Golf’s leaders frequently convene at men’s majors, but this week they gathered on LPGA soil at the Chevron to discuss how to drive the women’s game forward

THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Something unusual happened early this week at the Chevron Championship. Golf’s most important leaders gathered on LPGA soil to brainstorm how to drive the women’s game forward. Attendees of the inaugural Commission at The Chevron Championship in Houston included PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh and U.S. Golf Association CEO Mike Whan.

“We convene at the (men’s) majors and the industry comes together in various forms,” said LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “We just felt like it was really important to bring people to an LPGA event.”

The commission was hosted jointly by Marcoux Samaan and Chevron Chairman and CEO Mike Wirth. Other attendees included executive vice president of content and executive producer for NBC Universal and Golf Channel Molly Solomon, LPGA board chair and former KPMG chair John Veihmayer and LPGA major champion and television broadcaster Dottie Pepper.

Guest panelists included Olympic gold medalist Angela Ruggiero, co-founder and CEO of Sports Innovation Lab, Danette Leighton, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation and Angel City Football Club CRO Jess Smith.

“Mostly our goal was to educate them,” said Marcoux Samaan. “Level-set on where we are, where we’ve been, where we’re going, where women’s sports is more broadly. And then to really think about innovative ways to think about women’s golf and the LPGA.”

Marcoux Samaan said one of the most eye-opening topics to many in the room was the impact of the LPGA’s travel schedule. Organizers shared a social media post from’s Claire Rogers that illustrated the way players bounce around the country and the globe in head-spinning fashion.

Trying to wrap my head around the @LPGA travel schedule

— claire rogers (@kclairerogers) January 17, 2023

“We don’t have as much of an ability to control our destiny as much as they do,” said Marcoux Samaan of the LPGA’s schedule compared to that of men’s leagues.

“When we build the demand and build the understanding of how good our women are, we can help dictate the schedule a little bit more.”

Marcoux Samaan believes that shared resources with the PGA Tour around technology could make an immediate impact on the women’s game, such as ShotLink for scoring and data management.

The event served as a great conversation starter for many topics, Marcoux Samaan said.

After the morning session, attendees were invited to play in the Chevron Championship Pro-Am, where Marcoux Samaan and Monahan teed it up together with Nelly Korda on the front nine at The Club at Carlton Woods.

Stacy Lewis only had two holes with Monahan on the back nine before he had to head back to Florida for family reasons. Lewis was impressed by how prepared and engaged Monahan was during their short time together.

“I think he realizes that they need to do more,” said Lewis on Wednesday. “He said that to me multiple times yesterday. … it’s just now whether we can push it forward and actually do something about it.”

Lewis put forth her desire to see the LPGA and PGA Tour come together for an event that features the top men and women playing together in full-field events with separate leaderboards and separate purses across two courses on one site.

“Imagine Lydia (Ko) and Rory (McIlroy) walking down the 18th hole together,” she said. “How cool would that be?”

Korda hinted at the same to Monahan, though she noted that the unofficial Grant Thornton Invitational later this year that features LPGA and PGA Tour players partnered together is a good step.

“They have such a big platform,” said Korda. “I feel like the best way to grow the game at the end of the day is to combine the two.

“Girls golf is growing at an incredible rate, and they see that too.”