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LPGA History and Legacy

A professional golf organization for women, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. The organization is best known for operating the LPGA Tour, which attracts the best female golfers in the world to compete in weekly golf tournaments from February to December each year.

A professional golf organization for women, the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. The organization is best known for operating the LPGA Tour, which attracts the best female golfers in the world to compete in weekly golf tournaments from February to December each year.

History

In 1944, the first women’s golf association was established. Though the organization only lasted five years, until 1949, the Women’s Professional Golf Association (WPGA) proved in its brief history that a professional women’s organization was needed.

The LPGA was founded in 1950 by 13 courageous women who wanted to play golf. The organization struggled to establish a year-long circuit of tournaments, but the founders’ dream of establishing a teaching division was realized in 1959.

In 1963, the LPGA received its first television coverage during the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open Championship. By the end of the 1960s, prize money had grown to $600,000 and there were 34 women’s golf events on the schedule.

Women’s professional golf made a major shift from a player-run organization to a modern business in 1975 when the LPGA hired its first commissioner, Ray Volpe. Under Volpe’s leadership, the organization grew, and by 1979 annual prize money reached $4.4 million.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, an influx of new young stars and sophisticated college and high school sports programs infused the LPGA with excitement and a larger following. By 1996, annual tour prize money exceeded $25 million and 26 of the tour’s 38 events received television coverage.

A Legacy of Leadership in Women’s Golf

In 1959, the LPGA established its teaching division, which was later named the Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Division. An organization of golf professionals with more than 1,500 members, LPGA T&CP is dedicated to advancing golf through coaching, managing golf facilities and teaching.

Hall of Fame

In 1959, the Hall of Fame for Women's Golf was established at the Augusta Country Club. In 1967, the LPGA voted to establish its own Hall of Fame. The first members of the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame included those LPGA members who were already inducted into the Hall of Fame of Women’s Golf. The inaugural inductees were Patty Berg, Betty Jameson, Louise Suggs and Babe Zaharais, 1951; Betsy Rawls, 1960, and Mickey Wright, 1964. 

In 1998, the LPGA Tour Hall of Fame merged with the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida.

International Interest

The LPGA was dominated by American golfers in the first 40 years of its existence. That is no longer the case. The most dominant country on the LPGA Tour over the past decade has been South Korea. Se Ri Pak experienced great success early in her career. This inspired a massive amount of women in South Korea to start playing golf. In 2009, of the 122 non-American players on the LPGA Tour, 47 of them were from South Korea.

LPGA Courses in Palm Coast, Florida

One of Florida’s newest cities (incorporated in 1999), Palm Coast offers a vibrant lifestyle and a lush natural environment. With 70 miles of saltwater and fresh water canals, Palm Coast is a subtropical paradise perfect for family vacations and golf getaways.

In Palm Coast, affordable golf deals allow you to play on the same courses as the talented women of the LPGA.

1. LPGA International - Hills Course

Voted in the Top 50 golf courses by "Golf for Women Magazine," the Hills Course has been the home of the NCAA Championship, Florida State Golf Association Championships and the ADT Season Ending Championship. Packages start at $333 for three nights and three rounds of golf.

2. LPGA International - Jones Course

This course acts as the final stage of the LPGA Qualifying School. Jones Course has hosted a wide variety of local, state and national championships. Serene panoramas feature numerous lakes, nature preserves and marsh areas. Packages start at $333 for three nights and three rounds of golf.