Former LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan Named USGA CEO

Whan will take over from outgoing CEO Mike Davis after a very successful 11 years with the LPGA Tour

Mike Whan Named USGA CEO
(Image credit: getty images)

Whan will take over from outgoing CEO Mike Davis after a very successful 11 years with the LPGA Tour

Former LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan Named USGA CEO

Mike Whan has been named as the new CEO of the USGA after stepping down as LPGA Tour Commissioner last month.

The American replaces outgoing CEO Mike Davis after spending a very successful 11 years at the LPGA Tour where he championed and grew the women's game.

Whan increased the number of tournaments on the LPGA Tour’s schedule to 34 from 24, increased purses from $41.4 million to $76.5 million, and grew television hours from 125 hours per season to more than 500 hours in 170 different countries.

His leadership resulted in the expansion of the LPGA to now include both the Symetra Tour and a recently announced joint venture with the Ladies European Tour, as well as a nearly 50% increase in the LPGA’s teaching division.

Whan’s focus on growing the game for junior girls has led to a significant expansion of the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program, which had 5,000 members when he joined the organization to 90,000 girls now engaged in the program.

He will be responsible for leading all aspects of the association’s operations, including its core functions, essential programs, and human and financial resources.

He will also represent the USGA on a variety of national and international boards.

He joins at a huge time in the game of golf as the USGA along with the R&A seek to reduce hitting distances after the latest Distance Insights Report deemed that increased distance was detrimental to the game's future.

The organisations recently proposed some drastic equipment changes, which did not go down well with high-profile players like Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.

“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.

"Importantly, Mike is already a trusted peer for so many key stakeholders in the industry, and his existing relationships will not only help the USGA, but will also help advance the game.”

“As someone who grew up loving this game, I have always had huge respect for the USGA and its role in leading our sport,” said Whan.

“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, as it gives me the opportunity to not only give back to the game, but to also work hard to leave it stronger.”

Current USGA CEO Mike Davis, who joined the USGA in 1990 and became the Association’s seventh executive director in 2011 and first CEO in 2016, will depart later this year to team with Tom Fazio II in a new course design venture, Fazio & Davis Golf Design.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mike Whan for many years and I view him as a trusted, strategic leader who has a proven track record of building collaborative partnerships,” said Davis.

“I know the USGA will be in great hands, and I look forward to partnering with Mike to ensure a smooth and successful transition for the USGA.”

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x