Women's Golf: Mike Whan, commissioner of the LPGA looks to the future after ten years in charge

LPGA Rolex Players Awards

For women's golf, 2020 looks set to be a record-breaking year. At stake in this year's Ladies, Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour is a combined prize fund of $75.1 million, the highest ever.

There are two more events in the tour, taking the total to 33 and will air on more than 500 hours of television.

There is one person in particular who has overseen the growth of the LPGA, commissioner Mike Whan, who has been in his role for ten years and has recently signed a new contract to continue in his role. 

Whan has now been in the role for three years longer than any previous LPGA commissioner. He spoke to the Golf Channel about his excitement for the future of his role and the LPGA.

He told Golf Channel: “When people asked what I was going to do next, I never answered.” Whan explained: “But, usually, I didn’t have to, because people always had an answer for me. It was, 'Hey, Mike, are you going to go to work for Jay [Monahan] at the PGA Tour?’ Or, 'Are you going to Major League Baseball?’ Everybody assumed I wanted to parlay this success to a bigger gig with the men.”

Watching the profile of the LPGA grow had a big impact on him, said Whan: “It was transformational for me.”

Whan is committed to championing women's empowerment and wants to grow golf so that half the playing population is female, grow the profile of the LPGA players and narrow the gender pay gap.

“I can’t just let that be somebody else’s problem,” said Whan. “I can’t be thinking, 'I rebuilt the LPGA, now I am going to cash out and go to a bigger platform.’ That would feel wrong. You’re either in this, or you’re not.”

With records set to be broken before the 2020 LPGA Tour is even underway, Whan's ambitions look within reach.

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