R&A chief executive Peter Dawson announced Tuesday that he intends to retire in September 2015.
Dawson has been at the helm of the R&A, and the secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, for the past 16 years.
Dawson became the joint secretary of the International Golf Federation in 1999 and played a key role in returning golf to the 2016 Olympic Games. He was appointed president of the IGF in 2010, and he will remain on the board through 2016.
In recent years Dawson has had his fingerprints on a number of significant rules decisions. Last year, the USGA and R&A announced a ban on anchored strokes that will take effect Jan. 1, 2016. A few months later, the governing bodies responded to the increasing number of viewer call-ins with another rule change.
Most important to Dawson’s legacy, however, figures to be the R&A’s impending decision to allow women members, a move that could be passed in September. The R&A, which also organizes the Open Championship, has been a male-only institution for the past 260 years, and Dawson previously had resisted the societal change.
Dawson’s successor is expected to be named “in sufficient time to allow for an appropriate handover period in 2015,” according to a release.