LET and LPGA, joint venture is moving away

In late 2023, members of the Ladies European Tour (LET) gathered to discuss and vote on the potential merger with the LPGA, a deal that had been in the works for some time, with the aim of reviving the circuit

by Andrea Gussoni
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LET and LPGA, joint venture is moving away
© Getty Images Sport - Mike Ehrmann / Staff

In late 2023, members of the Ladies European Tour (LET) gathered to discuss and vote on the potential merger with the LPGA, a deal that had been in the works for some time, with the aim of reviving the circuit. However, the vote did not take place, as at the last minute the LET board mysteriously removed the item from the agenda, without providing any explanation.

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Recently, Golfweek obtained a document sent by Mollie Marcoux Samaan, the commissioner of the LPGA, to the players, which shows that Golf Saudi, a division of the Saudi public fund PIF, requested full details of the merger before confirming their commitments financial statements for the 2024 LET season.

It is important to note that the PIF fund is also a shareholder in Aramco, which sponsors seven LET events with a total prize pool of $11 million. It is clear that a possible decision by Golf Saudi and Aramco to withdraw their financial support would represent a serious financial threat to the European circuit.

To avoid losing a source of funding that represents almost a third of the season's total prize money, the LET had to abandon the idea of a merger with the largest women's professional golf circuit, even overlooking the potential benefits that this merger could have bring.

This means that, at the moment, the joint venture between LET and LPGA, signed in November 2019, remains in force, but plans for a possible future merger seem increasingly distant. The Ladies European Tour (LET) is a professional golf tour exclusively for women, established in 1978.

Its headquarters are located at Buckinghamshire Golf Club, near London, England. Similar to many sports organizations in the United Kingdom, LET is structured as a company limited by guarantee. This legal structure allows LET to prioritize maximizing returns for its members through prize money, rather than focusing on generating profits for investors.

The tour is managed by a dedicated board of directors and a Players' Council. The majority of the tour's participants are of European origin, although it boasts members from over 40 different countries worldwide. The LET organizes golf tournaments spanning across five continents, making it a truly international platform for women's professional golf.

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