Guy Kinnings is joining golf’s European Tour as deputy chief executive and Ryder Cup director.
In his new position, Kinnings will report to the chief executive, Keith Pelley, and assist 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, Paris in September.
Kinnings currently serves as senior vice president and chairman of golf at global sports agency IMG, and brings experience and expertise in all sectors of the game, along with relationships with golf’s global tours, national federations and corporate partners.
Having moved from IMG’s legal team in London to its golf division in 1991, Kinnings initially focused on client management and recruitment. In the latter position, 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 others.
Kinnings also led the reorganisation of IMG’s golf business into a 360-degree integrated golf resource and oversaw the growth of the golf events business.
Commenting on the appointment, 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.”
Kinnings added: “I am very excited about what the future holds for both the European Tour and The Ryder Cup. 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.”