Women’s Professional Golf

In this first article about Women’s Professional Golf and in subsequent articles, we will look at the professional organizations around the world, the player statistics, and the players themselves. We will find out who they are, where they’re from, what they shoot, how much they win, and what equipment they carry. Please take the time to look through the entire article for some of the facts and stats that make golf so interesting.

As followers of women’s golf, we are limited in our exposure to the sport. We are able to pick up a few televised events and maybe read about some others in the few articles that are written about them. It’s really a shame because we are not able to get to know the many personalities and characters that make up the sport. Over the years, the golfing legends have made a name for themselves by exhibiting exceptional skill and the media will generally give them credit, but the hype is usually short-lived. We grasp every opportunity to read or view whatever media exposure women’s golf is able to acquire.

Most do not realize that women’s golf is very popular in other parts of our world. We are familiar with the LPGA because it is so close and receives so much attention around the world. It is definitely an exceptional and far-reaching organization. However, did you know that there actually six women’s professional golf associations (Tours), not counting the ‘Mini-Tours’, around the world that serve those who have chosen to play the game for a living?

The six major women’s professional organizations currently in operation around the world are:

ALPG – Australian Ladies Professional Golf
LAGT – Ladies Asian Golf Tour – All of Asia except Japan and Korea
KLPGA – Ladies Professional Golf Association of Korea
LPGA of Japan – Ladies Professional Golf Association of Japan
Ladies European Tour – European Countries
LPGA – (Ladies Professional Golf Association) – United States

The ALPG was originally founded in 1972 as the LPGAA but changed its name in 1991. It now runs from 12-15 events featuring the ANZ Ladies Masters and the MFS Women’s Australian Open. Karrie Webb is one of the most famous ALPG members and plays in at least these two major events each year.

The LAGT – Ladies Asian Golf Tour is a relatively young tour (2005). At the time of its inauguration, there were already two established Asian tours, the LPGA of Korea and the LPGA of Japan both of which are two extremely powerful ladies golf associations. The LAGT was established as an organization devoted to the rest of the Asian population. Since its inception, the LAGT has grown consistently and now provides tournaments with prize funds of as much as $250,000.

KLPGA Tour is the organization providing ladies golf opportunities for South Korean professionals. Even though it is known as the LPGA in Korea, it is not to be confused with the original LPGA in the US. The South Korean organization runs independently of the US LPGA. As of 2007, the LPGA of Korea held 25 individual events on the tour and ran three different mini-tours.

The LPGA of Japan Tour is the second richest tour in the world. It is second in prize money only to the LPGA in the US. If you discount the prize money, the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA of Korea Tour rivals the LPGA of Japan in quality of competition. In 2008, the organization will run 38 official events with prize money over $27million. The Japan Open, the JLPGA Championship, the JLPGA Tour Championship, and the Mizuno Classic (co-sanctioned with the LPGA – US) are four of its most prestigious events.

Founded in 1979, the Ladies European Tour (based in England) is actually a sports corporation, led by a Board of Directors and a Player’s council. Although most of its players are European, they do have a very large Australian player delegation. The European Order of Merit will have 28 events from which to award points. Two of the most prestigious events are the Evian Masters (in France) and the Women’s British Open, both of which are co-sanctioned with the LPGA Tour. Other events are held in Switzerland, Australia (co-sanctioned), Sweden, Wales, and Dubai.

The LPGA, Ladies Professional golf Association in America, is the largest and most well known women’s professional golf association in the world and runs the LPGA Tour. It was founded in 1950 by a small group of women headed by Babe Zaharias. In women’s sports, it is the oldest and longest running women’s professional organization in the U.S. The LPGA holds most of its tournaments within the U.S.; however, this year they held three tournaments in Mexico and others in Singapore, France, the UK, China, South Korea, and Canada. The LPGA co-sponsored four of these tournaments outside of the North American continent. (The Evian Masters-France, the Women’s British Open-Great Britain, the Korean Championship-Korea, and the Mizuno Classic-Japan.) The LPGA hosts four major championships: the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the McDonald’s U.S. LPGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola, the U.S. Women’s Open, and the Ricoh Women’s British Open – co-sponsored with the Ladies European Tour.

Now that we know the organizational background of Women’s Golf, in the next article, we will look at some of the players and their statistics. Be sure to look for the follow-up articles. The research I used for these articles comes primarily from the LPGA and the other five women’s international golf organizations.

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Women’s Professional Golf Part 2

Women’s Professional Golf Part 3

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Women’s Professional Golf

Women’s Professional Golf Part 2

Women’s Professional Golf Part 3

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