Not long ago the future of the Ladies European Tour (LET) looked rather murky. Even with some of the top emerging talent in the game coming from the countries within their governance area, their schedule was stalling and the line-up of sponsors was rarely dependable.
Their destiny all became clearer and more hopeful today with the word that they have aligned with the LPGA in a “joint venture partnership” intended to continue to growth of the professional women’s game around the world.
“The combination of the LET’s European expertise and relationships in the region, with the LPGA’s global strength and worldwide exposure, and 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,” was part of the statement released jointly about the new deal.
Members of the LET approved the arrangement on Tuesday at the Tour’s annual membership meeting in Spain.
“Two teams, joining for one common purpose, will create opportunities we simply could not have pursued on our own,” said LET Board Chair Marta Figueras-Dotti. “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.”
By shoring up the LET, the LPGA helps drive their goals to promote the game globally and create more opportunities for aspiring players as well as those being inspired to play among the fan base. It’s a win-win for both.
“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,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “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.”
The venture will be jointly managed by the LPGA and the LET and, through their combined resources, will seek to fast track an expanded LET schedule. This year’s LET schedule currently includes 20 official events in 13 different countries, with eight of those events in Europe, including two major championships, The Evian Championship and the AIG Women’s British Open.
The partnership aims to immediately increase playing opportunities for women in Europe, and to have that schedule growth lead to both increased financial opportunities and an optional pathway to the LPGA for the tour’s top performers.