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A few thoughts on what it takes to make it on the LPGA Tour

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Many young juniors aspire to play professionally. With all the coverage that the PGA and even Web.com Tours get, junior boys have a pretty good idea of what it takes to not only play on the PGA Tour but also thrive.

With less coverage of the LPGA Tour, junior girls have to dig a little deeper to figure out what it takes to make it to the LPGA and thrive on that tour. Using the stat categories on the LPGA Tour, and looking at the person at spot 100 for each of these categories, will give junior girls good insight to making it on tour.

Let’s start with how much money is earned by the 100th ranked player (Brianna Do, pictured in the featured image) for the 2018 season. You may think earning $113,220 is a pretty good living. For most jobs this is great, but being on the LPGA Tour you’ll have to consider all the expenses. Securing sponsors is a must to be able to actually thrive on the tour.

Next up, let’s learn what you have to shoot to earn that $113K. For the 2018 season, a 72.61 scoring average got you ranked 100th. This shows how “good these girls are.” Averaging just a hair over par for the season is very impressive when considering all the stress the players are under. Throughout the season not only do you need to keep it around par to just be ranked 100th, you also need to shoot under par in one third of your rounds.

So, just like setting goals you have to break down those goals to manageable action steps. The goal of averaging 72 and posting red number one out of three rounds can be broken down to the skills that get you there. The game, even on the women’s side is leaning towards the power game. And this is highlighted by the fact that by hitting it off the tee 250 yards on average lands you at number 100 for driving distance. Keep building up your speed and your smash factor.

While power is a plus, Mark Brodie’s research will lead you down the path of the importance of hitting the green in regulation. Also Scott Fawcett of DECADE can further enhance the importance of not only hitting the green, but when to be aggressive for flags. The LPGA player finding herself ranked 100th for GIR hits 65 percent, and if you’re curious the best player hit 78 percent GIR during 2018 season.

There are definitely more skills to focus on to be able to make your way to the tour and thrive on the tour. Hopefully this highlights a few areas to cast light on reality of how close older juniors or college players are as they pursue their dreams. Take it from someone who gave it a shot, put the work in and enjoy the journey.

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Erin is the Director of Student Athlete Development and Women's Golf Coach at Wingate University. Erin holds a Masters of Arts in Sports Management from Wingate University and is Class A member of the PGA of Canada, a member of the Women’s Golf Coaches Association, and two time SAC Coach of the Year. She aims to help guide student athletes through their time at Wingate, making connections of what they learn in their sport and how they can apply it their careers after graduation.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. dj

    Feb 12, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    “LPGA like the WNBA just doesn’t attract viewers at a high rate….just the way it is.”

    That being said, this article does expound upon the idea that LPGA players are very good and it takes dedication and hard work to make a living playing golf.

    • Tom

      Feb 12, 2019 at 6:32 pm

      Yeah, takes a lot of dedication to practice….perhaps that’s why Asians seem to dominate now.

  2. Tom

    Feb 12, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    LPGA like the WNBA just doesn’t attract viewers at a high rate….just the way it is.

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Club Junkie

Club Junkie: Callaway Jaws Raw wedge review and Strackaline’s yardage and green reading books

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Review of the new Callaway Jaws Raw wedge and the new Z Grind sole on the lob wedge. Great spin and improved shape make it my choice over the Jaws MD5. Strackaline’s yardage and green reading books are highly detailed and catch all the slopes on the green.

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: An in-person guest visit from the Dominican Republic

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Shawn and Munashe tag team their efforts with Roberto. Whom we have had the pleasure to host in the last Month.

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Opinion & Analysis

2022 John Deere Classic: Outright Betting Picks

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After an incredible week of golf at the Travelers Championship, the PGA Tour makes one final stop at TPC Deere Run to play the John Deere Classic. Last year, we saw Lucas Glover capture his first win in more than a decade by firing a final round 64 to claim victory.

TPC Deere Run is a 7,268-yard par 71 located in Silvis, Illinois. The course historically fails to present a major challenge to golfers with easy-to-hit fairways and bentgrass greens. Most players will have short approach shots into the greens, and the event often turns into a bit of a putting contest.

The John Deere Classic will play host to 156 golfers, and as expected, the field is considerably weaker than we have gotten used to this season.

After a long run of top tier events, many of the world’s top players are taking the week off.

A few of the notable golfers who will make the trip to the Midwest include Webb Simpson, Jason Day, Adam Hadwin, Denny McCarthy and Sahith Theegala.

2022 John Deere Classic Best Bets

Cameron Davis (+4000)

Cam Davis is a player who has the skill set I am targeting at TPC Deere Run this week. In the field, he ranks 17tin Strokes Gained: Putting on Bentgrass and 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach.

The Australian had some stretches last week at the Travelers where it looked like he was going to contend deep into the weekend and some other stretches where he struggled mightily. While the poor play at times was a bit of a concern, it wasn’t as important as what he showed when he was playing well.  In a weak field, we are betting on the ceiling of Cameron Davis.

The 27-year-old has already proven he can win on Tour and won at this time last year. It may not seem like it at first glance, but Davis offers us relative value in this field.

Cameron Champ (+5000)

It’s more likely than not that Cameron Champ plays horribly this week. He’s missed four consecutive cuts and has had a pretty disappointing year overall. However, if you play this event 50 times, I feel very confident in saying that Champ wins at least once. Therefore, there is relative value in betting the 27-year-old this week.

Since Champ has arrived on the scene in 2018, he’s already accumulated three PGA Tour victories. “Win equity” is a term I often use in these articles, and Champ is a great example of a golfer who finds a way to win more often than his odds tend to indicate.

Yes, there’s a good chance he struggles this week. But there’s also a chance he gains eight strokes putting and wins the tournament.

Chez Reavie (+5000)

Reavie comes to the John Deere Classic quietly playing some very good golf. He has four top 27 finishes in his past five starts, including an 8th place finish at last week’s Travelers Championship.

The 40-year-old is gaining an average of 3.7 strokes from tee to green in his past five events. In many ways, Reavie is a similar to player to Lucas Glover (who won this event last year). He is a strong iron player who is good with a wedge. If he can gain a few strokes putting instead of losing strokes to field as he typically does, he is super live to win at TPC Deere Run.

Chesson Hadley (+15000)

Chesson Hadley used an excellent Sunday to catapult him to a top-5 finish at the Travelers Championship. His excellent round of 64 was one shot shy of the low round of the day, and it’s within the realm of possibility that he can use the momentum to propel him into contention at the John Deere Classic.

In the past we’ve seen hot putters propel golfers to victory at TPC Deere Run. Hadley is a player who is capable of gaining an absurd number of strokes with the putter when he has it going.

The John Deere Classic is one of the few spots on the schedule where journeymen have been able to get it done and is as good of a spot as ever to end Hadley’s nine-year winless streak on Tour.

Brandon Wu (+15000)

Brandon Wu is a golfer who’s ceiling I believe in long-term. Since his second-place finish at the Mexico Open, he’s been quite disappointing, but this is a tournament where I believe in taking chances of golfers with a high upside.

The Stanford product has loads of talent. He won the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour Championship and beat out many players in this field in doing so.

This is a low risk, high reward bet on a golfer who is still developing on the PGA Tour.

Hayden Buckley (+15000)

Hayden Buckley is another golfer who is on the rise. He finished 14th in the U.S. Open, proving he has what it takes to compete on the PGA Tour.

In an event where I feel as though most any player in the field is live to win, it’s a good opportunity to bet a young up-and-comer in hopes that his ceiling comes to fruition against a weak field.

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