(Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Mike Whan will join the USGA this summer as CEO, becoming the eighth top executive . He was saying, Onward. That technology will be what the average fan wants. As you know, for every five people that make it to that Walker Cup level, there are 5,000 that had incredible junior careers but didnt get to that level. MORE: The 9 most intriguing stories from U.S. Open Final Qualifying. The suggestion of an overhauled identity for the association causes Whan to lean back in his chair and slow things down a touch. Stanford is going to have some team when she gets there, Whan said. And then when it ended, we all went back home. He is a former commissioner of the American Ladies Golf . Thats one of the reasons I want the job. You can disable footer widget area in theme options - footer options, Mike Whan Wife Age, Salary and Net Worth: Everything About LPGA Commissioner, benoftheweek (TikToker) Wiki, Bio, Age, Height, Weight, Dating, Career, Net Worth, Facts, Lisa Kudrows net worth, fact, career, awards, biography & life story, Gabriela Bee Bio-Wiki, Age, Net Worth, Height, Songs, Eh Bee, and Family, Don Gummer Bio, Age, Art, Education, Net Worth, Wife, Children, Meryl Streep and Sculptures ZIO Wiki, Where Is Tommy Steele Today? There are people at the USGA, hopefully, much smarter than I am on venue selection. What Whan is qualified to do, though, is decide an overall direction for the USGA as a governing body. Thats our job to make sure we dont put the game in jeopardy. No question he is a doer, a visionary, and that he brings ideas to life, says USGA president J. Stuart Francis. Lydia Ko can still talk to New Zealand Golf and have real support in terms of guidance, coaches and everything else. Whan said TaylorMade CEO Abeles was the first person to call and ask if he was thinking about the USGA job. (David Cannon / Getty), Mike Whan will have to lead the USGA through significant change in the golf industry. Since then, the three previous executive directors Frank Hannigan, Fay and Davis all worked for the USGA for anywhere from 11 to 21 years before taking the post. He says, Im not here to make the USGA a different entity. In some ways, thats true. Lets continue to do what were building together. It mattered to me that it mattered to them. That is, until Whan made a few quiet phone calls to other leaders in the industry Jay Monahan (PGA Tour), Keith Pelley (European Tour), David Abeles (TaylorMade) and the man he would replace at the USGA, Mike Davis. There is a certain image evoked when one thinks of the executive director of the USGA. However, he is active on LinkedIn which pretty much gives oversight to his career and professional biography. First, though, he wanted some time away from it all. He has written a variety of books about golf and other subjects, the most recent of which is The Second Life of Tiger Woods. How spectacular. Within a one-hour drive I could play some pretty strong golf courses. As the governing body strives to connect with a growing and evolving golf culture, Whans dynamic personality and effective communication skills will be paramount to an organization that has had its fair share of PR struggles in recent years. Check out the prize money payouts at the 2023 JM Eagle LA Championship. That's already happened, 'It irritates me': Justin Thomas slams proposed ball rollback in 3-minute 'rant', 'Confusing' and 'detrimental': Equipment makers sound off on rollback proposal, How would a golf-ball rollback affect competitive amateurs? Quick . As CEO, Whan leads the USGA team and their work to champion and advance the game of golf by conducting global championships, delivering golfer engagement programs, broadening accessibility and driving sustainability. It just makes sense. @USGAMike would be Mike Whan, the CEO of the USGA. I could probably sit and have that argument with [TaylorMade CEO] David Abeles and [Callaway CEO] Chip Brewer for a long time. It will instead take an industry huddle to get to the finish line. You know these issues plenty well enough. An omelet with bacon andsausage. As LPGA commissioner, one of your quiet goals was to have equal purses in the major championships for men and women. And this job CEO of the USGA, a non-profit organization that serves as the governing body of golf in the United States and Mexico, generates roughly $165 million in annual revenue and oversees the mens and womens U.S. The reality is that were going to be a partner in virtually everything we do. Considering his rsum, he couldve sat around, waited for the right opportunities to come around, maybe joined some boards and made absurd money back in the business world. You walk into another room where theyre talking about NIL (name, image and likeness) rights of college kids. Whan graduated from Miami University of Ohio and began his corporate career at Proctor & Gamble. He speaks a sort of