|Current season, competition or edition:|
2023 LPGA Tour
|Founder||13 original LPGA players|
|Commissioner||Mollie Marcoux Samaan|
|Country||United States, with events in other countries around the world|
|Most titles||Kathy Whitworth (88)|
|TV partner(s)||NBC Sports|
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is an American organization for female golfers. The organization is headquartered at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Florida, and is best known for running the LPGA Tour, a series of weekly golf tournaments for elite women professional golfers from around the world.
Other "LPGAs" exist in other countries, each with a geographical designation in its name, but the U.S. organization is the first, largest, and most prestigious. The LPGA is also an organization for female club and teaching professionals. This is different from the PGA Tour, which runs the main professional tours in the U.S. and, since 1968, has been independent of the club and teaching professionals' organization, the PGA of America.
The LPGA also administers an annual qualifying school similar to that conducted by the PGA Tour. Depending on a golfer's finish in the final qualifying tournament, she may receive full or partial playing privileges on the LPGA Tour. In addition to the main LPGA Tour, the LPGA also owns and operates the Epson Tour, formerly the Futures Tour, the official developmental tour of the LPGA. Top finishers at the end of each season on that tour receive playing privileges on the main LPGA Tour for the following year.
The LPGA is the oldest continuing women's professional sports organization in the United States. It succeeded the WPGA (Women's Professional Golf Association), which was founded in 1944 but stopped its limited tour after the 1948 season and officially ceased operations in December 1949. The WPGA was founded by Ellen Griffin, Betty Hicks, and Hope Seignious.
The LPGA was founded in 1950 at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wichita, Kansas. Its 13 founders were: Alice Bauer, Patty Berg, Bettye Danoff, Helen Dettweiler, Marlene Hagge, Helen Hicks, Opal Hill, Betty Jameson, Sally Sessions, Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork, Louise Suggs, and Babe Zaharias. Patty Berg was its first president. The founders were elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame as a group in 2023 though six had already been inducted individually.
The first LPGA tournament was the 1950 Tampa Women's Open, held at Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club in Tampa, Florida. Ironically, the winner was amateur Polly Riley, who beat the stellar field of professional founders.
In 1956, the LPGA hosted its first tournament outside the United States at the Havana Open in Havana, Cuba.
In 1996, Muffin Spencer-Devlin became the first LPGA player to come out as gay.
In 2001, Jane Blalock's JBC Marketing established the Women's Senior Golf Tour, now called the Legends Tour, for women professionals aged 45 and older. This is affiliated with the LPGA, but is not owned by the LPGA.
Since 2006, the LPGA has played a season-ending championship tournament.
Michael Whan became the eighth commissioner of the LPGA in October 2009, succeeding the ousted Carolyn Bivens. Whan is a former marketing executive in the sporting goods industry.
After a lawsuit filed by golfer Lana Lawless, the rules were changed in 2010 to allow transgender competitors. In 2013, trans woman Bobbi Lancaster faced local scorn for attempting playing in Arizona's Cactus Tour and attempting to qualify in the LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
In 2018, the LPGA acquired an amateur golf association, the Executive Women's Golf Association (EWGA), and expanded its emphasis to include amateur golfers in the U.S. and North America. Initially called the LPGA Women Who Play, the amateur organization was rebranded as the LPGA Amateur Golf Association. The LPGA Amateur Golf Association has member-operated chapters throughout North America and the Caribbean.
In 2010, total official prize money on the LPGA Tour was $41.4 million, a decrease of over $6 million from 2009. In 2010 there were 24 official tournaments, down from 28 in 2009 and 34 in 2008. Despite the loss in total tournaments, the number of tournaments hosted outside of the United States in 2010 stayed the same, as all four lost tournaments had been hosted in the United States. By 2016, the number of tournaments had risen to 33 with a record-high total prize money in excess of $63 million. In 2019, a new record was set with total prize money amounting to $70.5 million (a rise of over $5 million in one year).
