Ladies European Tour: The LET's Schedule, Big Winners and History

Laura Davies tees off in the Women's British Open, a tournament on the Ladies European Tour.
Laura Daves, one of the Ladies European Tour's greatest, tees off in a Women's British Open. David Cannon/Getty Images

The Ladies European Tour (LET) is the top-level women's professional golf tour for Europe-based golfers. Membership is open to golfers of all nationalities and over time the tour has expanded to hold tournaments outside of Europe, including in Asia and the Middle East. Today, the tour plays as many tournaments outside of Europe as it does in the U.K. and Continental Europe.

As the top European golf tour for women, the LET is one of the world's top women's golf tours and its tournaments award ranking points for the Rolex Rankings, the women's world golf ranking system.

The Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour collaborate in running the Solheim Cup, one of the highest-profile events in women's professional golf.

The LET was founded in 1978 (originally called the WPGA — Women's Professional Golf Association —  Tour), and its first season of tournaments was in 1979. After a couple name changes, "Ladies European Tour" has been the official name since 2000.

Today the tour is headquartered at Buckinghamshire Golf Club outside of London. The tour's contact info:

Address
Buckinghamshire Golf Club
Denham Court Drive
Denham
Buckinghamshire
UB9 5PG
United Kingdom

Ladies European Tour Schedule

The LET uses a calendar-year schedule. Remaining tournaments in the circuit's 2017 season are:

    The 2018 LET schedule has not yet been released, but the following dates are confirmed:

    Relationship of LET and LPGA

    There is no formal partnership between the LPGA Tour (the world's top women's golf tour) and the Ladies European Tour. Winning the Order of Merit on the LET, for example, does not earn that golfer membership on the LPGA.

    But the two tours do partner to run the biggest event in women's golf, the every-other-year Solheim Cup. In the Solheim Cup, a team of American golfers from the LPGA Tour play a team of European golfers. While the majority of players on Team Europe in the Solheim Cup play on the LPGA, all of them have membership on the LET. (European golfers who do not have LET membership are ineligible for the Solheim Cup.)

    The tours also collaborate by co-sanctioning multiple tournaments each year, meaning that each tour has a hand in determining qualifications for those events, and each tour counts such tournaments as official events.

    Those tournaments include two majors, the Evian Championship and Women's British Open, plus the Ladies Scottish Open.

    In 2017, when several LET tournaments encountered financial woes and were canceled, and the LET's schedule shrank to just 14 tournaments, the LPGA (and men's European Tour) began discussions about creating a formal partnership with the LET. But as of this writing, nothing concrete has yet emerged.

    How to Qualify for the Ladies European Tour

    Membership on the LET is earned primarily through one of two ways: by finishing high enough in the LET's "tour school" series of qualifying tournaments; or by playing on the developmental tour, the LET Access Series, and earning promotion.

    The LET Access Series is the official developmental tour of the LET, and each year the top five finishers on the LETAS money list automatically earn LET membership.

    Players finishing 6-20 get to skip earlier stages of tour school and advance directly to the final tour school qualifying tournament.

    The official name of the LET's tour school is Lalla Aicha Tour School. There are three pre-qualifying tournaments that tour hopefuls can enter, one each in October, November, and December every year. Golfers who finish high enough in the pre-qualifiers advance into the Final Stage qualifier, played in Morocco in December. And the highest finishers at that Final Stage qualifier earn the right to play LET tournaments for the following season.

    Ladies European Tour Award Winners

    The LET has named a Player of the Year since 1995 and a Rookie of the Year since 1984. These are the golfers who've won those awards:

     Player of the YearRookie of the Year
    2016Beth AllenAditi Ashok
    2015Nicole Broch LarsenEmily Kristine Pedersen
    2014Charley HullAmy Boulden
    2013Lee-Anne PaceCharley Hull
    2012Carlota CigandaCarlota Ciganda
    2011Caroline HedwallCaroline Hedwall
    2010Lee-Anne PaceI.K. Kim
    2009Catriona MatthewAnna Nordqvist
    2008Gwladys NoceraMelissa Reid
    2007Bettina HauertLouise Stahle
    2006Gwladys NoceraNikki Garrett
    2005Iben TinningElisa Serramia
    2004Stephanie ArricauMinea Blomqvist
    2003Sophie GustafsonRebecca Stevenson
    2002Annika SorenstamKirsty Taylor
    2001Raquel CarriedoSuzann Pettersen
    2000Sophie GustafsonGiulia Sergas
    1999Laura DaviesElaine Ratcliffe
    1998Sophie GustafsonLaura Philo (Diaz)
    1997Alison NicholasAnna Berg
    1996Laura DaviesAnne Marie Knight
    1995Annika SorenstamKarrie Webb
    1994 Tracy Hanson
    1993 Annika Sorenstam
    1992 Sandrine Mendiburu
    1991 Helen Wadsworth
    1990 Pearl Sinn
    1989 Helen Alfredsson
    1988 Laurette Maritz
    1987 Trish Johnson
    1986 Patricia Gonzalez
    1985 Laura Davies
    1984 Kitrina Douglas

    LET Records and Top Golfers

    Nobody who has followed the Ladies European Tour over the years will argue this statement: Laura Davies is the greatest player in LET history.

    How can we be so sure? Davies holds the LET's all-time record for most victories with 45 wins — more than twice as many as the golfer in second place on that list. The winningest LET golfers are Davies with 45, then Dale Reid, 21 wins; Marie-Laure de Lorenzi and Trish Johnson with 19 each; Annika Sorenstam, 17; and Sophie Gustafson, 16.

    De Lorenzi has the tour's record for most wins in a single season with seven in 1988.

    The oldest winner of an LET tournament is Trish Johnson, who was 48 when she claimed the 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. The youngest winner is Atthaya Thitikul, who, at age 14, won the 2017 Ladies European Thailand Championship.

    The 18-hole scoring record (on a regulation-length and -par golf course) for LET tournaments is 61. That score was first achieved in 2005 by Kirsty Taylor at the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe. Since then, it's been matched by Nina Reis (2008), Karrie Webb (2010) and So Yeon Ryu (2012).

    The LET record for most strokes under par in a tournament is 29-under, set by Gwladys Nocera with a score of 259 at the 2008 Goteborg Masters.

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    Your Citation
    Kelley, Brent. "Ladies European Tour: The LET's Schedule, Big Winners and History." ThoughtCo, Nov. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/ladies-european-tour-4153284. Kelley, Brent. (2017, November 7). Ladies European Tour: The LET's Schedule, Big Winners and History. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/ladies-european-tour-4153284 Kelley, Brent. "Ladies European Tour: The LET's Schedule, Big Winners and History." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/ladies-european-tour-4153284 (accessed November 18, 2017).