unofficial golf conglomerate he calls Golf Inc. The current leaders of the industry PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh, LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the equipment manufacturers, so on, so forth are more interconnected now than ever before. Whan knows that womens golf is a perfect stage for the pursuit of fairness, equality and equal opportunity. He made us feel empowered and invested in the future of the tour. I feel very valueless right now. Mike Whan is a married man. RANGE SESH: Whan, a 4-handicap, gets in a few swings during the U.S. Womens Open media day at The Olympic Club. Sounexpected. For 11 years before joining the U.S.G.A. One significant challenge is that mens purses arent slowing down any time soon, including majors. That could prove useful because, for whatever reason, tour players these days love to criticize the USGA. Mike Whan is married to his wife, Meg Whan. He aint that. The only ones who dont have that are the U.S. players. He and his wife, Meg, were going to take 2021 off. Cash only at the counter. Lets keep going.. Obviously, the success were having now with a different face of the game and the future, weve got to pour fuel on the fire and were in a great position to do that. The board doesnt know their nicknames yet! Prior to that, he covered Tennessee basketball for the Knoxville News Sentinel. As someone who is constantly praised as an innovative and bold leader, he makes every effort possible to divert the attention and credit his team. Its a word he uses constantly. Making sure young girls view this game as theirs just as much as their brothers. I dont know who should start a USA Developmental Team, but I know what the first two letters of the USGA are, so why not us?. You walk in another room and theyre talking about testing standards for the next 30 or 40 years. I wont lie to you and say its going to be popular, but its important and I think it would be irresponsible for us not to relook at something that the last significant look was 1976. (The offices officially reopened July 12). His magazine work has been featured in multiple editions of The Best American Sports Writing. I have a feeling Im going to look back at this no different than the LPGA and say, I cant believe I didnt take advantage of all the cool things I could have done. What incoming USGA chief Mike Whan was thinking watching the U.S. Womens Open, Hannah Green survives 3-way playoff for emotional victory at JM Eagle LA Championship, Tour Confidential: Tony Finaus rise, Justin Thomas career, summer trips, In defeat, Jon Rahm says 1 sentence that may inspire YOU to work on Monday, 2023 Mexico Open at Vidanta: How to watch, TV schedule, streaming, tee times, Meet the new GOLF Top 100 Teachers of America, How the arrow on Tony Finaus Ping putter can benefit YOUR game | Winners bag. All you can do is try to keep up. Ill say this: When I started at the LPGA, the U.S. Womens Open was really the front of the parade that pushed the rest of us to catch up in regard to purses. Im impressed and excited about the level of involvement the USGA has in so many different aspects of the game. I really like figuring out businesses, figuring out the right formula to really make them move their best. Then the LPGA commissioner, Mike Whan reacts after a shot during the CME Group charity event to benefit St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital prior to the LPGA CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club in 2018 in Naples, Florida. Im not really sure its fundamentally different from a question you could ask other major owners. Contact. So Ill be at the U.S. That a player from the Philippines and a player from Japan, Nasa Hataoka, met in a playoff is old hat for anybody who follows womens golf closely. https://t.co/7Ma0FkVp46, Michael Whan (@LPGACommish) January 6, 2021. He holds a U.S. patent on The E-Club, a utility golf club. Ive nicknamed half the board already. When I left the LPGA, I certainly did not have a job at the USGA. Because of that, we were willing to support his vision of what we could be., Whan grew up in Naperville, Ill., and at 13 worked on the maintenance crew of a country club. When discussing change, Whan likes to present a conventional thought and roll his eyes at it at the same time addressing and dismissing, all at once. I cant say definitively, but I think your memory of my perspective is true. Got a wish list? In 2016, he was given the Donald Ross Award by the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the organizations highest honor. Mike Whan CEO. Mike Whan is readying to succeed Mike Davis. Im enough of a marketing guy to know if Dustin Johnsons driver is slightly different than the one I can buy at retail, that will have very little impact on the number of drivers he sells. Then the LPGA commissioner, Mike Whan speaks during the LPGA announcement of new brand