In its first four decades, the LPGA Tour was dominated by American players. Sandra Post of Canada became the first player living outside the United States to gain an LPGA tour card in 1968. The non-U.S. contingent is now very large. The last time an American player topped the money list was in 2014 (Stacy Lewis), the last time an American led the tour in tournaments won was in 2020 (Danielle Kang), and from 2000 through 2009, non-Americans won 31 of 40 major championships.
Particularly, one of the notable trends seen in the early 21st century in the LPGA is the rise and dominance of Korean golfers. Se Ri Pak's early success in the LPGA sparked the boom in Korean women golfers on the LPGA Tour. In 2009, there were 122 non-Americans from 27 countries on the tour, including 47 from South Korea, 14 from Sweden, 10 from Australia, eight from the United Kingdom (four from England, three from Scotland and one from Wales), seven from Canada, five from Taiwan, and four from Japan.
As a United States-based tour, most of the LPGA Tour's events are held in the United States. In 1956, the LPGA hosted its first tournament outside the United States at the Havana Open in Havana, Cuba. In 2020, fourteen tournaments are held outside of the United States, seven events in Asia, four in Europe, two events in Australia, and one in Canada.
Five of the tournaments held outside North America are co-sanctioned with other professional tours. The Ladies European Tour co-sanctions the Women's British Open, The Evian Championship in France, and the Women's Australian Open (also co-sanctioned with the ALPG Tour). The other two co-sanctioned events—the BMW Ladies Championship (LPGA of Korea Tour) and Toto Japan Classic (LPGA of Japan Tour)—are held during the tour's autumn swing to Asia.
The LPGA's annual major championships are:
Since 2006, the LPGA has played a season-ending championship tournament. Through the 2008 season, it was known as the LPGA Playoffs at The ADT; in 2009 and 2010, it was known as the LPGA Tour Championship; and in 2011, the event became the CME Group Titleholders, held in November.
From 2006 through 2008 the LPGA schedule was divided into two halves, with 15 players from each half qualifying for the Championship based on their performance. Two wild-card selections were also included for a final field of 21 players. The winner of the LPGA Tour Championship, which features three days of "playoffs" plus the final championship round, earns $1 million.
In 2009, the Tour Championship field was increased to 120 players, with entry open to all Tour members in the top 120 on the money list as of three weeks prior to the start of the tournament. The total purse was $1.5 million with $225,000 going to the winner.
The CME Group Titleholders, which resurrects the name of a former LPGA major championship (the Titleholders Championship), was first played in 2011. From 2011 to 2013, its field was made up of three qualifiers from each official tour event during the season, specifically the top three finishers not previously qualified. Beginning in 2014, the field will be determined by a season-long points race. The winner of the points race will receive a $1 million bonus.
See also: 2023 LPGA Tour
The LPGA established the Hall of Fame of Women's Golf in 1951, with four charter members: Patty Berg, Betty Jameson, Louise Suggs, and Babe Zaharias. After being inactive for several years, the Hall of Fame moved in 1967 to its first physical premises, in Augusta, Georgia, and was renamed the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame. In 1998 it merged into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The LPGA Tour presents several annual awards. Three are awarded in competitive contests, based on scoring over the course of the year.
American golfer Nancy Lopez, in 1978, is the only player to win all three awards in the same season. Lopez was also the Tour's top money earner that season.
