Ten-year LPGA veteran Amy Olson has seen her fair share of fellow competitors quit professional golf due to financial struggles.
Even as the total LPGA prize money continues to climb, it’s still possible to make the cut and lose money on tour.
“You have to have a tour that provides sustainability for that next generation, and we don’t have that right now,” Olson told Golfweek back in Nov. 2022. Fast-forward to August of 2023 and the LPGA has taken a step forward.
Players who compete in all five of the LPGA’s major championships are guaranteed minimum payouts to help cover expenses. Starting this week, the LPGA will now be able to help offset player expenses at additional tournaments for the next five seasons thanks to a new multi-year partnership with Accenture.
Each of the 144 players in the field at this week’s Portland Classic will be guaranteed a minimum payout, same for those who tee it up at the Ascendant LPGA Benefiting Volunteers of America in October. Players who competed at the LOTTE Championship in April received a travel stipend to help cover costs associated with traveling to and from Hawaii. Golfers who played the Dana Open presented by Marathon in July also received a minimum payout.
“We are so proud to partner with Accenture as we work toward improving the financial opportunities of our players and providing new and innovative ways to engage with fans,” said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan via a release. “Through this partnership with Accenture, we are making further progress toward achieving pay equity and ensuring women and girls can pursue their dreams in the game of golf.”
Entry fees on the Epson Tour will be lowered by $50 across 20 events for the next five seasons, and Accenture will become the official Diversity, Equity and Inclusion partner for the developmental tour, as well. The company will also advise the LPGA’s metaverse strategy to help expand potential revenue opportunities for players, sponsors and partners.
“Combining tangible, immediate improvements, such as lower entry fees and looking to create future revenue streams for the league and its players through the metaverse is a path for driving inclusion and a culture of equality for women,” added Christie Smith, the senior managing director for Accenture’s Talent and Organization group. “The LPGA is taking the lead on this, but every sport will benefit from its example.”