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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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