The upcoming 2011 LPGA Tour season is set to kick off this week high expectations. LPGA officials boast “new ideas, new tournaments and a renewed commitment to partners,” in a hope that will turn 2011 into a successful campaign. New tournaments have been introduced into the 2011 schedule. The LPGA added new events in the U.S., Taiwan and China.
The season is set to kick off with the Honda LPGA Thailand on February 17 – 20. The event will be played in Chonburi, Thailand at the Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course. The LPGA has indeed gone global in their newly released 28 event schedule, including the four major championships. The U.S. will host 14 of the events while the other 14 tournaments will be played around the world. After announcing the schedule, the LPGA canceled the Tres Marias Championship in Mexico. The event was canceled due to instability in Mexico over concerns of drug violence.
The 2011 season will showcase the inaugural RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. The RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup is designed to honor the LPGA’s history, showcase the current LPGA stars and build a strong future for women’s golf. Each players finish will counts towards official money standings, however, no player will take home a check. Instead, the money will be donated to charity. The event will field 132 players that will directly benefit the LPGA Foundation that runs the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program. All player expenses will be picked up by the LPGA and tournament sponsors.
The LPGA-USGA Girls Golf is the LPGA’s primary junior golf initiative which introduces girls ages 7 to 17 to all areas of the game. Many LPGA members, including Morgan Pressel, Brittany Linciome and Vicky Hurst, were all introduced to the game through the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf initiative.
Another new event, the Titleholders, is a modified season ending event where players must qualify based on their performances throughout the LPGA season. China and Taiwan will host the other new tournaments for the upcoming season. Three players will qualify for the Titleholders from each LPGA Tour event. This format has never been used in any other professional golf tour.
While the 2011 season will have three less events, the total purse will be slightly larger than last year. The global initiative will take the LPGA Tour to 12 different countries for the upcoming year. The future looks much brighter and the LPGA is looking for a big year in 2011.
More on the LPGA’s 2011 season can be found at A Look Ahead at the 2011 LPGA Tour