Ken Hannah is the new secretary at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Deal. Hannah will take up the post on January 1, 2007. He succeeds Ian Symington, who will become the secretary of Royal West Norfolk at Brancaster in March.

Hannah?s background is in general management for industry. For the last 10 years the 53-year-old Scot has run his own consultancy advising small businesses on organisational development, project management and business development.

His clients have included a number of golf clubs. He has worked with them on a wide range of issues, including environmental management systems, construction project design and management, recruitment and staffing issues, health and safety, and compliance and quality management.

At Deal he will immediately be involved in two major projects. A £750,000 clubhouse renovation programme is planned and, subject to final ratification, will begin in the spring with completion early in 2008. Meanwhile, a five-year programme of course improvements will continue under greenkeeping consultant Gordon Irvine.

?The chance to combine my interest in golf with all the different skills I have acquired in business management was too tempting to resist,? Hannah said. ?And to get the opportunity at Deal is all the more special. I have always loved links golf and I have a great affection for the club after playing in the Halford Hewitt over the last 30 years. There is a wonderful history and tradition here and I am honoured to play my part.

?The challenge is to make this a truly world-class club. I look forward to helping with all the projects that are in place and seeing what else needs to be done. We need to have a vision, and that should be of having a course and a club capable of hosting events like the Walker Cup and even the Open Championship. It is for others to decide whether we do or not, but that is the standard to which we must aspire.?

Hannah, a three-handicap golfer, is just completing his year as captain of Porters Park in Hertfordshire. He is also a country member at both Nairn and Gullane. While studying for a Masters degree at Cambridge he became a Blue at the age of 49, and was part of the Edinburgh Academicals team that won the Halford Hewitt in 2003.

?We had a number of excellent applicants and it was a difficult choice but Ken stood out as a natural for Deal,? said Peter Mathieson, chairman of the selection committee. ?Not only does he know the club well but his business expertise and experience in project management will be vital as the club continues with its development plans.?

Royal Cinque Ports, annually home to the Halford Hewitt and the Grand Match, hosted the Open in 1909, won by John H Taylor, and 1920, won by George Duncan.