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Michael Wells

As part of an ambitious drive to further its reputation as one of the world’s top golf destinations, Carnoustie Golf Links Management Committee has appointed Michael Wells as its first ever Chief Executive.

Wells joins the Carnoustie team from The R&A in St Andrews, where he was the Director of Championship Staging at The Open.

He won the post over an impressive field of candidates from all over the world and Carnoustie Chairman, Pat Sawers, said, “Michael has extensive knowledge of all facets of golf administration, particularly in relation to staging major tournaments.

“He has done a great job as a Director at The R&A and I believe he is the right leader to entrust with developing our brand and ensuring that Carnoustie Links continues to be recognised as one of the most challenging Links golf courses in the world.”

Michael Wells already knows Carnoustie Links well. During his time at The R&A, he has been involved in The Open on two previous occasions there, including his first Open in 1999 when Paul Lawrie lifted the famous Claret Jug, and in 2007 when Padraig Harrington won the first of his back-to back victories in the Championship.

Michael Wells is expected to take up his post shortly after The Open at Royal Birkdale.  He said, “I feel privileged and honoured to be selected to become Carnoustie Golf Links’ first Chief Executive.

“Carnoustie has a reputation for being one of the toughest courses in the world and one that every golfer should aspire to play. I am very excited about the opportunity to work alongside the fantastic team at Carnoustie and to help develop its reputation as a world-class golfing destination.”

Pat Sawers added, “As an experienced manager and dynamic innovator, Michael brings a unique set of qualifications and a wealth of experience at a key point in our history. The management team is committed to building the Carnoustie brand and investing in its charitable objectives. We were delighted by the calibre of applicants and are confident that we have selected the ideal person for the job.”

The executive search and selection campaign was led by Donogh O’Brien, Director of Aspen People, he said, “Carnoustie Golf Links has global appeal which was evident in the outstanding quality of those we spoke to, and within these conversations there was also a recognition of CGLs tremendous potential in the context of dynamic and progressive changes the golf sector is experiencing currently.”

“Close to 100 applications were received from all over the UK and internationally. Shortlisted candidates were subjected to a rigorous process which tested their leadership, vision and skills as well as attitudinal factors to ensure they would fit into this unique set-up.”

At the end of this process however, it was a Scot who won through.