Born in Gartcosh, Sandy joined as a junior member at Mount Ellen Golf Club at the age of 12.
Sandy worked in his local club committee between 1970 and 1980 before being asked to join the Executive Committee of the Lanarkshire Golf Association in 1974; serving as captain of the club in 1976 and becoming President of Lanarkshire Golf Association in 1978, the Silver Jubilee year of the county.
In 1980, Sandy joined the PGA as secretary to the PGA in Scotland. In 1991 he was promoted to Chief Executive of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland, based at their Belfry headquarters.
Involved in the Ryder Cup since the early 1980s, he worked closely with Tony Jacklin in 1987 at Muirfield Village when the European Team successfully won the match for the first time on American soil.
Holding various posts within the world of golf, such as chairman of the PGAs of Europe, Sandy was a Ryder Cup board member for more than 25 years and was heavily involved in the awarding of the match to Scotland in 2014.
He is now a leading executive in the PGA World Alliance and a major influence in the ongoing development of the professional game throughout the world.
It was Sandy's vision in 1992 that reorganised the PGA training programme and built the education facility and team which now delivers what is universally recognised as the best education programme within the world of golf.
A companion of the Chartered Management Institute, in 2007 Sandy was voted the 13th most influential person in the world of golf.
In 2008 he was awarded the Gold Medal from the Spanish Golf Federation. Previous winners include Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and Michael Bonallack.
In 2009 The University of Birmingham awarded Sandy an Honorary Doctorate for outstanding services to sport and golf.
In 2016 Sandy succeeded Colin Montgomerie to become President of the Golf Foundation, a recognised golf charity which makes golf and its benefits available to young people, and helps them "Start, Learn and Stay" in the sport.