The Women's Golf Revolution: An In-Depth Look at the Ladies European Tour

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The Women's Golf Revolution: An In-Depth Look at the Ladies European Tour

Ladies European Tour is the most prestigious professional women’s golf tour in Europe. Founded in 1978, LET provides female golfers opportunities to showcase their talent by competing at global level.


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The Women's Golf Revolution: An In-Depth Look at the Ladies European Tour



The Ladies European Tour plays a significant role in promoting women’s professional golf across Europe, inspiring female golfers at all levels of the game. The Tour's founding members battled against the odds to increase opportunities for women in golf when resources were limited, and many believed it should only remain an amateur pursuit. Today LET is bigger than ever and the 45th season of the Tour is in full swing. This season is bigger than any other, and calls for us to remember all those women who worked hard to make it successful. 


So let's dive into the history of the prestigious women's golf tour to celebrate the incredible achievements of the pioneering founders, iconic players, and dedicated officials who have made the LET one of the most successful and respected professional golf tours in the world.

What Is Ladies European Tour?

The Ladies European Tour (LET) is a global golf tour operated by Ladies European Golf Venture Limited. This private limited company was founded in England in 1978 with an aim to give young girls and women an opportunity to showcase their golfing skills and pursue a career in the game they are passionate about.


Today LET boasts a diverse and multicultural membership of 316 professional female golfers representing 36 countries, mostly European. The Tour operates tournaments across five continents, and most of the money generated by the games go to its members in the form of prize money.

How Was the Ladies European Tour Founded? 

How Was the Ladies European Tour Founded?

Golf is an incredibly popular sport amongst European women, but there was a time when no attempts were made to promote the game amongst them. Professional women's golf was not a thing in Europe until 1978 when the Professional Golfers' Association of Great Britain and Ireland set up the Women's Professional Golfer's Association

A year later, in 1979, the Women's Professional Golf Association, in sponsorship with Carlsberg and others, established a tour comprising 12 golf tournaments. Each of these tournaments was to be played over 36 holes. The WPGA also planned several other golf tournaments exclusively for women, including the Women's British Opens- a major championship in women's golf today. 


The first two tours, held in 1979 and 1980, were played over 36 holes, and both seasons were a hit. So in 1981, it was decided that the tournaments would be played over 54 holes. The prize money was also increased from £80,000 in the inaugural season to £250,000 in 1981, but things didn't go as planned. Many of the Tour's sponsors backed out, leading to several lost tournaments and pro-amps. At the end of the third season in 1981, the Tour's most prominent sponsor, Carlsberg, also withdrew the sponsorship and left the WPGA in deep water. 


The fourth season of the ladies tour was held in 1982, but it didn't do well due to the lack of resources and sponsors. Many events were cancelled, and the circuit was left with ten tournaments from which only a few female golfers could make money. WPGA had started strong, but by the end of the fourth tour, the association's future began to look dark. 


Despite all the struggles, the WPGA continued to strive to provide European female golfers with more opportunities on the professional level. Its biggest breakthrough came in 1986 when LPGA officially recognized WPGA. This meant that the WPGT members were allowed to compete in LPGA events for greater exposure and the opportunity to earn more prize money.


In 1988, the Women's Professional Golfers' European Tour (WPGT) members disassociated from the Professional Golfer's Association of Great Britain and Ireland. And so, an independent company named the Women Professional Golfers' European Tour Limited was formed to give the Tour more autonomy and control over its affairs. With financial and administrative support from the International Management Group (IMG), Women Professional Golfers' European Tour Limited moved away from the PGA's headquarters and established its new headquarters at the Tytherington Club in Cheshire. 


Becoming an independent company was a key moment in the Tour's history as it helped them shape their future for the better. In the 1990s, the Tour continued to work for the interest of professional female golfers, expanding its schedule and adding events in countries such as Italy, Denmark, and Germany. In 1998, the Tour changed its name again before finally settling with Ladies European Tour Limited in July 2000. In the early 2000s,  the Ladies European Tour struggled to find sponsors again, but just like the last time, it stabilised again. 


Today, the Ladies European Tour is an incredibly important part of the women's professional golf landscape. Every year tournaments are held across five continents and broadcast live to inspire young girls worldwide. 

Founding Members Of Ladies European Tour:

A Image of Founding Members Of Ladies European Tour:


When LET was founded in 1978, several strong-willed women played a crucial role in helping it get through the initial struggling years and grow into the most prestigious Tour in the golf world.Catherine Rita Panton-Lewis and Vivien Saunders are two of the most recognised golfers who contributed to improving women's golf.

