LPGA commissioner Mike Whan is to step down this year ©Getty Images

Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) commissioner Mike Whan is to step down in 2021 after 11 years in the role.

No set date has been confirmed for Whan's departure but he will transition out of the role of commissioner this year. 

In a letter to LPGA staff, members and sponsors, Whan revealed he felt it was the right time to leave as the organisation was entering 2021 "on a wave of momentum".

"When I first joined the LPGA, I told the Board it would be a four-year term, giving me time to help the organisation achieve its immediate goals," he said. 

"Now, as the longest-serving LPGA commissioner, I look back on these 11 years with enormous pride and satisfaction at what we’ve accomplished together to provide opportunities for women to achieve their dreams in golf.

"You may be wondering why I’ve made the decision to step down - and why now? 

"In many ways, this past year - with all the pandemic challenges - was also the LPGA’s most triumphant. 

"We are entering 2021 on a wave of momentum - a strong schedule with record purses, new events/sponsors, double-digit viewership growth, and a talented team that demonstrated exceptional skill, resilience and capability to lead through challenging times."

During his time as commissioner, Whan played a pivotal role in the merging of the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA in November 2019.

He claimed he was "excited to hand the baton" on to the next LPGA commissioner. 

Mark Whan has held the role of LPGA commissioner for 11 years ©Getty Images
Mark Whan has held the role of LPGA commissioner for 11 years ©Getty Images

"I simply wouldn’t leave the LPGA if I thought the future was uncertain or not trending straight up," Whan said. 

"In fact, even after the challenges we faced in 2020, the LPGA has never been more financially secure, deeper in leadership talent, or more anchored by passionate, diverse sponsors from all around the world. 

"The LPGA is poised for even greater heights; and as such, I’m excited to hand the baton to the next leader and become their biggest supporter.

"One of the hardest jobs of a leader is to know when their work is done. 

"If the COVID-19 pandemic taught me anything, it was that the LPGA executive staff has full control of our business and is capable of incredible things. 

"We have leaders who are visionary, compassionate, collaborative and humble. 

"You may not agree with every decision they make, but they have led our Tours to new heights virtually every year."

The LPGA Board is set to establish a Commissioner Selection and Transition Committee and consider candidates from both the LPGA executive staff and outside the organisation.

"It’s clear the LPGA today is a very different Association than the one Mike joined in 2010," said LPGA Board chair Diane Gulyas. 

"Our commitment to the LPGA - and all of our stakeholders - is to find the right leader to guide the association through this next chapter in its storied history.

"We are so grateful for Mike’s passion and leadership of the LPGA over more than a decade of service as our commissioner."