East Meets West in the LPGA
In 2019, Michael Whan, commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), a non-profit organization that ran the world's most prestigious women's golf circuit, was preparing for the tour's 70th anniversary. Throughout its history, the LPGA had broken many social barriers, from the inclusion of African American players in the 1960s to the acceptance of transgender players in 2010. It had also reached important economic and athletic milestones. For example, the LPGA had the largest purses of any women's sports association, a wide range of international sponsors, tournaments broadcast in over 170 countries, and the highest concentration of international professional women golf stars. These achievements were due largely to the internationalization process launched in the late 1990s that had helped transform the LPGA from a U.S.-based to an international tour. But the internationalization of the LPGA had come with challenges.