positioning encouraging girls to #DriveOn in 2019. As a teenager, he turned his passion for the game into a regular job on themaintenance crewof acountry club near his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hegraduated fromAnderson High School in Cincinnatibefore earning hisbachelorsdegree fromMiami University (Ohio) in1987. Michael Bamberger welcomes your comments atMichael.Bamberger@Golf.com. Hell dictate between TV contracts and corporate sponsorships what the U.S. Open looks like and feels like, and if it delves further into commercialization. Hes in the early stages of his tenure as only the eighth USGA executive director since 1922. From the moment you said you were leaving the LPGA Tour there was speculation you would land at the USGA, even though you were an unconventional candidate for the CEO job. He sometimes makes it sound as if his personal success is accidental. Theyd interviewed a number of promising candidates, Francis said, but Whan was the shining light, the man who checked every box and could come in ready to move at 100 mph. But as Ive said to the board, You can lead a team in a huddle. You can still huddle the industry, but make sure that people have a chance to talk and vote, and then somebodys gotta call the play. Walking in, Mike Whan looks around and says, yep, this'll work. Technically, Whan was at The Olympic Club, at a memorable U.S. Womens Open, as the LPGA commissioner. My wife said at dinner, Youre totally not listening to me, thats how I know you like your job., Then the LPGA commissioner, Mike Whan looks on from a golf cart during the final round of the KIA Classic at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in 2016 in Carlsbad, California. The association last went outside the family for an executive director hire four decades ago when Harry Easterly left a VP post at a financial securities firm to take the job in 1980. The first time Mike Whan walked into USGA headquarters wearing shorts and a T-shirt, he could tell employees immediately began to text about the new CEOs casual attire. There will be no shortage of bridge-building. Im not really sure why. Opens. If were talking about the mens professional game, Id be surprised if people dont believe that some degree of reining in wouldnt be good for the game long-term. Much of Whans success at the LPGA building the tour up from near ashes when he took on the job in 2010 and then passing the ultimate stress test by seeing the tour through a global pandemic has been the strength of his partnerships. Mike Whan Named USGA CEO; Will Take the Helm in Summer 2021 February 17, 2021 | LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. By Beth Major, USGA. An American (Nelly Korda) is now No. Late last month, Whan and his wife moved to a home on a golf course called Hamilton Farm, about five miles from his new office. He currently resides in Gladstone, N.J., with his wife Meg and has three adult sons: Austin, Wesley and Connor. Kristie Kistner / Contributed photo Show More Show . He likes to lean back onto the two hind legs of his chair when making a point, the way a kid does before the teacher tells him to quit it. This year, it has 34 events and a record $76.45 . Theyre steady that way. I think theres a lot of people out there that need to know what the USGA has the opportunity to pursue. With that, a 56-year-old who prefers playing golf with a speaker pumping music in the cart and who is admittedly unqualified to make on-course rulings became one of the single-most impactful decision-makers in the game. Thompsons back-nine 41, when all she needed was 39 to win, it was painful. To Whans right is a leather-bound folder. Pandemics happen, lawsuits happen and all kinds of things where youd say, if youre going to run the game with a leaders mentality, you have to make sure you have the ability to do just that. As Pro Golf Feuds, The Recreational Game Continues To Boom. Thats something the old USGA might concern itself with. Unofficially, hes the first to ever eat at The Apollo Cafe. Hell no doubt reveal the rest of that list in one of his many upcoming conference calls with his new staff. Its a nice media headline, but Ive been going into the USGA offices since mid-May. What incoming USGA chief Mike Whan was thinking watching the U.S. Women's Open. This story originally appeared in The Extra Point . He did more than give us a voice; he held the megaphone to our lips, says LPGA veteran Christina Kim. What Im saying is, I dont know the perspective of everybody else. I love the innovation and we want to keep seeing innovation. Im proud of that, but at the same time Ive got to find the right balance. Is that good?, I think, instead, we want to make sure golf innovation continues. He was saying, That was something. Where are you playing your golf these days? Seated face to face in a room at the Olympic Club's City Clubhouse, about 10 miles north of the