The Ladies Professional Golf Association is one of the longest-running women’s professional sports associations in the world. Founded in 1950, the organization has grown from its roots as a playing tour into a non-profit organization involved in every facet of golf. The LPGA Tour and the LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals (T&CP) comprise the backbone of what has become the premier women’s professional sports organization in the world today. The LPGA maintains a strong focus on charity through: its tournaments; its grassroots junior and women’s programs; and the formation of The LPGA Foundation. The LPGA is under the guidance of Commissioner Michael Whan and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Michael Whan is the eighth commissioner of the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association), one of the longest-running and most successful women’s sports organizations in the world. Whan assumed the leadership role at the LPGA on Jan. 4, 2010 with an eye toward enhancing business relationships, increasing exposure for the players and maximizing the LPGA experience for fans.
Whan, 49 (DOB: Feb. 10, 1965), started his business career at the Procter & Gamble Company in 1987, rising within the ranks as a Brand Assistant, Brand Manager and eventually Director of Marketing, Oral Care, before pursuing his passion for sports. In 1994-95, he served as a Vice President and General Manager at the Wilson Sporting Goods Company responsible for all aspects of the golf ball and glove business. He also managed the marketing department, two manufacturing facilities and the Research & Development division.
LPGA Tour Membership
Today’s LPGA Tour features the most talented global group of professional athletes who, in 2014, will compete in 32 official money events in 13 countries. Of the more than 460 LPGA Tour members, approximately 230 are active competitors throughout the season. Of the approximately 230, 128 are international members representing 27 different countries.
The T&CP Membership
The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) membership, founded in 1959, boasts the largest membership of women golf professionals in the world. LPGA T&CP members are certified as golf instructors, coaches and business managers through a comprehensive curriculum designed to meet the changing needs of the golfing public.
More than 1,500 strong, LPGA T&CP members are dedicated to the advancement of golf and serve throughout the golf industry as head professionals, assistant professionals, teaching professionals, directors of golf, owners of golf schools and facilities, golf administrators, college and high school coaches and more.
LPGA T&CP members support the LPGA’s various grassroots programs that were created to involve women and youth in golf as well as contribute to the overall growth of the sport. These programs include LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, LPGA Tour Junior Clinics, the LPGA Lesson Zone Presented by Volvik, and LPGA Golf Clinics for Women.
The LPGA Foundation
The LPGA has been a leader in developing junior golf programs that introduce kids from all walks of life into this great game. The LPGA Foundation was established in 1991 and has established itself as a leader in the golf industry in youth initiatives. Junior golf programs, scholarships and other financial assistance are among the major programs supported through The LPGA Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The LPGA Foundation has four main goals: to develop and maintain junior golf programs across the country; to develop and maintain scholarship programs for junior golfers; to maintain a financial assistance fund for those in the golf industry; and to conduct research and develop educational activities related to golf instruction. The LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, one of the LPGA Foundation’s flagship junior golf program.
Founded in 1981, the Symetra Tour is called “The Road to the LPGA” and is the official developmental tour of the LPGA. The Symetra Tour was acquired by the LPGA in 2007 and is now based in the LPGA’s headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla. The tour operated as the Duramed FUTURES Tour from 2006 to 2010, when Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., became the title sponsor and then as the LPGA Futures Tour in 2001. The 2012 Symetra Tour schedule runs from March through September and has more than 300 players competing from around the world. The top-10 players from the LPGA Futures Tour money list earn LPGA membership for the following year. For more information