At the ripe old age of 60, Ty Votaw is leaving his full-time position on the PGA Tour after a legendary career in the golf industry, but he’ll continue be around the game he helped grow.
Votaw, who has served as the LPGA commissioner for the past seven years, revealed on Tuesday that he will step down as the PGA Tour’s executive vice president of international relations in June. However, according to a statement from the Tour, he will continue to serve as a significant consultant to commissioner Jay Monahan.
Votaw’s role was well-paid, with the Ohio native earning just over $1 million in 2018, according to the Tour’s tax records.
The reintroduction of golf as an Olympic sport was one of Votaw’s most notable achievements, which he was credited with masterminding while serving as executive director and subsequently vice president of the International Golf Federation. Chief Marketing Officer was one of Votaw’s previous titles while on the Tour.
“I’d want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Ty for his immense contribution to our organization and to our sport,” Monahan stated. “His unique blend of leadership, business savvy, and diplomacy has unquestionably improved the LPGA, PGA Tour, and worldwide game.” We are grateful that we can continue to draw on his expertise as he moves into retirement while remaining connected to the Tour and our interests, having spent more than half of his life in the industry.
“Votaw joined the LPGA in 1991 as general counsel and was elevated to special assistant to LPGA commissioner Charles Mechem a year later. He was named vice president of business affairs in 1997. In 1999, he took over as commissioner from Jim Ritts.
He assisted in the planning of a yearlong celebration of the tour’s 50th anniversary in 2000. In 2002, Votaw convened the LPGA’s inaugural player summit, at which he unveiled a five-year strategic business strategy centered on the fans, which has resulted in double-digit percentage growth in event attendance and television viewing. In 2004, Votaw was also instrumental in the founding of the World Congress of Women’s Golf.
“I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world to have worked with and learned from visionary leaders like Jay Monahan and Tim Finchem on the PGA Tour, Charlie Mechem and Jim Ritts on the LPGA Tour, and countless other talented players and individuals in both organizations and across the golf industry,” Votaw said. “It was an honor and a joy to spearhead the industry’s efforts to bring golf back to the Olympics in Rio with [then R&A CEO] Peter Dawson.”
“Going forward, I’m excited to assist and promote the PGA Tour and the sport of golf in any way I can.”