U.S. Women's Open venue, two of the game's power brokers candidly riffed on childhood jobs . Asked about the narrative that a guy that breaks the rules is now the one that makes the rules, Whan says, Im not sure Id say Im a rule-breaker. In the same breath, he says, The only thing I worry about is my pace of play versus the USGAs pace of play. His foot was on the gas. He wasnt. Ive read the Distance Insights study, but I dont know if the need for change really trickles down to other levels of the game. There arent many LPGA players who didnt have a lot of support to become one of the best players from their country. Nothing on the menu over eight bucks. Its a big business! Since April, hes been enveloped in lengthy talks with everyone from Monahan and Waugh, to Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley and R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers, to manufacturers like Callaway and TaylorMade. Theres virtually no doubt about that. He often went off-script with reporters, apologizing to executives in the back of the room. Im talking about a statewide, then regional, then a national team, and working with our state and regional partners to help these kids. On this, no one is quite sure what to expect. He knew what it was like to sit on the other side of a table as a check writer and used that experience to grow the tour fromonly 24 tournaments and official prize money of $41.4 million to the record $76.45 million and 34 official events thats on the 2021 calendar. Ive heard you talk about wanting people to work for you who wake up thinking about, in that case the LPGA. All Rights Reserved. He keeps going , Weve got to find the right medium. Whan was at the end of a long week and about to start another one. So there was no reason to fake it.. See the complete profile on LinkedIn and discover Mike's . Thats more important to a USGA person than any other counterpoint of view. Then I got into the office on the first day and one of the first questions I was asked was, Hi Mike, are you all set on white polos?, I said to em, I go, Uh, I have seven of them., And they go, Yes, right, is that OK? Olympic added in every way. How do you win them over? Not to Orlando, as he has done for the past decade, but to Newark. Im not waiting to find out. Whans focus on making the game more accessible for girls led to a significant expansion of the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program to more than 90,000 at more than 500 sites through Spring 2021. Not a country with a deep golf tradition, but you can imagine how that will change now, he said. His wife is Meg, but her identity is yet to be revealed to the public. I really want to listen to other people and understand their perspective. Thats going to be hanging on some plaque in my office, he said, so that every time I turn the lights off I remember to ask, am I doing enough to make sure that young girls all around the world, when Im going to bed, are putting somewhere saying this one is for the U.S. Womens Open.. 1. Particularly in the case of the ongoing distance debate, which as the USGA moves to the solution phase of its Distance Insights Report, there continues to be strong feelings on both sides of the aisle. Also, learn details Info regarding the Current Net worth of Mike Whan USGA Salary, Wikipedia, Wife And Net Worth as well as 's earnings, Worth, Salary, Property, and Income. To their credit, they dont really get too out of whack when it doesnt work out, but they also dont get too high when its successful. After college, he worked as a newspaper reporter, first for the (Marthas) Vineyard Gazette, later for The Philadelphia Inquirer. I do have membership at other clubs, none of which Ive played yet. Have your views changed at all since you took the job? Subscribe to The Athletic for in-depth coverage of your favorite players, teams, leagues and clubs. What did your agenda look like on Day 1 at the helm? The last group alone was a tournament onto itself. Hes off-the-record almost immediately, sharing a couple of good yarns he asks not be written. Its great when you have plans , Whan says. When asked last month what hed miss the most about the LPGA, Whan said the front-row seat he had to watching young women achieve their biggest dream in real time whether that was earning a tour card or winning a tournament. This U.S. Open wasnt you go, girl it was you go, period. To me, it's one of those technological improvements that can improve the viewer experience and the pace of play. Of course I want to preserve the game, but only after I promote it.. (Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images for LPGA). Lets make sure we can keep this game inside the stadiums that weve built, but at the same time, as soon as we draw whatever line in the sand that were gonna draw, I want it to be clear, and I want 3,000 engineers still waking up the next day and saying, OK, I think