The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the Ladies European Tour (LET) have announced they will embark on a joint venture aimed at growing the women’s game.
The LPGA and LET may be rival tours on either side of the Atlantic Ocean vying to attract the best female golfers in the world, but the European Tour are the poorer of the relations fighting to attract big names and stage weekly events.
The women’s game as a whole continues to lag behind the PGA Tour and European Tour quite significantly in terms of prize funds, although the LPGA stands up significantly more impressively than its cousin the LET does.
But officials involved in both of the governing bodies—the LPGA and LET—will work together to improve the female tour product, particularly in Europe and the rest of the world by harnessing the global attraction the LPGA almost boasts.
In a joint announcement made, the LPGA and LET said they have formed “a long-term partnership to significantly grow awareness, sponsor support, and professional playing opportunities for women in Europe” with the work already have started over the last two months prior to the arrangement being formally revealed.
LET Board Chair Marta Figueras-Dotti added: “Two teams, joining for one common purpose, will create opportunities we simply could not have pursued on our own.
“At its foundation, this joint venture is about creating opportunities for our members to pursue their passion, and their careers as professional athletes.
“In just the 60 days since we began working on this joint venture, we have already seen a dramatic impact on our LET Tour schedule—an impact that will be a positive result for virtually all of our LET Members.”
A lack of sponsorship and prize money has left some of the LET events in doubt for 2020 onwards, but the impact of working together with the LPGA—a decision which was officially voted through at the LET Annual Membership Meeting in Spain this week—is reaping some early benefits.
It is hoped the partnership will help “push women’s professional golf to new heights in Europe and around the world” as “their shared vision for the future of women’s professional golf and growth of the game, provides the core ingredients to ignite a tour loaded with upside potential.”
To achieve that, the LET calendar will be expanded from the 20 events staged in 2019 and a pathway will be created to the LPGA for the players enjoying most success.
LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan said: “This is an exciting next step for the LPGA’s mission to provide more opportunities for women in this game.
“Over the past 10 years, the LPGA has had tremendous success partnering with other golf stakeholders, including the USGA, PGA Tour, European Tour, R&A and PGA of America, to enhance opportunities for women worldwide.
“We are thrilled to deepen our relationship with the Ladies European Tour in an effort to create the strongest possible women’s tour in Europe.
“We have experienced incredible growth in women’s golf in the U.S., and this is an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate and expand the game in Europe as well. I’m excited that this is something we will build together, with the LET.”