TWO new appointments have been made to St Andrews Links Trust, which manages and maintains the world-famous courses at the game’s Mecca, including the championship Old Course.
Richard Muckart, a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, and Mrs Gillian Kirkwood, the chairwoman of the Ladies’ Golf Union, bring a wealth of golf experience to their roles and replace Neil Crichton, also of the R & A, and Ken Stewart, nominated by the Scottish Government, who are both standing down.
Mr Muckart (61) is former deputy chairman of the R&A’s general committee and its championship committee. He has also served on the rules of golf committee and is at present chairman of CONGU, the unified handicapping system for Great Britain and Ireland.
A graduate of St Andrews University, he qualified as an actuary in 1979 and specialised in asset management, eventually becoming the chief investment officer for Premier Asset Management with responsibility for the Asia Pacific region.
In golf he represented Angus County as a junior, captained the St Andrews University team in 1971-72 and won a blue when he was selected to play for the Scottish Universities against their English counterparts. He became a member of the R&A in 1974 and is also a member of Luffness New and Peebles.
Appointed as the chair of the Ladies’ Golf Union in 2010, Mrs Kirkwood takes up the Scottish Government nomination. She is a past chair of the international selection committee, an LGU councillor and chairwoman of the Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association.
An experienced rules official, she has represented the LGU on the R&A’s amateur status committee. She takes a keen interest in the history of women’s golf and chairs the board of trustees at the Women Golfers’ Museum.
A graduate of Edinburgh University, Mrs Kirkwood has worked as a senior manager in the higher education sector and has extensive business development experience.
Sport Minister Shona Robison said: ”Both have significant experience in the golfing world and have all the credentials to make a positive contribution to the work of the trust.”
Euan Loudon, chief executive of the trust, added: ”The trustees have an important strategic role to play.
‘‘Richard and Gillian have exemplary track records in golf and will, I am sure, make valuable contributions.
“They join us when the economic climate is challenging and the trustees have asked management to focus on delivering a world-class golfing experience to its customers, as well as continuing the development of partnership activity which brings in important off-course revenue that can be invested in the courses and facilities.”