by Jeff Skinner
You have to give LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan credit, he isn’t afraid to tilt at windmills. In an interview with Forbes Magazine Whan let it be known that every year he tries to get his ladies a gig at Augusta National.
Whan: As the commissioner of the LPGA, I think Augusta should have a women’s tournament. I don’t care if they have female members.
Whan: Well, at the end of the day I would have a difficult time explaining to my kids why dad was a member of all men’s club. [Whan is not a member at Augusta.] And I really doubt by the time my kids are my age this will even be a topic. They’ll have female members by then. It’s a private club they can do what they want. It’s worth noting that Augusta National is an incredible supporter of some of our initiatives. They write us a six-figure check every year for Girls Golf, which helps gets girls into the sport. I don’t think it’s a guilt check. Maybe it is. What’s frustrating is that the best players now on our tour can’t play there. I ask every year.
It is true that Augusta National gets a bad rap for what it does to grow the game. They spread plenty of money around and I could care less if they have women members. But an event on the hills of Augusta National would really give the LPGA immeasurable publicity. If Whan could ever make this happen it would be the single most significant act of any sports commissioner in the history of sport.
That’s what you have to love about Michael Whan. He isn’t afraid to try anything.