Browsing Golf Industry NewsVIEW ALL

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan to step down after almost 11 years

POSTED ON January 8, 2021 @ 9:13 am

Mike WhanMike Whan, who took over the LPGA Tour during a tumultuous time more than 10 years ago, announced Wednesday that he will step down as commissioner in 2021.

Pandemic challenges

Whan, 55, notified the LPGA board of directors that he will transition out of the role this year, with no firm date for his departure, allowing the tour to go through a process of finding his replacement.

“As the longest-serving LPGA commissioner, I look back on these 11 years with enormous pride and satisfaction at what we’ve accomplished together to provide opportunities for women to achieve their dreams in golf,” Whan said in a letter to LPGA staff, members and sponsors.

“You may be wondering why I’ve made the decision to step down — and why now? In many ways, this past year — with all the pandemic challenges — was also the LPGA’s most triumphant. We are entering 2021 on a wave of momentum — a strong schedule with record purses, new events/sponsors, double-digit viewership growth, and a talented team that demonstrated exceptional skill, resilience and capacity to lead through troubling times.

Financially secure

“I simply wouldn’t leave the LPGA if I thought the future was uncertain or not trending straight up. In fact, even after the challenges we faced in 2020, the LPGA has NEVER been more financially secure, deeper in leadership talent, or more anchored by passionate, diverse sponsors around the world.”

Whan, who is the tour’s eighth commissioner, took over in 2010 after previously working at Wilson Sporting Goods, at TaylorMade Golf and for a hockey equipment company. He didn’t take the traditional path to the job, but the LPGA was in flux after sponsor difficulties arose with his predecessor, Carolyn Bivens.

Whan immediately began the process of trying to build the schedule, increase purses and get the tour more exposure. The LPGA is scheduled to have 34 events in 2021, with more than $76 million in prize money. The LPGA Tour had just 24 events when Whan took over in 2010.

‘The right time’

“Mike has absolutely been the right leader at the right time,” Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, the LPGA Tour’s player president, said in a statement released by the tour. “He rebuilt the Tour — and then reimagined its future — by bringing new events, new sponsors and a new value proposition around diversity and inclusion to the LPGA. He has that rare ability to get people of all ages and backgrounds excited and on board with his vision.

“We’re grateful for his leadership over these 11 years and know he’ll remain an advocate for the LPGA long after he departs.”

The LPGA said it would form a selection and transition committee.

Source: espn

Image courtesy: LPGA

Related Articles:

Commissioner Whan to be Honored at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards

Comments are closed.

CLICK HERE TO Sign Up for the GIC Newsletter for all the latest Industry News.

JOB: Qualified Landscape Gardener – Heritage Golf & Country Club (Victoria)

Heritage Golf

About us Heritage Golf & Country Club is founded on a philosophy of elegant simplicity – the living of life, rather than its...

The Villa private golf course to be demolished for new development

The Villa

THE first lots of land in the $108m masterplanned Riverina Gold Coast Estate go on sale next week, with civil construction on...

Australian Golf Media Celebrate Milestone for Golf Industry Podcast

golf industry podcast

Australian Golf Media – representing the shared media interests of the PGA of Australia, the WPGA Tour and Golf Australia – this...

NZ golfing great Sir Bob Charles inaugurates new short course in Wanaka

new short course in Wanaka

One of New Zealand’s golfing greats opened a new short course in Wanaka yesterday in the hope it will inspire young people...

Tiger Woods Inks Long-Term Exclusive Deal with 2K

2K made a hole in one today by announcing the Company has agreed to an exclusive, long-term partnership with...

Callaway Golf Company Completes historic Merger with Topgolf


Callaway Golf Company and Topgolf International, Inc. announced this week that the companies have completed their previously announced merger,...

Sir Nick Faldo Announces New Design in Vietnam

Sir Nick Faldo Announces New Design in Vietnam

Sir Nick Faldo has revealed his latest golf course design with a new peninsula layout near Hanoi, Vietnam –...

ASIA: Flagstick Golf Course Construction Management Flourishes in Vietnam

Flagstick in Vietnam

For Martin Moore and his Flagstick Golf Course Construction Management team, the little matter of a global pandemic was...

Holey Moley – Can a mini golf show help foster a new generation of golfers?

Holey Moley's affect on golf participation

By Mathilda Andersson Hyped by the network as family entertainment on an epic scale, if you have ever watched...

Riskcon and epar announce national strategic partnership

    Riskcon, a leading Risk Engineering and Dangerous Goods Certification organisation, and epar, a specialist in EHS, Sustainability,...