Tired of hearing about the usual suspects for LPGA tour commissioner? Here are my under-the-radar favorites.
Judd Silverman, tournament director, Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. A former PGA Tour caddie and top amateur, he brought the LPGA to Toledo 25 years ago and the Farr is still one of the tour's most reliable, community-oriented events. Judd also has a company, Toledo Classic Inc., that manages golf events, such as this year's NCAA Championships and the 2011 U.S. Senior Open. He has served on the LPGA's Tournament Owners Association (TOA) board, is connected in the business community and is admired in the industry.
Duke Butler, president, Frys.com Open. Duke is a former club pro who was the executive director of the Houston Golf Association before working his way up to senior vice president at the PGA Tour. He understands the charity aspect of tour golf and knows how to keep events fresh. For example, he created a Monday couples' pro-am for this year's Fry's. He would be a stabilizing figure much like Charlie Mechem was, but with more zing in the marketing area.
Alice Miller, executive director, LPGA Championship. A major winner, former player director and LPGA rules official who has served on the TOA board, Miller commands respect. She understands the game competitively and as a business, and believes in the LPGA's constitution and players. She is thoughtful, dedicated and very demanding. Best of all, she's a quiet, steady presence who speaks from the heart.