St Augustine, United States: LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan has been named World Golf Foundation (WGF) Chairman for 2017 by the Board of Directors.
Whan succeeds Tim Finchem, who recently retired as PGA Tour Commissioner.
Nearly seven years ago, Whan assumed his LPGA role and has greatly enhanced business relationships while increasing exposure for players to engage new global audiences into becoming passionate fans.
The LPGA is one of the longest-running and most successful women’s sports organisations in the world. The 2017 LPGA Tour schedule features 35 events (including four new ones) and a record US$67.35 million in total official prize money.
“It is an honour to serve World Golf Foundation and I look forward to continued collaboration among golf’s leading organisations,” said Whan. “We made impressive strides as an industry in 2016 by bringing golf back to the Olympics; our momentum is strong heading into 2017.”
Whan launched his business career at Procter & Gamble in 1987, rising to Director of Marketing, Oral Care, before pursuing his passion for sports. In 1994-95, he served as Vice President and General Manager at the Wilson Sporting Goods Company, where he was responsible for all aspects of the golf ball and glove business.
Whan also served in various other management positions with Britesmile, Mission-Itech Hockey and TaylorMade Golf Company prior to joining the LPGA.
“Mike brings significant experience and unique insights to the Board of Directors with a distinct priority on growing the game globally,” said Steve Mona, Chief Executive Officer of the WGF, a non-profit organisation that unites the industry in support of initiatives that enhance the growth of and provide access to the game of golf worldwide.
“We are confident, under Mike’s leadership, that our industry will continue to reach new heights on a worldwide basis.”
Along with Whan, other WGF Board members include: Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA of America; Mike Davis, Executive Director of the USGA; Will Jones, Executive Director of The Masters Tournament Foundation; Jay Monahan, Commissioner of the PGA Tour; Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the PGA European Tour; and Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A.
Chris Normyle, Manager, Sponsorships and Events of the Shell Oil Company, also serves on the Board as a representative of WGF’s Founding Partner.