SBD/April 29, 2011/People and Pop Culture

What's Up For The Weekend With LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan

Whan this weekend with travel with his eldest son to Ohio to tour colleges
Ever wonder how executives in sports business spend their weekends? THE DAILY this week continues "What's Up For The Weekend," providing readers with an inside look at people in our industry. This week, we catch up with LPGA Commissioner MIKE WHAN, who chatted with Staff Writer Theresa Manahan.

Q: What are your plans for this weekend?
Whan: Typically I would be at our tournament, which this week is the Avnet LPGA Classic in Mobile, but instead I’m going to watch the final two rounds on Golf Channel because I’m joining my 16-year-old son, AUSTIN, on a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, for some college visits starting with my alma mater, Miami University of Ohio, then Denison University and Indiana University. On Saturday night, I’m giving a speech at the Mid-American Conference golf championship dinner.

Q: What are you really looking forward to this weekend? Anything special planned?
Whan: One-on-one time with my oldest son. We’re pretty close and we have a unique connection. He looks like me, thinks like me -- poor kid. With three boys in the family, I don’t get a lot of individual time. Even if he doesn’t like the colleges, it will be a great weekend.

Q: What do you like to watch and read on the weekend?
Whan: I watch a lot of golf. Painfully the last few weeks I’ve watched golf that doesn’t include the LPGA because we’ve been off for three weeks, but I’m a golf fan. I was watching before I was commissioner and I’ll watch it after. I used to work in hockey, so I’m also following the NHL Playoffs. I usually have a “read on plane” file for stuff I can’t read in the office, and I’ll get through that on weekends, too.

Q: What workout routines or activities do you like to do on the weekend?
Whan: I’m a runner. I get my best thinking done when I’m running. My wife knows if it’s raining, I’m definitely going for a run. It’s a weird thing, but I love running in the rain. I’m usually up and running by 5:45am so that I can get back to the house before anyone gets up. That way I don’t miss anything.

Q: What is the one thing our readers would be most surprised to know you do on the weekend?
Whan: I’m a clean freak, so I don’t think I’ve missed a Saturday at the car wash in years. I do the laundry, I pick up the house, clean out the garage once a month. I just like things to be in place. Drives my wife crazy.

Q: Best weekend ever?
Whan: Earlier this year, I flew home on Friday, landed at 4:00pm and drove straight to my son’s high school football game, where my parents had surprised us and flown in from Scottsdale. My son is at a brand new high school with a brand new team, fourth game of the year, and he made a catch in the corner of the end zone with time running out to win the game. The next morning, on the Orlando Sentinel’s website, he was No. 3 on the top-10 players of the week. We were able to e-mail the video of his catch to all of our friends back in California. I work hard to get home from work to see my family and to see that happen to my son, knowing he had left his school and friends in California to move to Florida when I took the LPGA job … that was a big one for me.

Q: Guilty weekend pleasure?
Whan: This might sound made up because I’m the commissioner, but the thing I love to do on Sunday afternoons is grab my three boys and go play nine holes. If I can talk my wife into the idea that having three hours alone will be great for her, then taking my sons out for a few hours on the golf course, there’s nothing I would rather do.

Q: What do you usually do to pass time on a plane?
Whan: I read stupid mystery novels and my “read on plane” file. My assistant probably hates it because I land and end up with a thousand things for her to work on. I actually look forward to plane rides, as it gets me a chance to catch up on letters and hundreds of e-mails.
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