Catherine Rita Panton-Lewis
Catherine Rita Panton is a professional golfer from Scotland who worked tirelessly for the growth of women’s professional golf. She was one of founding members of the Ladies European Tour and also topped the tour’s first Order Of Merit. Catherine’s golfing skills and popularity helped her score sponsorships to keep the tour flourishing. 

Vivien Saunders:
Saunders is a retired professional golfer from England who was the driving force behind the Women's Professional Golf Association and Ladies European Tour formation. Sunders always believed that female golfers need representation at a professional level and worked closely with other women in the golf community to develop a plan for the Tour and secure support from potential sponsors. 

LET Current Board Of Directors

LET Current Board Of Directors

LET is run by a board of directors and a player's council. Currently, the Ladies European Tour has 7 directors divided into two categories.


Player Directors:

Non-Executive Directors:
Enrique López De Ceballos Reyna
Martin Slumbers

How To Qualify For the Ladies European Tour?

How To Qualify For the Ladies European Tour

To qualify for the Ladies European Tour (LET), women golfers must meet the eligibility criteria set by the LET.


The LET has two main categories for eligibility: 


  • LET Membership Category: 

To become a member of the LET, players must either:

Finish high enough on LET's "tour school" series of qualifying tournaments, held annually. Or finish in the top 80 of the LET Order of Merit (money list) at the end of the previous season. 


Another way is to play on the developmental Tour known as the Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS). LETAS is conducted yearly, and the top five on the LETAS money list automatically qualify for the upcoming Ladies European Tour.


  • Tournament Invitations: 

Players who do not meet the above criteria can still participate in LET tournaments if they receive a tournament invitation from the LET or the tournament organiser. These invitations are typically extended to players who have succeeded in other golf tours or events.

Ladies European Tour Winners

Every LET season, the participants can win Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year awards. The Player Of The Year award is granted to the Player who has performed the best throughout the season based on a points system. The Rookie Of The Year is given to the best-performing rookie on the Tour in a given season. A rookie is defined as a player who has not previously been a full-time member of the LET. 


Here is the list of all the female golfers who have won these awards from 1999 to 2022. 


Player Of The Year

Rookie Of The Year


Linn Grant

Linn Grant


Atthaya Thitikul

Atthaya Thitikul


Emily Kristine Pedersen

Stephanie Kyriacou


Marianna Skarpnord

Esther Henseleit


Georgia Hill

Julia Engstrom


Georgia Hill

Camille Chevalier


Beth Allen 

Aditi Ashok


Nicole Broch Larsen

Emily Kristine Pedersen


Charley Hull

Amy Boulden


Lee-Anne Pace

Charley Hull


Carlota Ciganda

Carlota Ciganda


Caroline Hedwall

Caroline Hedwall


Lee-Anne Pace

I.K. Kim


Catriona Matthew

Anna Nordqvist


Gwladys Nocera

Melissa Reid


Bettina Hauert

Louise Stahle


Gwladys Nocera

Nikki Garrett


Iben Tinning

Elisa Serramia


Stephanie Arricau

Minea Blomqvist


Sophie Gustafson

Rebecca Stevenson


Annika Sorenstam

Kirsty Taylor


Raquel Carriedo

Suzann Pettersen


Sophie Gustafson

Giulia Sergas


Sophie Gustafson

Giulia Sergas


Ladies European Tour Top Golfers & Record Holders 

Since 1987, the Ladies European Tour has seen a lot of talented female golfers competing to win the titles and making a name for themselves in the magnificent game of golf. While all of the Ladies European Tour golf are reputable, some have inspired the world with their skills and determination to be the best.  


Amongst the most popular Ladies European Tour golfers are:


Laura Davies

Laura Davies is undoubtedly the most accomplished female golfer England has ever seen. She joined the Ladies European Tour in 1985 and set the record by winning LET 45 times. Laura is also the only non-American golfer who won 20 LPGA tours and finished at the top of the LPGA money list. 


Dale Reid:

Second, to Laura Davies is Dale Reid- a Scottish female golf player known for having an incredible LET career. She played in the Ladies European Tour from 1979 to 2005 and had 21 tournament victories. 


Marie-Laure de Lorenzi:

Marie is a French professional golf player who ranks 3rd on the list of Most LET wins. Marie has won 19 tours and is now a lifetime member of LET. 


Patricia Marie Trish Johnson

Trish has also won a total of 19 LET tours and shares the 3rd rank with Marie- Laure.


Annika Sorenstam:

Annika Sorenstam is a Swedish professional golfer famous for being undefeated. She's won 17 LET tours and 72 official LPGA tournaments, including ten majors. Today, in her early 50s, Annika is still competing and winning golf tournaments. 

