Former Chairman of the Ryder Cup European Development Trust [RCEDT] and renowned golf leader, Sandy Jones, has passed away.
Alexander ‘Sandy’ Jones was Chairman of the RCEDT for 10 years and was at the forefront of the development of the Confederation of Professional Golf [CPG], formerly PGAs of Europe, as its Chairman for 25 years, and is recognised and remembered for his unique and significant impact on global golf across three decades of leadership and guidance.
He was a hugely respected figure across the golf industry, spending 25 years as the Chief Executive of the PGA of GB&I, holding a number of different positions across golf, and famously playing a fundamental role in the development of the Ryder Cup in to one of the world’s largest sporting events.
Furthermore, its long-term legacy was enhanced when, together with past European Tour Chief Executive and current RCEDT Trustee and CPG Board Director, Ken Schofield, the agreement between the CPG, European Tour Group and the PGA of GB&I was established to create Ryder Cup Europe and the Ryder Cup European Development Trust [RCEDT]. He then Chaired the RCEDT for over a decade, helping to distribute millions of pounds from the European matches across numerous countries and projects for the betterment and growth of golf.
Following the passing of the CPG’s first Chairman, Christer Lindberg, in 1994, he took up the reins and oversaw the rise of the Association to the globally influential organisation of 43 Member Countries that exists today.
During his 25-year long tenure, Sandy led the continued evolution of the organisation through a wide range and number of initiatives, programmes and activity, in particular ensuring that the organisation was spear-heading the development of professional education across the sport globally.
Through this work, Sandy has impacted upon the development of almost every PGA Professional in the world both directly through the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland and the CPG, and on a global basis via his collaborative work and friendships with the world’s various PGA organisations, as well as across the sport in general.
“The world of professional golf is indebted to the vision and dedication of Sandy, who was so instrumental in raising the influence of not only the PGA of GB&I but also PGAs around the world,” said RCEDT Trustee and CPG Chief Executive, Ian Randell.
“His contribution and legacy to the development of PGAs, the Ryder Cup, and the game internationally are testament to the leadership that he provided to our Association. He will be sorely missed by his many colleagues and friends at the CPG and our Member Country PGAs.”
His golf career began by playing from an early age under the guidance of his avid-golfer mother, and after working for IBM in computer programming for a time, the moved in to golf where he started his PGA journey as Scottish Regional Secretary for the PGA of GB&I in 1980.
In 1991 he became Chief Executive of the PGA of GB&I, after which he led initiatives that saw the creation of what is now The PGA National Training Academy, and the continued evolution of the Professional Education programmes and qualifications that PGA Professionals can now undertake in Great Britain and Ireland.
He went on to help secure the future and growth of the Ryder Cup that included the playing of multiple matches at The Belfry in England where he was based for much of his time with the PGA of GB&I, CPG and RCEDT, as well as in his native Scotland with the Gleneagles matches in 2014.
In late 2018, Sandy retired from his positions with the RCEDT and CPG and not long after was awarded one of the CPG’s highest honours in the Christer Lindberg Bowl, recognising his outstanding accomplishments and unrivalled effect on the sport.
Sandy’s legacy in golf, and impact on the profession, is likely to be unmatched and will live on throughout the sport through much of his work that continues to this day.
Funeral details will be shared on the CPG website as soon as available.