International Federation of PGA Tours expandsJune 16, 2009
PGA TOUR staff
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours has announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership that will include additional professional golf tours, including -- for the first time -- women's golf tours.
The following professional golf organizations have accepted an invitation to become members of the International Federation of PGA Tours:
China Golf Association Korea Professional Golfers' Association Professional Golf Tour of India LPGA Tour Ladies European Tour Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour Japan LPGA Korean LPGA Ladies Asian Golf Tour
"The International Federation of PGA Tours has served the valuable role of providing a forum for the exchange of concepts and ideas among the world's leading professional golf tours over the last 15 years," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "It is altogether appropriate that we continue these important mutual exchanges of ideas and bring to the table those additional professional golf organizations that have developed since the formation of the Federation, as well as the women's professional golf tours that have similar interests."
"Over the last decade, the European Tour has expanded its presence into many areas of the world outside Europe," said European Tour Chief Executive George O'Grady. "In doing so, we have come to recognize that all Tours around the world will be better served by an expanded forum for the discussion of issues facing professional golf on the global stage."
"This is an important milestone as the global impact of our sport will only continue to grow in the years ahead," said LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens. "The LPGA Tour currently plays in 10 countries with golfers representing nearly 30 different countries, so we look forward to participating in closer collaboration with our international friends in the industry. We will work together to not only grow each Tour but also expand the opportunities for girls and women around the world to enter and compete in this remarkable sport."
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf's five world governing bodies -- the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world's professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis. As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999.
The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999, while the Canadian Tour and the Tour de las Americas joined the Federation as associate members in 2000 and 2007, respectively. As part of the restructure, the Canadian Tour and the Tour de las Americas will join the new, expanded membership.
The expanded membership of the Federation will meet a minimum of once per year. Setting the agendas for Federation meetings and overseeing the general affairs of the Federation will now be conducted by an executive committee composed of the PGA TOUR, the European Tour and the LPGA. The executive committee will meet at various times throughout the year. The operational aspects of the World Golf Championships will continue to be overseen by a committee composed of the original members of the Federation (Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and the Sunshine Tour).