|Year||Player of the Year||Vare Trophy||Rookie of the Year|
|2022||Lydia Ko||Lydia Ko||Atthaya Thitikul|
|2021||Ko Jin-young||Lydia Ko||Patty Tavatanakit|
|2020||Kim Sei-young||Danielle Kang||–|
|2019||Ko Jin-young||Ko Jin-young||Lee Jeong-eun|
|2018||Ariya Jutanugarn||Ariya Jutanugarn||Ko Jin-young|
|2017|| Sung Hyun Park
So Yeon Ryu
|Lexi Thompson||Sung Hyun Park|
|2016||Ariya Jutanugarn||In Gee Chun||In Gee Chun|
|2015||Lydia Ko||Inbee Park||Sei Young Kim|
|2014||Stacy Lewis||Stacy Lewis||Lydia Ko|
|2013||Inbee Park||Stacy Lewis||Moriya Jutanugarn|
|2012||Stacy Lewis||Inbee Park||So Yeon Ryu|
|2011||Yani Tseng||Yani Tseng||Hee Kyung Seo|
|2010||Yani Tseng||Na Yeon Choi||Azahara Muñoz|
|2009||Lorena Ochoa||Lorena Ochoa||Jiyai Shin|
|2008||Lorena Ochoa||Lorena Ochoa||Yani Tseng|
|2007||Lorena Ochoa||Lorena Ochoa||Angela Park|
|2006||Lorena Ochoa||Lorena Ochoa||Seon Hwa Lee|
|2005||Annika Sörenstam||Annika Sörenstam||Paula Creamer|
|2004||Annika Sörenstam||Grace Park||Shi Hyun Ahn|
|2003||Annika Sörenstam||Se Ri Pak||Lorena Ochoa|
|2002||Annika Sörenstam||Annika Sörenstam||Beth Bauer|
|2001||Annika Sörenstam||Annika Sörenstam||Hee-Won Han|
|2000||Karrie Webb||Karrie Webb||Dorothy Delasin|
|1999||Karrie Webb||Karrie Webb||Mi Hyun Kim|
|1998||Annika Sörenstam||Annika Sörenstam||Se Ri Pak|
|1997||Annika Sörenstam||Karrie Webb||Lisa Hackney|
|1996||Laura Davies||Annika Sörenstam||Karrie Webb|
|1995||Annika Sörenstam||Annika Sörenstam||Pat Hurst|
|1994||Beth Daniel||Beth Daniel||Annika Sörenstam|
|1993||Betsy King||Betsy King||Suzanne Strudwick|
|1992||Dottie Mochrie||Dottie Mochrie||Helen Alfredsson|
|1991||Pat Bradley||Pat Bradley||Brandie Burton|
|1990||Beth Daniel||Beth Daniel||Hiromi Kobayashi|
|1989||Betsy King||Beth Daniel||Pam Wright|
|1988||Nancy Lopez||Colleen Walker||Liselotte Neumann|
|1987||Ayako Okamoto||Betsy King||Tammie Green|
|1986||Pat Bradley||Pat Bradley||Jody Rosenthal|
|1985||Nancy Lopez||Nancy Lopez||Penny Hammel|
|1984||Betsy King||Patty Sheehan||Juli Inkster|
|1983||Patty Sheehan||JoAnne Carner||Stephanie Farwig|
|1982||JoAnne Carner||JoAnne Carner||Patti Rizzo|
|1981||JoAnne Carner||JoAnne Carner||Patty Sheehan|
|1980||Beth Daniel||Amy Alcott||Myra Blackwelder|
|1979||Nancy Lopez||Nancy Lopez||Beth Daniel|
|1978||Nancy Lopez||Nancy Lopez||Nancy Lopez|
|1977||Judy Rankin||Judy Rankin||Debbie Massey|
|1976||Judy Rankin||Judy Rankin||Bonnie Lauer|
|1975||Sandra Palmer||JoAnne Carner||Amy Alcott|
|1974||JoAnne Carner||JoAnne Carner||Jan Stephenson|
|1973||Kathy Whitworth||Judy Rankin||Laura Baugh|
|1972||Kathy Whitworth||Kathy Whitworth||Jocelyne Bourassa|
|1971||Kathy Whitworth||Kathy Whitworth||Sally Little|
|1970||Sandra Haynie||Kathy Whitworth||JoAnne Carner|
|1969||Kathy Whitworth||Kathy Whitworth||Jane Blalock|
|1968||Kathy Whitworth||Carol Mann||Sandra Post|
|1967||Kathy Whitworth||Kathy Whitworth||Sharron Moran|
|1966||Kathy Whitworth||Kathy Whitworth||Jan Ferraris|
