Michael (Mike) Whan joined the USGA as its chief executive officer (CEO) on July 1, 2021, becoming its eighth chief executive. 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.
Prior to joining the USGA, Whan served as the commissioner of the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association), one of the longest-running and most successful women’s sports organizations in the world, from January 2010–June 2021. Under his leadership, the LPGA experienced unprecedented growth, with significant increases in the number of tournaments, purses and television coverage. He also oversaw the expansion of the LPGA to include both the Symetra Tour and Ladies European Tour, as well as a nearly 50 percent increase in membership of LPGA Professionals, the association’s teaching division. Whan’s 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.
Whan began his career in 1987 at the Procter & Gamble Company, where he rose to director of marketing for oral care before leaving to pursue his passion for sports. Whan’s sports business career began at Wilson Sporting Goods as a vice president and general manager in the golf division. He joined the TaylorMade Golf Company as vice president of marketing in 1995 and later served as vice president of sales and marketing and executive vice president/general manager for Taylormade-adidas Golf. In 2002, Whan became the president and CEO of Mission Hockey, a hockey equipment company.
Whan developed his passion for golf riding his bike to play at a public course in Naperville, IL. As a teenager, he turned his passion for the game into a regular job on the maintenance crew of a country club near his home in Cincinnati, Ohio, He graduated from Anderson High School in Cincinnati before earning his bachelor’s degree from Miami University (Ohio) in 1987. He currently resides in Gladstone, N.J., with his wife Meg and has three adult sons: Austin, Wesley and Connor.