Founded in 1950, the LPGA is the highest level of women’s golf in the world. The circuit has 33 tournaments during the season, and like the PGA, the ladies play in major events.
Unlike its male counterparts the LPGA plays five major golf tournaments in three different countries. The first of the majors is the ANA Inspiration tournament. Taking place in the spring, it tees of the majors that run until the autumn.
The ANA Inspiration debuted in 1972. In the beginning, it offered the highest prize purse of any LPGA event. However, today it offers the lowest prize fund ($2.8 million).
Held during the last weekend of March, the ANA Inspiration is always played at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.
The tournament became an LPGA major in 1983, and today, it remains one of the top golf events for the women’s game. There is a special moment at the end of every ANA Inspiration tournament in which the winning golfer jumps into Popppie’s Pond. The water hazard surrounding the 18th hole. It is now one of the most unique sports celebrations in the world.
U.S. Women’s Open
The U.S. Women’s Open is the oldest of the five LPGA major tournaments. The tournament had originally been played in July for much of its existence. However, in recent years, the U.S. Women’s open has been played in late May and early June.
Established in 1942, the tournament brings together the best women’s professional amateur golfers. The U.S. Women’s Open rotates to a different course each year. The tournament was played at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club in Alabama in 2018. Over the next five years, it will alternate between the American southeast, south and west coast.
The 2018 prize fund was set at $5m, which is the highest of the five women’s majors.
Women’s PGA Championship
The Women’s PGA Championship is the second longest running major on the LPGA circuit. Played at the end of June and the beginning of July, the tournament was first held in 1955.
The tournament moves around the country to various golf courses. For several years, the tournament had remained at one golf club for multiple events, before relocating again. However, since 2014, the tournament has been more nomadic and it has changed sites every season.
The tournament’s current prize fund is set at $3.65m. The Women’s PGA Championship is the only LPGA major run by the PGA. Except for one year, 2005, the tournament has always had a staunch rule of professionals only in the tournament.
Women’s British Open
Currently played in August, the Women’s British Open is the fourth LPGA major on the calendar. The tournament rotates between host sites and in 2018 it will be held at Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England. It will be the fifth time the tournament has been held at the golf course.
Offering a prize fund of $3.25m, the Women’s British Open tournament was designed to be the ladies’ equivalent to the men’s Open Championship. Despite nearly being ended in the early 1980s due to a lack of interest from major link courses in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the tournament has found its niche. The event’s popularity continues to grow.
Only two players have ever won the Women’s British Open more than once. Taiwan’s Yani Tseng has won the tournament on two occasions. The wins came in back-to-back years (2010, 2011). South Korea’s Jiyai Shin has also won the event twice, winning in 2008 and 2012. Since 2001, South Korean golfers have won six Women’s British Open tournaments.
The Evian Championship resides at the Evian Resort Golf Club in France. It is played every September and brings a close to the LPGA majors. The tournament wasn’t originally an LPGA major, rather it was one of two Ladies European Tour majors. Started in 1994, the tournament didn’t join the LPGA’s majors list until 2011.
The LPGA plans to move the Evian Championship to August as the September date provides too many conflicts for the sport. The 2018 event will see the tournament changed to a 54-hole event and $3.85m will be awarded from the prize fund.