Ladies European Tour 2023 Schedule 

The Ladies European Tour has come a long way since its humble beginning in 1978. The current CEO of LET, Alexandra Armas, recently announced the Tour's 45th season schedule. According to Alexandr,  the 45th season will comprise 30 official Ladies European Tour events. The players will be competing for a total of €35 million, which is the greatest prize fund for LET. The 2023 global schedule revealed that the tournaments will take place in 21 different countries, starting with the Magical Kenya Ladies Open and ending with Andalucia Costa Del Sol Open De Espana in Spain. 


While announcing the tour schedule, Alexandra Armas talked about how excited she is for the 2023 tour and claimed that season 2023 will be bigger and better than all the previous ones. The season will run from February to November 2023, giving professional female golfers a chance to win the audience's hearts with their performance. 


The Tour Schedule For 2023 is as follows:
Magical Kenya Ladies Open
Date: 2-5 February
Lalla Meryem Cap
Date: 9-11 February
Aramco Saudi Ladies International 
Date: 16-19 February 
Joburg Ladies Open
Date: 1-4 March
Investec South African Women’s Open
Date: 8-11 March
Aramco Team Series- Singapore 
Date: 17-19 March
Thailand Event
Date: 30 March- 2 April
Thailand Event
Date: 6-9 April
Jabra Ladies Open
Date: 11-13 May
Aramco Team Series- Florida
Date: 19-21 May
Mithra Belgian Ladies Open
 Date: 26-28 May
Helsingborg Open
 Date: 2-4 June
Volvo Car Scandinavian Mix 
Date: 8-11 June
Amundi German Master
 Date:15-18 June
Tipsport Czech Ladies Open 
Date: 23-25 June
Ladies Open by Pickala Rock Resort 
Date: 29 June- 1 July
Aramco Team Series – London
 Date: 4-16 July
La Sella Open 
Date: 20-23 July
Amundi Evian Championship 
Date: 27-30 July
Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open
 Date: 3-6 August
AIG Women’s Open 
Date: 10-13 August
ISPS Handa World Invitational 
Date: 17-20 August
KPMG Women’s Irish Open 
Date: 31 August-3 September 
Big Green Egg Open 
Date: 8-10 September 
VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open 
Date: 15-17 September 
The Solheim Cup 
Date: 22-24 September 
Lacoste Ladies Open De France 
Date: 28-30 September
Aramco Team Series – Asia
Hero Women’s Indian Open 
Date: 26-29 October
Aramco Team Series – Riyadh
 Date: 3-5 November 
Andalucía Costa Del Sol Open de Espana
 Date: 23-26 November 


The Ladies European Tour proves that anything is achievable with determination and hard work. If you are a golf enthusiast and want to make a name for yourself in the golfing world, never lose hope. If women in the 1980s could establish a prestigious tour, you can also achieve your goals and dreams. 



What is the Ladies European Tour Money List?

LET money list is a ranking system that ranks the Ladies European Tour players according to the prize money they win throughout the season. The Player who earns the most prize money at the end of the season is ranked first on the money list, and so on. The money list is updated after each event, and players can track their position on the list throughout the season.


The money list is also called the merit list, as it helps determine who qualifies for various events and who earns status on the Tour for the following year.


What is LET Q School?

Ladies European Tour Qualifying School is an annual tournament that allows female golfers to earn a place on the Ladies European Tour (LET) for the following season. The LET Q school graduates of 2022 who have proven their skill and qualified for the Ladies European Tour 2023 include Polly Mack, Alexandra Försterling, Natasia Nadaud, Ana Belac, Trichat Cheenglab, Albane Valenzuela, Emma Spitz, Gabriela Ruffels, Kristen Rudgeley, Annabel Dimmock, Sophie Housmann, Emma Nilson, Tereza Melecka, Tiffany Arafi, Maiken Bing Paulsen, Amalie Leth Nissen, Paz Marfa Sans, Linnea Johansson, Aline Krauter, Madelene Stavnar, Lea-Anne Bramwell, Louise Duncan, Yuri Onishi, and Alessandra Fanali.


Who qualified for LET 2023 at the end of the LET AS 2022 season?

At the end of the 2022 LET AS season, six lucky women earned an entry in the 2023 Ladies European Tour. Those include Sara Kouskova from the Czech Republic, Chiara Noja from Germany, Momoka Kobori from New Zealand, Patricia Isabel Schmidt from Germany, Lauren Holmey from the Netherlands, and Anna Magnusson from Sweden.