The R&A has appointed two new development managers in Africa, the Middle East and India to support the expansion of golf in key markets.
Eden Thompson will work in the African region, with Neal Graham supporting activities in the Middle East and India.
They will support The R&A’s development strategy to engage and lead more effectively by working with national federations and other key stakeholders to drive the development of the sport within these regions.
They will provide organisations with support and advice in relation to grassroots initiatives, coaching, on and off-course facilities, pathways and high performance development, and staging professional and amateur championships.
Thompson has been involved in the South African golf industry at both national and provincial level for the past 18 years.
Latterly he has been the Manager of Golf Operations at national federation GolfRSA where, amongst other responsibilities, he has led the planning, scheduling and hosting of all national championships as well as being in charge of the GolfRSA elite squad programme and identification of talent.
Graham has over 25 years’ experience in the golf and hospitality industry. His previous roles include being Director of Golf and then General Manager at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, having started his career as PGA Head Professional at Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club in Edinburgh.
Most recently, he was Director/Franchise Owner for 59club Middle East and Africa, the quality assurance and people development company providing innovative solutions to the golf, leisure, spa and hospitality sectors.
Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said, “We are delighted to welcome Eden and Neal to The R&A in two important roles which are central to supporting our ambition to make golf more accessible, appealing and inclusive across the world.
“We are strengthening our presence in identified markets to grow the sport internationally and encourage more people to play golf more often across all formats of the sport. We look forward to Eden and Neal playing their part in the development of golf in Africa, the Middle East and India.”