Cup in terms of operations, revenue growth and innovation.”
Having moved from IMG’s legal team in London to its golf division in 1991, Kinnings initially focused on client management and recruitment. Latterly, as IMG’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Golf, he led the company’s global golf business comprising both clients and events. He also created and developed extensive sponsorship programmes with worldwide brands such as Rolex, HSBC, ASI, Canon, LVMH, Volvo and many others.
In addition, he led the reorganisation of IMG’s golf business into a 360-degree integrated golf resource. In particular, he oversaw the growth of the golf events business, developing closer relationships between global partners and the corporate, media, research, sales and marketing resources within IMG.
Outgoing Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills said: “I have been privileged to have been Ryder Cup Director since the 1995 match at Oak Hill Country Club in New York and it is perhaps fitting that I now hand over the reins as I work with my 12th Ryder Cup Captain in Thomas Bjørn.
“Just as each Captain is proud to stand alongside the 12 players in his team, I am proud to have worked with some of the legendary figures in European golf in the shape of those 12 Captains – Bernard Gallacher, Seve Ballesteros, Mark James, Sam Torrance, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal, Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke and now Thomas.
“It has been an honour to serve and also lead a tremendous team behind the scenes here at Ryder Cup Europe. It goes without saying I wish Thomas and the 2018 team all the very best at Le Golf National in September and also Guy every success in the role.”