I can find another innovative way to make this better, right up to the line. If those engineers wake up and go, Well, games over, then I havent made the game better for the next 100 years. They still need work., Whan says he cant come right out and open up the folder at this breakfast table because in part, Im not sure my staff knows whats coming yet. These ideas are indeed coming, though. GOLF DIGEST MAY EARN A PORTION OF SALES FROM PRODUCTS THAT ARE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR SITE AS PART OF OUR AFFILIATE PARTNERSHIPS WITH RETAILERS. This is how he operates. I live on Hamilton Farms (in Gladstone, New Jersey). The LPGAs Girls Golf program has been successful creating a large and diverse community of young golfers. Lets know some more interesting facts about the commissioner Mike Whan. I think COVID, and what we just lived through in 2020, makes that group feel more than ever, thank goodness theres a nest egg, because that one year couldve wiped out half. Thats who she is.. Im in a hurry to catch up. There was a bigness to the event. It can be frustrating, though, because at times the USGA hasnt done a good job telling its story . Tour Confidential: U.S. Womens Open, Jon Rahm and Covid-19, Brooks-Bryson, Inside Lexi Thompsons collapse: How her U.S. Womens Open lead evaporated, It was just electric: 17-year-old Megha Ganne had an epic U.S. Womens Open (and even got to skip calculus), Jon Rahm just broke the PGA Tour single-season money record. Whan, meanwhile, is, in his own words, a salesman.He started at Procter & Gamble in 1987, rising to a position as director of marketing for its oral care department before leaving in 1994 to take over as vice president and GM of Wilson Sporting Goods. Im never really sure which 30 until the next morning when I wake up and I hear back, but if that fear of the 30 percent stops you from hitting the send button, then youre not the right person for the job. Is that fair? In a weird way, the last 12 years set me up for that. I know the industry enough to know that Mike Whan was probably a bit of a misfit, relative to what the USGA typically has, Whan says with his mouth full. When his family moved to Cincinnati during his junior year in high school, the first thing he did was find the local club and apply for a job. If we can get into that trusted partner mentality, therell be times when we need to take a real leadership role, and therell be times when what the partnership people need is a little more behind the scenes. Mike Whan's salary per month and other career earnings are over $400,000 dollars annually. It doesnt comeas a shock me that in my 12 years I think I saw maybe 11 weeks of a U.S. player being No. It's a new era in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, though the full culture-changing impact of Whan at the helm undoubtedly will be slowed with so many . He thought about LPGA rookie Albane Valenzuela, a former Olympian and Stanford All-American . If you need to showcase how you can conserve water, well be there. Shell get her name on that trophy before shes through. It only seems like Thompson has been around forever. GOLF.com and GOLF Magazine are published by EB GOLF MEDIA LLC, a division of 8AM GOLF. Shes had that since her junior days. . In 1999, he was named president of marketing for Britesmile, Inc., a teeth whitening company, and remained there until 2002 when he took over as president of Mission Hockey. Whan is active on Twitter with the handle @USGAMike . The pandemic summoned millions of first-time golfers to courses across the country, causing the sport to experience its greatest period of growth since Tiger Woods changed the game in 1997. Whan talked to Mike Davis about it, wondering aloud if this was an insane idea? The reality of it is, and I say this to new hires all the time, Im probably the most valuable the first 90 days because you dont look at anything with a filter. LPGA players consistently praised Whans transparent approach. Michael (Mike) Whan joined the USGA as its chief executive officer (CEO) on July 1, 2021, becoming its eighth chief executive. If the publics feelings about the USGA could be distilled into a building, the result would look something like the clubhouse at The Olympic Club: formal and old-fashioned. . We all went through this awkward transition, and that got a lot of attention, but today, I cant think of a rules change in that modernization that wasnt a home run. "Their reaction was the game-over point for me," said Whan. It was our first time physically together and mentally together. Theres zero doubt in my mind, after sitting in one board meeting, there is a clear feeling of responsibility to the game and making sure we can give back to that game with this money. Mike Whan spent 11 years rebuilding the LPGA Tour to be strong enough to survive a pandemic. Mike Whan Wikipedia And Bio. It needs a vision for the future.. Its