|1965||–||Kathy Whitworth||Margie Masters|
|1964||–||Mickey Wright||Susie Maxwell|
|1963||–||Mickey Wright||Clifford Ann Creed|
|1962||–||Mickey Wright||Mary Mills|
|Year||Player||Country||Earnings ($)||Most wins|
|2022||Lydia Ko||New Zealand||4,364,403||3 – Lydia Ko, Jennifer Kupcho|
|2021||Ko Jin-young||South Korea||3,502,161||5 – Ko Jin-young|
|2020||Ko Jin-young||South Korea||1,667,925||2 – Danielle Kang, Kim Sei-young|
|2019||Ko Jin-young||South Korea||2,773,894||4 – Ko Jin-young|
|2018||Ariya Jutanugarn||Thailand||2,743,949||3 – Ariya Jutanugarn, Sung Hyun Park|
|2017||Sung Hyun Park||South Korea||2,335,883||3 – Shanshan Feng, In-Kyung Kim|
|2016||Ariya Jutanugarn||Thailand||2,550,928||5 – Ariya Jutanugarn|
|2015||Lydia Ko||New Zealand||2,800,802||5 – Lydia Ko, Inbee Park|
|2014||Stacy Lewis||United States||2,539,039||3 – Lydia Ko, Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park|
|2013||Inbee Park||South Korea||2,456,619||6 – Inbee Park|
|2012||Inbee Park||South Korea||2,287,080||4 – Stacy Lewis|
|2011||Yani Tseng||Taiwan||2,921,713||7 – Yani Tseng|
|2010||Na Yeon Choi||South Korea||1,871,166||5 – Ai Miyazato|
|2009||Jiyai Shin||South Korea||1,807,334||3 – Jiyai Shin, Lorena Ochoa|
|2008||Lorena Ochoa||Mexico||2,754,660||7 – Lorena Ochoa|
|2007||Lorena Ochoa||Mexico||4,364,994||8 – Lorena Ochoa|
|2006||Lorena Ochoa||Mexico||2,592,872||6 – Lorena Ochoa|
|2005||Annika Sörenstam||Sweden||2,588,240||10 – Annika Sörenstam|
|2004||Annika Sörenstam||Sweden||2,544,707||8 – Annika Sörenstam|
|2003||Annika Sörenstam||Sweden||2,029,506||6 – Annika Sörenstam|
|2002||Annika Sörenstam||Sweden||2,863,904||11 – Annika Sörenstam|
|2001||Annika Sörenstam||Sweden||2,105,868||8 – Annika Sörenstam|
|2000||Karrie Webb||Australia||1,876,853||7 – Karrie Webb|
|1999||Karrie Webb||Australia||1,591,959||6 – Karrie Webb|
|1998||Annika Sörenstam||Sweden||1,092,748||4 – Annika Sörenstam, Se Ri Pak|
|1997||Annika Sörenstam||Sweden||1,236,789||6 – Annika Sörenstam|
|1996||Karrie Webb||Australia||1,002,000||4 – Laura Davies, Dottie Pepper, Karrie Webb|
|1995||Annika Sörenstam||Sweden||666,533||3 – Annika Sörenstam|
|1994||Laura Davies||England||687,201||4 – Beth Daniel|
|1993||Betsy King||United States||595,992||3 – Brandie Burton|
|1992||Dottie Mochrie||United States||693,335||4 – Dottie Mochrie|
|1991||Pat Bradley||United States||763,118||4 – Pat Bradley, Meg Mallon|
|1990||Beth Daniel||United States||863,578||7 – Beth Daniel|
|1989||Betsy King||United States||654,132||6 – Betsy King|
|1988||Sherri Turner||United States||350,851||3 – 5 players (see 1)|
|1987||Ayako Okamoto||Japan||466,034||5 – Jane Geddes|
|1986||Pat Bradley||United States||492,021||5 – Pat Bradley|
|1985||Nancy Lopez||United States||416,472||5 – Nancy Lopez|
|1984||Betsy King||United States||266,771||4 – Patty Sheehan, Amy Alcott|
|1983||JoAnne Carner||United States||291,404||4 – Pat Bradley, Patty Sheehan|
