LPGA commish discusses women's growth, Saudi PIF and rollback

LPGA commish discusses women's growth, Saudi PIF and rollback

LPGA commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan has a primary goal in mind this year: get more eyeballs on women’s golf.

She joined “Golf Central” on Wednesday, the eve of the LPGA’s season-opening Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

During two lengthy segments, Marcoux Samaan touched on a variety of topics. She first discussed the tour’s plan to draw more attention to the women’s game.
“We’re really digging in on the fans,” she said. “We always have the players and the partners at the center of our equation but also, this year, I think you’ll see a lot of fan growth, both at the tournaments, those following us on social, to the viewership, we’re really investing in growing our fan base.”

The commissioner was also asked by host Anna Jackson about why there was a postponement in December on a vote for the LPGA to merge with the Ladies European Tour. Marcoux Samaan didn’t offer specifics but said there was a player meeting next week in which the tour would “share more information with them” and then be able to provide a more public update.

Jackson also noted the LET’s relationship with Saudi Arabia (the Aramco Series) and asked Marcoux Samaan about the possibility of a future LPGA partnership with the Public Investment Fund.

Marcoux Samaan said there was “nothing new to report on that,” but that the tour was open to conversations as it continues to strive to be the leader in women’s golf.

“No. 1, we really believe that an unfractured women’s golf environment is critical to the growth,” she said. “Our mission is to be the global leader in women’s professional golf and then, really importantly, to use that platform to elevate and advance women. So any decision that we make on any partnership really goes back to that mission.”

Another topic discussed was the USGA’s and R&A’s decision to rollback the ball, beginning for professionals in 2028. Marcoux Samaan said that while she and the players didn’t perceive a distance problem in women’s golf, the tour would support the governing bodies’ decision.

“We’re supportive of keeping a unified golf environment and not have bifurcation,” she said.