Since the rise of female players in golf, major tournaments were also held for them. Here are the 5 Women’s Major Tournaments:
ANA Inspiration is an event of the LPGA Tour formerly known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship and had multiple name changes depending on who is the title sponsor. ANA stands for All Nippon Airlines, a Japanese carrier that became the title sponsor in 2015. It was founded in 1972 by entertainer Dinah Shore, a strong supporter of women’s golf and the LPGA, and became a major tournament in 1983. Among the title sponsors were Colgate, Kraft Nabisco, and Dinah Shore.
It is the first female major of the year, usually played in the month of March or April and held annually at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California operated and managed by the global sports and event management company, IMG (International Management Group).
Fun Fact: It is customary to jump in the pond next to the 18th green known as the Champion’s Lake or Poppie’s Pond for the winner of the tournament. It was done to pay honor to Terry Wilcox who was the tournament director from 1994 to 2008. Wilcox was called Poppie by her grandchildren thus where the name derived. It started when 1988 winner Amy Alcott did this then was followed by Donna Andrews in 1994. Since then it became a yearly tradition for the winner to jump to the pond.
Women’s PGA Championship
The Women’s PGA Championship is a continuation of the LPGA Championship under a new name. It is now a tournament with the collaboration powers of the LPGA and PGA Championship. Their partnership started in 2014 which made a lot of both good and bad responses from players and supporters. Wegmans, KPMG, Mazda, and McDonald’s are some of the big companies who became title sponsors. It is played annually in rotation among prestigious courses across the United States every June. A controversy revolves around Michele Wie’s play during the 2005 Women’s PGA championship where they changed the rule to qualify amateurs in the tournament because it is a professional-only play. This is believed to be a publicity strategy to attract more media coverage and sell more tickets. The next year the qualification format returned due to many objections.
US Women’s Open Championship
Established in 1946, The United States Women’s Open Golf Championship is the oldest among the LPGA Tour’s five major championships. It is also one of the thirteen national championships organized by USGA (United States Golf Association) and is held every July. Any professional or amateur female golfers with at least 2.4handicap, without upper or lower age limit, are qualified to participate. The youngest qualifier to ever play the US Women’s Open were 11-year-old Lucy Li back in 2004. It is not globally recognized as a major championship unlike the US Open because LPGA is a more dominant tour in women’s golf than USGA. The Ladies European Tour does not sanction any of the 3 majors held in the US while LPGA of Japan Tour has its own set of majors.
Women’s British Open Championship
Women’s British Open was established by the Ladies’ Golf Union in 1976. It is held every mid-week of July or early August but relatively moved to mid-September and is not exclusively played on link courses unlike in the Open Championships’ link-only policy. It was co-sanctioned by the Ladies’ European Tour and LPGA Tour in 1994 championship.
The Evian Championship
Formerly known as the Evian Masters before, the Evian Championship held in France in 2013 became the fifth and newly added major tournament for women. It is the final major championship of the year held every September at the Evian Masters Golf Club in Evians-les-Bains in France. The tournament is co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and the LET.