LPGA Players to Compete in Every Event


Ty Votaw, the LPGA Commissioner, announced in his annual State of the Tour address that the top-90 players on the money list must compete in every tournament on the LPGA schedule during a four-year period.
The program will begin in 2003 and all players who are in the top-90 on the money list for those four years must visit every official event on the docket in that time frame.
'What I said to the players was very simple - our customers in this context are the tournaments,' said Votaw. 'If you are not going to go into a tournament at least once every four years, you are ignoring that customer, which is essential for our future growth. We are requiring as a condition of membership for them to make this a requirement, to play once every four years.'
No penalty was announced for failure to meet this requirement but Votaw said he has 'four years to determine what the penalty is.'
Votaw also announced that efforts will be made to enhance the marketability of the tour through a program called the Five Points of Celebrity as illustrated by Dr. Betsy Clark, a professional development group leader who worked with the golfers at the Player Summit a few weeks ago.
The Five Points of Celebrity are performance, approachability, joy and passion, relevance and even appearance.
'In terms of the Five Points of Celebrity, if youre a 10 on the performance scale, but are lacking in relevance and joy or passion or approachability or appearance, you are going to be less marketable than someone who embodies more of those or all five of those,' Votaw said.
'I think that resonated with them, not because we said it, because people outside the organization came to them and said, This is what the marketplace is expecting from sports entertainers today. Once that happened, you saw a buy-in pretty quickly from the players.'
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