While the retailer hunts for a replacement, non-executive chairman Nick Wood, who joined in March, will take on the role of interim chief executive.
Wood said that McDonald and the team have worked hard to put the retailer back on track so that it can realise its potential. He added: “He leaves American Golf in a strong position and we wish him all the best.
“Our challenge is to take the business to the next level and I have every confidence in our ability to deliver growth in share and profitability.”
Wood said that, because of its demographic of older customers – which typically have little or no mortgages, and equity in their homes – American Golf was more resilient to the downturn.
He added that the business was still achieving like-for-like growth across the 71-store chain.
Before joining American Golf, Wood held several retail roles, including 10 years at DSGi in senior roles including managing director of Dixons. He was also managing director of The Link.
Wood said that he is aiming to open three more stores before the end of this year and will be reviewing a possible new store format to roll out next year, as well as identifying crucial areas of the business that he wants to focus on.
American Golf was bought by private equity firm LDC in August 2004. Wood said that LDC remained supportive of the business and denied that there were any plans for an imminent sale of the business.
Sales at the retailer rose 18 per cent in the year to January 27, with like-for-likes up 10.5 per cent for the year. Margins rose 21 per cent.