The United States Golf Association has a new boss.
Outgoing LPGA commissioner Mike Whan was announced as the USGA’s next executive director and chief executive officer Wednesday morning, replacing Mike Davis. He will assume the role this summer. Whan will be the eighth person to occupy the position of executive director.
“Mike Whan is a proven, successful and transformative leader, not only in the golf industry but throughout his entire career,” said USGA President Stu Francis. “He has shown a unique ability to understand how the environment is changing in global golf and how to quickly and thoughtfully adapt an organization to meet those changes.”
Whan will head to the USGA after an 11-year stint as the LPGA chief. He was largely regarded as a transformative figure in the women’s game as he helped increase the total purse money for the LPGA and oversaw the addition of 10 tournaments to the schedule.
“As someone who grew up loving this game, I have always had huge respect for the USGA and its role in leading our sport,” Whan said in a press release. “The game has given me so much throughout my life, both personally and professionally. I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m truly excited about this role.”
During his tenure at the LPGA, Whan was largely praised by his constituents as he consistently went to bat for their interests; he also has been credited for effectively steering the organization through the tumultuous, pandemic-impacted 2020 season.
Whan stepped down from his post at the LPGA earlier this year.
As the leader of the USGA, Whan will oversee 14 championships conducted by the governing body, as well at the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup. He also takes the reins in the midst of a heated distance debate as the USGA navigates how it will deal with the distance boom that has become a central issue for the game.