all in relationships. They understand youre different, but you come from a place of knowledge. I remember thinking when I got off the phone, Maybe theres something here. But why now? The decisions coming down the pike that he will have to put his name on particularly in the area of rolling back distance at the highest levels of the game are ones that will ultimately be both hugely impactful on the future of golf and bullet points on his legacy. Do you agree that at the highest level of the mens game, the distance gains have fundamentally changed how the sport is played and have rendered a lot of traditional venues, if not obsolete, certainly heading that way? Shes 26. Mike Whan net worth is estimated at around $5 million. Francis called shortly thereafter and said, That was great. The organization, do I have the right team? This week, in the little New Jersey burgh of Liberty Corner, hell start his transition into his new job, as the CEO of the United States Golf Association, succeeding Mike Davis. Of course, the Ping lawsuit from 1987 still hovers over this debate. Mike Whan is not featured on the Wikipedia page yet. And what I mean by that is sometimes your partner takes the lead and sometimes youre the wind behind the sail and nobody knows it. It seems fitting then that the debut of Mike Whan as the new face of the USGA came at Olympic in late April during a media day touting the U.S. Womens Open. What I would tell you is, I dont think the world of golf comes to a halt with some sort of bifurcation. This, though, is how Whan operates. Its not difficult to get Whan to talk about himself. There exists an environment in which we can talk to everybody and get things done, he says. Their reaction of Please do this, this should be good for all of us. Everybody evolves not only to make the game better, but to make sure its great for the next 100 years. To continue to raise that bar. I think three things. Im not sure the highly caffeinated, short-on-patience Mike Whan is always the best for every situation. Its not that the USGA didnt care about those things before, Whan says, it was that they didnt have that knowledge in the room.. The USGA wont be alone in getting it up and running. What can the USGA do to grow the game? He keeps moving, not breaking stride. forbes.com. I feel like sometimes when you sit at the highest office, by design only the good news makes it to you because nobody wants to tell you the bad news, right? Mike Whan net worth. Mike Whan's net worth must be a fortune. Because theres a strength in how the USGA tackles a problem and understands governance, and some of the stuff that I dont have the patience for will be good for me to learn. So we need to make decisions now. Initially, he thought he was going to do exactly that. Shell get her name on that trophy before shes through, Whan said of Lexi Thompson. Just as he recruited the rest of the industry to commit to growing girls golf on a larger scale, Whan sees the USGAs role in capitalizing on the games recent participation boom as part of an industry-wide effort. I know Im right., They may be conceptually right, but there are pieces of it that are changing. I certainly dont get that from anybody that Ive talked to. As Mike Whan begins his 11th year as the LPGA tour's commissioner with no plan on leaving, . It is a provocative rsum for the leader of the USGA, but Whan carries his outsider status with pride, noting that he is hardly an expert on the rules. 2/24/2023 . That is the worst television experience of your life. As CEO, Whan leads the USGA team and their work to champion and advance the game of golf by conducting global championships, delivering golfer engagement programs, broadening accessibility and driving sustainability. More than anything though, hell strive to be golfs champion. One, Ive always looked as the USGA as the standard-setter in the game, certainly on the womens side, but mens as well. So, he called in. But what should be the organizations role in supporting the game at the grassroots level? Relax, people. He and his wife, Meg, were going to take 2021 off. He has the mobile perspective of someone whos worked both as a tour commissioner and on the manufacturing side of the industry. The USGA announced Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, it has hired Whan as its next CEO, making him the eighth top executive in its 127-year history. He spent the next 11 years leading the tour to massive growth expanding the schedule from 24 events to 34 and nearly doubling the prize money. You know me, Id rather be talking about that more than they used to because I think we should. Here (from left) with Jess McAlister, Randi Zuckerberg, Kira K. Dixon, Jeehae Lee and Marissa Mar. Thats probably why when Whan walked into USGA headquarters for his first executive leadership meeting earlier this summer, he didnt realize he was the only one there wearing shorts.