Olivia Cowan, 2015 LETAS Order of Merit winner
A line up of 14 tournaments in nine European countries and equal prize money for men and women at their respective Norwegian Opens are among the highlights of the 2016 LET Access Series (LETAS) schedule, announced today.
In the year that golf returns to the Olympic Games, the female LETAS players will enjoy rare equal billing with their male counterparts from the Nordic League when they compete for equal prize money of €50,000 at the Ladies Norwegian Open.
Mirroring the format of the successful Victorian Opens in Australia, won last year by Richard Green and his fiancée Marianne Skarpnord, the men’s and ladies’ Norwegian Opens will be played on different courses until the final round, when play turns to Skjeberg Golf Klubb, where the men and women will compete on the same golf course in alternate groups.
Bringing the men’s and women’s games together will help to further promote the game of golf in the Nordic Region, where this year there are seven LETAS tournaments, including three offering purses of €40,000: the Drobak Ladies Open, PGA Halmstad Ladies Open and Norrporten Ladies Open.
The 2016 LETAS season begins in France, with the Terre Blanche Ladies Open starting on March 31, followed by the ASGI Ladies Open in Switzerland (28 – 30 April), the Ribeira Sacra Patrimonio de la Humanidad Ladies Open in Spain (11 – 13 May), the PGA Halmstad Ladies Open by Haverdal (19 – 21 May) and the Boras Ladies Open (17 – 19 June) both in Sweden, the CitizenGuard LETAS Trophy (14 – 16 July) in Belgium, the Norrporten Ladies Open (4 – 6 August) in Sweden, the Drobak Ladies Open (11 – 13 August) and the Ladies Norwegian Open (18 – 20 August) both in Norway, the LETAS Finland Ladies Open in Finland (26 – 28 August), the Elisefarm Ladies Open (15 – 17 Sept) in Sweden, the Strasbourg Ladies Series (22 – 24 Sept) in France, the Azores Ladies Open in Portugal (TBC), before Stoke by Nayland in England once again hosts the season-ending WPGA International Challenge from October 6-8. Following the final event of the season, the top five players on the 2016 Ranking will earn Membership of the Ladies European Tour.
“Now in our seventh year of operations, we are delighted to present a full schedule allowing players to compete on a week by week basis,” said LETAS Tour Director Di Barnard. “We are very appreciative of the continued strong support shown to our organisation by so many federations, promoters, officials, media and volunteers as our developing players take their important first steps in professional golf.”
The LET Access Series (LETAS) is the official feeder tour to the Ladies European Tour (LET) and the competitive international circuit is a key part of the organisation’s development pathway. All female professional golfers and amateurs with a handicap of 2 or better are eligible for Membership of LETAS providing they are over 18 years of age. More than 250 professional and 200 elite amateur golfers compete in tournaments during the year, facilitating a smooth transition between the amateur and professional game and providing high level playing opportunities and experience. Former LETAS tournament winners who have achieved success on the Ladies European Tour include the 2014 Rookie of the Year Amy Boulden and Nicole Broch Larsen, who was voted as the 2015 Players’ Player of the Year.
2016 LETAS Schedule:
March 31 – 2nd April, Terre Blanche Ladies Open, Golf de Terre Blanche, Domaine de Terre Blanche, France - €30,000
April 28 - 30, ASGI Ladies Open, Gams-Werdenberg Golf Club, Switzerland - €30,000
May 11 – 13, OCA Augas Santas Ladies International Open, Augas Santas Balneario & Golf Resort, Spain - €35,000
May 19 – 21, PGA Halmstad Ladies Open by Haverdal, Haverdal Golf Club, Sweden - €40,000
June 17 – 19, Boras Ladies Open, Boras Golf Club, Sweden - €35,000
July 14 – 16, CitizenGuard LETAS Trophy, Royal Waterloo Golf Club, Lasne, Belgium - €30,000
August 4 – 6, Norrporten Ladies Open, Sundsvall Golf Club, Kvissleby, Sweden - €40,000
August 11 – 13, Drobak Ladies Open, Drobak Golf Club, Drobak, Norway - €40,000
August 18 – 20, Ladies Norwegian Open, Skjeberg Golf Club, Borgenhaugen, Norway - €50,000
August 26 – 28, LETAS Finland Ladies Open, Hillside Golf Club, Vihti, Finland - €35,000
Sept 15 – 17, Elisefarm Ladies Open, Elisefarm Golf Club, Horby, Sweden - €35,000
Sept 22 - 24, Strasbourg Ladies Series, Golf Club de Strasbourg, Illkirch- Graffenstaden, France - €30,000
TBC, Azores Ladies Open, Golf de Batahla, Sao Miguel Island, Azores - €30,000
Oct 6 – 8, WPGA International Challenge, Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa, Levenheath, England - €30,000