Women’s Golf Is Run by Golf Saudi? Three Key Insights as More Details Regard the LPGA-LET Merger Vote Failure Come to Light

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An important alliance between the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour was to be involved, as men’s golf was heading toward a merger between the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and the DP World Tour. But in November 2023, the prospective merger that had been discussed since 2022 was postponed.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was once again the cause of the delayed merger. This season, it’s Golf Saudi, a longtime LET partner, in place of LIV Golf. The merger of the Tours was delayed because the enterprise had certain concerns about the LPGA Tour-LET merger. Three distinct features of Golf Saudi and the degree to which LPGA and LET can operate independently are raised by the latest reports surrounding the merger’s postponement.

The Ladies European Tour gathered with its shareholders on November 21, 2023, to cast votes over the merger agreement with the LPGA Tour. For the agreement to become a reality, the Tour need a 60% vote in support of it. But the Ladies European announced that “additional information received” was the basis for the meeting’s adjournment, delaying the voting indefinitely.

It has now been revealed that the Golf Saudi was the actual cause. The company sponsors two separate events and is a partner of the Ladies European Tour. The core of the problem was highlighted in a letter from LPGA Tour commissioner Mollie Marcoux, which Golf Saudi sought to know the specifics of as LET’s partner. Golfweek was the first to report this letter. The talks with Golf Saudi are “constructive and collaborative,” according to this letter. Here are the three main lessons to be learned from Golf Saudi’s engagement in light of the merger.

1. Golf Saudi could be a good partner for the LPGA Tour to work with: A crucial component of the Ladies European Tour is Golf Saudi. It provides sponsorship for the five Aramco Team Series ($1 million apiece) and the Aramco Saudi Ladies International ($5 million). Up to $10 million in prizes will be awarded for these two competitions combined.

It represents one-third of the €34 million ($37.037 million) total prize money awarded by the LET. Consequently, Golf Saudi maintains a substantial advantage regarding the future of the LPGA Tour and LET merger. Their input is still very important, and the financial infusion is also very important because it encourages growth and innovation in women’s golf. Even though they won’t acknowledge it, the LPGA Tour could wish to sponsor women’s golf as it gains much-deserved reputation around the world.

2. The Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour might ultimately combine: The LPGA Tour and LET’s official agreement will expire in just two years, in 2024. That is, assuming the merger is finalized, delivering tour cards as promised and co-sanctioned events.

Furthermore, the Ladies European Tour requires the merger to continue for stability and future existence, while the LPGA Tour requires support from Golf Saudi for increased payouts. In order to expedite the merger process and ultimately benefit both Tours, both will essentially bend.

3. Golf Saudi fulfilled what LIV was unable to: Golf Saudi is a part of the same enterprise that brought LIV Golf to the men’s golf scene with support from the Public Investment Fund. But the golf world had a different interpretation of both. Golf Saudi is hardly ever condemned or makes headlines, but LIV Golf is primarily critiqued daily for its presence.

This may be because to the perception of LIV Golf as the PGA Tour’s adversary and their practice of stealing Tour pros. Conversely, Golf Saudi provided fresh and creative options for the Ladies European Tour players to play golf and ensure their future. The stark contrast forced the LPGA Tour to view Golf Saudi as a valuable partner in lieu of an adversary.

Ultimately, Golf Saudi Arabia’s financial support is necessary for both the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA. As previously mentioned, Golf Saudi injects substantial sums of money into the European Circuit. The LPGA Tour and LET merger would not materialize as planned if their thoughts were not taken into consideration. However, it is reported that the merger meeting will take place prior to the last LET event in Spain.


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