|1982||JoAnne Carner||United States||310,400||5 – JoAnne Carner, Beth Daniel|
|1981||Beth Daniel||United States||206,998||5 – Donna Caponi|
|1980||Beth Daniel||United States||231,000||5 – Donna Caponi, JoAnne Carner|
|1979||Nancy Lopez||United States||197,489||8 – Nancy Lopez|
|1978||Nancy Lopez||United States||189,814||9 – Nancy Lopez|
|1977||Judy Rankin||United States||122,890||5 – Judy Rankin, Debbie Austin|
|1976||Judy Rankin||United States||150,734||6 – Judy Rankin|
|1975||Sandra Palmer||United States||76,374||4 – Carol Mann, Sandra Haynie|
|1974||JoAnne Carner||United States||87,094||6 – JoAnne Carner, Sandra Haynie|
|1973||Kathy Whitworth||United States||82,864||7 – Kathy Whitworth|
|1972||Kathy Whitworth||United States||65,063||5 – Kathy Whitworth, Jane Blalock|
|1971||Kathy Whitworth||United States||41,181||5 – Kathy Whitworth|
|1970||Kathy Whitworth||United States||30,235||4 – Shirley Englehorn|
|1969||Carol Mann||United States||49,152||8 – Carol Mann|
|1968||Kathy Whitworth||United States||48,379||10 – Carol Mann, Kathy Whitworth|
|1967||Kathy Whitworth||United States||32,937||8 – Kathy Whitworth|
|1966||Kathy Whitworth||United States||33,517||9 – Kathy Whitworth|
|1965||Kathy Whitworth||United States||28,658||8 – Kathy Whitworth|
|1964||Mickey Wright||United States||29,800||11 – Mickey Wright|
|1963||Mickey Wright||United States||31,269||13 – Mickey Wright|
|1962||Mickey Wright||United States||21,641||10 – Mickey Wright|
|1961||Mickey Wright||United States||22,236||10 – Mickey Wright|
|1960||Louise Suggs||United States||16,892||6 – Mickey Wright|
|1959||Betsy Rawls||United States||26,774||10 – Betsy Rawls|
|1958||Beverly Hanson||United States||12,639||5 – Mickey Wright|
|1957||Patty Berg||United States||16,272||5 – Betsy Rawls, Patty Berg|
|1956||Marlene Hagge||United States||20,235||8 – Marlene Hagge|
|1955||Patty Berg||United States||16,492||6 – Patty Berg|
|1954||Patty Berg||United States||16,011||5 – Louise Suggs, Babe Zaharias|
|1953||Louise Suggs||United States||19,816||8 – Louise Suggs|
|1952||Betsy Rawls||United States||14,505||8 – Betsy Rawls|
|1951||Babe Zaharias||United States||15,087||9 – Babe Zaharias|
|1950||Babe Zaharias||United States||14,800||8 – Babe Zaharias|
1 The five players with three titles in 1988 were Juli Inkster, Rosie Jones, Betsy King, Nancy Lopez, and Ayako Okamoto.
The table below shows the top-10 career money leaders on the LPGA Tour (from the start of their rookie seasons) as of August 6, 2023.
Active players on the Tour are shown in bold.
|3||Cristie Kerr||United States||1997–present||20,179,848||596|
|4||Inbee Park||South Korea||2007–present||18,262,344||305|
|5||Lydia Ko||New Zealand||2014–present||16,891,433||216|
|8||Stacy Lewis||United States||2009–present||14,493,255||335|
|9||Juli Inkster||United States||1983–2022||14,018,391||714|
|10||Lexi Thompson||United States||2012–present||13,698,315||233|