R&A and European Tour to join LPGA-LET board and support joint venture
The R&A, the organiser of golf’s British Open, and the European Tour have pledged to support the Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Ladies European Tour after the organisations recently formed a joint venture.
The bodies said they will help the tours in their efforts “to significantly grow playing opportunities, financial incentives and television exposure for women’s professional golf in Europe and around the world.”
As well as providing financial support and leveraging other assets they manage, the European Tour and The R&A will each have one seat on the new LPGA-LET joint venture board of directors.
The two parties have vowed to provide “more velocity, energy and expertise” to help the newly formed LPGA-LET partnership.
The LPGA and LET were in talks for some time over how the US organisation could help the LET, which has struggled to attract event organisers and sponsors in recent years, putting financial pressure on professionals who only play on the European circuit.
The LET had already expressed hopes of increasing the number of events on its tour from 20 in 2019 to 27 this year.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, said: “Building a strong and sustainable Ladies European Tour is fully consistent with the aims of The R&A Women in Golf Charter. We support the vision of the LPGA-LET joint venture to create significantly more opportunities for women and girls here in Europe and to inspire future generations to take up the sport. We look forward to working with the LPGA-LET team as a board member of this important venture.”
Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, added: “The European Tour has already had the opportunity to host events involving LET members and we’ve seen their talent and drive first-hand. Looking ahead to our 2020 schedule, we have added another new, co-sanctioned event with the LET in Sweden and are pursuing similar opportunities in other markets.
“The women professionals bring a different dynamic and fan base to the game – all of which improves our sport – and we look forward to building a strong women’s professional presence through this new collaborative approach.”