The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is one of the longest-running women’s professional sports associations in the world.
Founded in 1950, the LPGA has grown from its roots as a playing tour into a nonprofit organization involved in every facet of golf. The LPGA Tour, and its membership of 1,700 LPGA Professionals, comprise the backbone of what has become the premier women’s professional sports organization in the world today.
The LPGA maintains a strong focus on charity through its tournaments, along with grassroots junior and women’s programs including LPGA*USGA Girls Golf and the LPGA Foundation. The LPGA is under the guidance of Commissioner Michael Whan and is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Commissioner Michael Whan
Michael Whan is the eighth commissioner of the LPGA. Whan assumed the leadership role at the LPGA on Jan. 4, 2010, with an eye toward enhancing business relationships, increasing exposure for the players and maximizing the LPGA experience for fans. He has led a resurgence of the LPGA by developing innovative events and partnerships, embracing the global makeup of the Tour and piloting the “See Why It’s Different Out Here” marketing campaign that focuses on the unique and approachable personalities of the LPGA’s players.
LPGA Tour Membership
Today’s LPGA Tour features the most talented global group of professional athletes who, in 2017, will compete in 34 official money events in 15 countries. Of the more than 530 LPGA Tour members, approximately 220 are active competitors throughout the season. Of that group, 125 are international members representing 32 different countries
The LPGA Professionals Membership
The LPGA Professionals membership (formerly LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals) was established in 1959 as an outgrowth of the LPGA Tour membership and has enjoyed an unprecedented rate of growth in recent years. The LPGA boasts the largest membership of women golf professionals in the world. With more than 1,700 members, the LPGA Professionals are dedicated to the advancement of golf through teaching, managing golf facilities and coaching.
The LPGA has earned a reputation as the leader in research-based golf education. It provides its members with section, regional and national programs that further the LPGA’s commitment to offering state-of-the-art education in golf teaching methods and techniques.
The LPGA offers members seminars and conferences; tournaments with opportunities to win purse money; employment services; online education; junior golf programs and more. Members of LPGA Professionals also teach and support the LPGA’s various grassroots programs that increase the involvement of women and youth in golf, as well as contribute to the overall growth of the sport, including LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, LPGA Tour Junior Clinics, the LPGA Lesson Zone presented by Volvik, LPGA Clinics for Women, Nike Junior Golf Camps and others.
The LPGA Foundation
The LPGA Foundation was established in 1991 and is committed to being a leader in improving the lives of girls and women through the game of golf. Its mission is to empower, inspire and transform the lives of girls and young women through the game of golf.
The LPGA Foundation administers several scholarship programs for young women who enjoy the game of golf and plan to attend college. Qualifications for all scholarships include strong academic programs, community service and recommendations. The LPGA Foundation’s structure also allows for the establishment of endowed scholarships in honor or in memory of individuals who made a significant difference in the world of golf. The four existing scholarships are the Dinah Shore Scholarship, the Marilynn Smith Scholarship, the Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarship and the Goldie Bateson Scholarship.
LPGA-USGA Girls Golf
The major golf program for juniors under the umbrella of The LPGA Foundation is LPGA-USGA Girls Golf (Girls Golf), a national developmental golf program for girls. LPGA-USGA Girls Golf is an expanded program modeled after the LPGA Girls Golf Club, which was established in Phoenix in 1989 by LPGA Professional Sandy LaBauve. It became an initiative of The LPGA Foundation in 1994.
The only national initiative of its kind, Girls Golf is aimed at introducing girls to the game of golf and empowering them with confidence, friendships and life skills.
Throughout its 20-year history, Girls Golf has empowered a total of more than 300,000 girls through golf — now impacting 60,000 more young women each year. More than 380 Girls Golf programs are operated by local site directors and golf professionals in communities across the country. These program directors (along with the assistance of staff, coaches and/or volunteers) coordinate golf clinics, professional instruction, outings, competitive events and social activities for their members.
LPGA Board of Directors
The responsibility for oversight and guidance of the management of the LPGA lies with the LPGA Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is composed of six independent directors; the LPGA Player Directors (Player Executive Committee); Deb Vangellow, the national president of the LPGA Professionals; and Michael Whan, commissioner of the LPGA.
The Symetra Tour, the official development and qualifying tour of the LPGA, prepares the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. The top-10 money winners each season earn membership on the LPGA Tour, and it counts such fan favorites as Inbee Park, Gerina Piller and Mo Martin among its alumnae.
For more information Visit SymetraTour.com
LPGA Tour Qualifying
Each year, the LPGA Tour holds two qualifying stages and one Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament. The top qualifiers move on to compete in the 90-hole Final Qualifying Tournament at LPGA International in December. The number of spots available at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament vary from year to year and are announced prior to each competition.
For more information on how to qualify for the LPGA Tour, or to receive an application for this year’s qualifying competitions, contact LPGA Operations at 386-274-6200.
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