Mike Whan actively resigned the Special Envoy, creating shock and the problem of human resources is difficult to have optimal solutions for the American professional women’s arena.

Mike Whan is the longest serving Special Envoy on the LPGA Tour.  Photo: Golf Digest

Mike Whan is the longest-working, most influential Special Envoy on the LPGA Tour for more than 10 years. Image: Golf Digest

On January 6, Whan, born in 1965, announced his resignation in 2021 but has not yet determined the date, ending 11 years of “supremacy” on the LPGA Tour. This organization was born in 1950, through eight special envoys, of which Whan was the longest serving.

In 11 years in charge, he helped the American professional women’s golf arena escape bankruptcy, overcame market challenges, and most recently, via Covid-19. The epidemic caused the season to be interrupted for five months, losing more than 10 events, but the bonus per leg decreased slightly and the TV audience increased 30%.

Over a decade in power, Whan exerted a far-reaching influence not only on the overall development of the system but also on the expertise of the member golfers and even their lives.

Whan sent a letter to quit Nancy Lopez’s birthday. That day, the former golfer born in 1957 received many congratulations. Then she burst into tears in the kitchen, when she saw an email from Whan with a message to call him back when she woke up. The incident made Lopez sleepless all night. She is worried about the new era LPGA Tour.

“I thought Mike would be with us longer,” Lopez said with emotion Golfweek.

When the LPGA Tour took a break from translation, Whan personally visited and encouraged members, especially the rookies, and advocated using a reserve fund to support golfer who had difficulty in losing bonus income. When rematching in late July, this Special Envoy was judged by experts for his excellent performance as a field reporter for Golf Channel Thanks to the intimacy and understanding of the members.

At the end of 2019, Whan renewed his contract with LPGA Tour. Although he affirms a long-term agreement, he does not commit a specific period of time. At that time, the American female golfers expected Whan to lead for a few more years. Juli Inkster, former 60-year-old golfer, was looking forward to it with Whan’s new contract.

“I think he saved the LPGA Tour. When he took over, the situation was so dire. The team player lost faith and I thought the arena was about to close. Then Mike came in, got inspired, started the movement. business style with passion and sincerity, “Inkster, which owns seven major in 31 LPGA Tour championships, commented on special envoy Whan.

Recently, LPGA Tour announced this year’s schedule of 34 events with a record prize fund of $ 76.45 million. In 2010, the year Whan took over, the LPGA Tour was only $ 41.4 million for 24 awards – the lowest level in nearly four decades. And the Girls Golf program, in partnership with the American Golf Association (USGA) to develop the American women’s golf movement at that time, only 5,000 girls participated. Currently, this activity records 90,000 babies.

In August 2020, Mike Davis, CEO of USGA announced his retirement this year. This news suggests that Whan will replace Davis. But Whan said that was too early. “It takes time for both sides to find out and consider working together,” Whan shared his personal opinion at the door on the USGA.

Whan currently calculates his own way and helps the LPGA Tour find new special envoys, in which one of the major issues to be solved is the gender preference of the successor – male or female. Currently, women account for 80% of the administrative apparatus.

“I think we have a great female special envoy. But we don’t exclude anyone. The overall concept is to find the best. Mike Whan is typical,” said Diane Gulyas, Chairman of the LPGA Tour Board of Directors. to speak.

And Whan always thought that special envoy, whether male or female, the future of the arena was still in the hands of women. “The LPGA Tour is run by women, the same today and tomorrow. Without understanding, the successor will be miserable and miserable,” he stated personally.

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