Ladies European Tour: The LET's Big Winners and History

Laura Davies tees off in the Women's British Open, a tournament on the Ladies European Tour.
Laura Daves, one of the Ladies European Tour's greatest, tees off in a Women's British Open. David Cannon/Getty Images

The Ladies European Tour (LET) is the top-level women's professional golf tour for Europe-based golfers. Membership is open to golfers of all nationalities and over time the tour has expanded to hold tournaments outside of Europe, including in Asia and the Middle East. Today, the tour plays as many tournaments outside of Europe as it does in the U.K. and Continental Europe.

As the top European golf tour for women, the LET is one of the world's top women's golf tours and its tournaments award ranking points for the Rolex Rankings, the women's world golf ranking system.

The Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour collaborate in running the Solheim Cup, one of the highest-profile events in women's professional golf.

The LET was founded in 1978 (originally called the WPGA — Women's Professional Golf Association — Tour), and its first season of tournaments was in 1979. After a couple name changes, "Ladies European Tour" has been the official name since 2000.

For the list of coming events, with dates and locations, see the schedule section of the LET website.

Today the tour is headquartered at Buckinghamshire Golf Club outside of London. The tour's contact info:

Buckinghamshire Golf Club
Denham Court Drive
United Kingdom

Relationship of LET and LPGA

The two tours partner to run the biggest event in women's golf, the every-other-year Solheim Cup. In the Solheim Cup, a team of American golfers from the LPGA Tour play a team of European golfers. While the majority of players on Team Europe in the Solheim Cup play on the LPGA, all of them have membership on the LET. (European golfers who do not have LET membership are ineligible for the Solheim Cup.)

The tours also collaborate by co-sanctioning multiple tournaments each year, meaning that each tour has a hand in determining qualifications for those events, and each tour counts such tournaments as official events. Those tournaments include two majors, the Evian Championship and Women's British Open, plus the Ladies Scottish Open.

In 2019, the LPGA and LET announced a more formal relationship between the two tours that included the LPGA assisting with marketing, tournament promotion and development.

How to Qualify for the Ladies European Tour

Membership on the LET is earned primarily through one of two ways: by finishing high enough in the LET's "tour school" series of qualifying tournaments; or by playing on the developmental tour, the LET Access Series, and earning promotion.

The LET Access Series is the official developmental tour of the LET, and each year the top five finishers on the LETAS money list automatically earn LET membership. Players finishing 6-20 get to skip earlier stages of tour school and advance directly to the final tour school qualifying tournament.

The official name of the LET's tour school is Lalla Aicha Tour School. There are three pre-qualifying tournaments that tour hopefuls can enter, one each in October, November, and December every year. Golfers who finish high enough in the pre-qualifiers advance into the Final Stage qualifier, played in Morocco in December. And the highest finishers at that Final Stage qualifier earn the right to play LET tournaments for the following season.

Ladies European Tour Award Winners

The LET has named a Player of the Year since 1995 and a Rookie of the Year since 1984. These are the golfers who've won those awards:

  Player of the Year Rookie of the Year
2019 Marianna Skarpnord Esther Henseleit
2018 Georgia Hall Julia Engstrom
2017 Georgia Hall Camille Chevalier
2016 Beth Allen Aditi Ashok
2015 Nicole Broch Larsen Emily Kristine Pedersen
2014 Charley Hull Amy Boulden
2013 Lee-Anne Pace Charley Hull
2012 Carlota Ciganda Carlota Ciganda
2011 Caroline Hedwall Caroline Hedwall
2010 Lee-Anne Pace I.K. Kim
2009 Catriona Matthew Anna Nordqvist
2008 Gwladys Nocera Melissa Reid
2007 Bettina Hauert Louise Stahle
2006 Gwladys Nocera Nikki Garrett
2005 Iben Tinning Elisa Serramia
2004 Stephanie Arricau Minea Blomqvist
2003 Sophie Gustafson Rebecca Stevenson
2002 Annika Sorenstam Kirsty Taylor
2001 Raquel Carriedo Suzann Pettersen
2000 Sophie Gustafson Giulia Sergas
1999 Laura Davies Elaine Ratcliffe
1998 Sophie Gustafson Laura Philo (Diaz)
1997 Alison Nicholas Anna Berg
1996 Laura Davies Anne Marie Knight
1995 Annika Sorenstam Karrie Webb
1994   Tracy Hanson
1993   Annika Sorenstam
1992   Sandrine Mendiburu
1991   Helen Wadsworth
1990   Pearl Sinn
1989   Helen Alfredsson
1988   Laurette Maritz
1987   Trish Johnson
1986   Patricia Gonzalez
1985   Laura Davies
1984   Kitrina Douglas

LET Records and Top Golfers

Nobody who has followed the Ladies European Tour over the years will argue this statement: Laura Davies is the greatest player in LET history.

How can we be so sure? Davies holds the LET's all-time record for most victories with 45 wins — more than twice as many as the golfer in second place on that list. The winningest LET golfers are Davies with 45, then Dale Reid, 21 wins; Marie-Laure de Lorenzi and Trish Johnson with 19 each; Annika Sorenstam, 17; and Sophie Gustafson, 16.

De Lorenzi has the tour's record for most wins in a single season with seven in 1988.

The oldest winner of an LET tournament is Trish Johnson, who was 48 when she claimed the 2014 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. The youngest winner is Atthaya Thitikul, who, at age 14, won the 2017 Ladies European Thailand Championship.

The 18-hole scoring record (on a regulation-length and -par golf course) for LET tournaments is 61. That score was first achieved in 2005 by Kirsty Taylor at the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe. Since then, it's been matched by Nina Reis (2008), Karrie Webb (2010) and So Yeon Ryu (2012).

The LET record for most strokes under par in a tournament is 29-under, set by Gwladys Nocera with a score of 259 at the 2008 Goteborg Masters.