A Man's Business at the LPGA Jim Ritts Relishes His Role in Expanding Events as Head of the Ladies Professional Golf Association

By Ross Atkin, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 12, 1996 | Go to article overview

A Man's Business at the LPGA Jim Ritts Relishes His Role in Expanding Events as Head of the Ladies Professional Golf Association


Ross Atkin, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In any interview with Jim Ritts, one question is almost sure to come up, namely: What's a man doing as commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association?

Mr. Ritts, an amiable native of Dallas with boundless energy, had a ready answer at the LPGA headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla.

But first a word or two of explanation: The LPGA was founded by a group of women players in 1950. In 1976 the group hired Ray Volpe as the tour's first commissioner. Four men followed Volpe before Ritts was named commissioner-elect in June 1995 by the LPGA board of directors. Wasn't it high time, though, for the longest-standing women's sports association to hire a woman leader? Ritts is the first to acknowledge that a woman could "easily" be commissioner. "But what I'm pleased about," he says, "is that when they were writing the criteria for the selection process, gender specificity was not a criterion.... I think it's to their credit." From what he's been told since, Ritts was among 100 candidates, 40 percent of whom were female, including one of the three finalists. Ritts says he never set out to become a commissioner of a major professional sport, but now is convinced that his previous 23 years of work experience in the communications and marketing/advertising fields were near-perfect preparation for the job. He began as a researcher for ABC Sports while still in college and most recently was co-founder and executive with education-oriented Channel One, formerly owned by Whittle Communications. Add these credentials to what he calls a "healthy respect and knowledge of golf" born of playing the game from a young age, and Ritts was the LPGA's choice to lead the tour into the 21st century. The association wanted commitment, and Ritts was able to give it, agreeing to stay on for at least 10 years. "I made the decision that this is not something I'm going to do at the end of a professional career, sort of the capping off. This is the business that I hope will be the professional hallmark of my career." Beyond the mere business considerations, though, Ritts wanted to make sure he could make an emotional commitment to the tour. To assess this, he and wife, Linda, an avid golfer, flew incognito to several tournaments. "I wanted to watch the players, the product of the LPGA, through my wife's eyes and mine," Ritts explains. "We watched them and asked, was there any evidence that they were spoiled professional athletes? Was I going to be involved with prima donnas if I became commissioner?" What they saw was entertainment and warmth, players who were extraordinarily skilled and worked hard at embracing their fans, whether talking to them around the tee boxes or stopping to sign autographs. "Very quickly I became evangelical about these players," Ritts says. "Very quickly I had an emotional commitment to trying to create bigger and better venues for them." Last month at the site of the LPGA's PING Welch's Championship at the Blue Hill Country Club outside Boston, Ritts enthusiastically reported that all the goals established for expanding the tour's presence have already been met well ahead of schedule. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

A Man's Business at the LPGA Jim Ritts Relishes His Role in Expanding Events as Head of the Ladies Professional Golf Association
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.