Mike Whan will take over as CEO from Mike Davis, according to a recent announcement by the American Golf Association (USGA).

Whan, 56, is expected to take on a new position from the middle of this year. “From now on, Mike will be involved in our strategic decisions. He will discuss every day with the incumbent CEO,” a statement from the USGA on Feb. 17 quoted Chairman Stu Francis.

Davis left USGA after 10 years in office to focus on the golf course design company he co-founded with architect Tom Fazio II. “I will work closely with Mike for the smooth transition. I believe the USGA will be driven by good people,” Davis said.

Whan has been working as LPGA Tour Special Envoy since 2010. On January 6, he suddenly announced his decision to quit his job, but has not yet determined a specific date. At that time, the most powerful figure in the American professional women’s golf tournament system kept her future work plans a secret. In early February, LPGA Tour officially opened to recruit Special Envoy through Spencer Stuart. It was this unit that helped LPGA Tour find Whan.

Mike Whan is considered the decisive character of the great success of the LPGA Tour in the past 10 years.  Photo: Golf Digest

Mike Whan is considered the decisive character of the great success of the LPGA Tour in the past 10 years. Image: Golf Digest

Whan is considered the savior of the LPGA Tour because when he first returned, the arena had a prize fund of $ 41.5 million for 24 events and 125 hours of broadcast each season. Currently, LPGA Tour is up 76.5 million USD for 34 awards and more than 500 hours of broadcasting.

Over 10 years at the top executive level, Whan has created soft power with the care and input of member golfers. He also inspired to strive for them with a talent for speaking.

“I consider myself good at building strategic alliances. And the thing I’m most proud of at the LPGA Tour is getting everyone to join hands in building the arena,” Whan said.

The USGA expects this quality when choosing Whan. “That is a key parameter. We think a golf coach should possess the ability to attract, communicate fluently in public speaking and in a manner that matches his peers at other organizations. Mike Whan has He’s good at these aspects. Now he’s up to a new level and will be the leader just as the USGA is looking forward to, “said President Francis, expressing his expectation on the new CEO. Whan said he met with the USGA recruitment committee in December, and then the two sides closed a work agreement two weeks ago with encouragement and support from the incumbent key leaders.

Whan started his career as a marketer at Procter & Gamble, followed by a golf product manager and lead at Wilson, TaylorMade, before returning to LPGA Tour.

Whan came to the USGA in a context where the organization wants to improve the professional relationship is not necessarily smooth. Over the years, many professional players have been dissatisfied with the rules from the USGA, such as “banning the stick, the free-kicking process, the major US Open staging standard”. Recently, they joined forces with Royal & Ancient (R&A) to re-activate the campaign to limit the tipping range because they fear that this uptrend in this expertise could damage golf’s core strategic values. This program goes against the race for ball distance among club and ball producers, and could have a negative effect on USGA revenues through sponsorship deals.

But Whan soon showed a moderate attitude. “I want the golf world to see USGA as a partner in the development and defense of this sport. In the process, sometimes we have to make difficult decisions. However, I don’t want to be a golf cop. but want to accompany everyone, “Whan affirmed.

“Producers are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on research and development of new products. Now it is unreasonable for us to tie them up. I personally believe that technological innovation efforts to make golf better Therefore, we will always need the voice and support from the producers We need to make golf for the next 100 years, with high technology content but not losing the original beauty. But could we step back in the face of difficulties, “Whan said personally.

Quoc Huy synthetic


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