A new series of tournaments designed to raise the profile of women’s professional golf during the off-season is being launched with a tournament in China.
The China Women’s Open, which takes place between December 13-16, at Orient Golf & Country Club in Xiamen, China, is being used as a platform event to introduce the World Golf Series.
The new series will feature players from each major tour, who qualify via the Rolex World Women’s Golf Rankings and will comprise six tour-calibre events across Asia from late autumn to spring 2019-2020.
Ivan Khodabakhsh, the chief executive of the World Golf Series, said: “The China Women’s Open is a significant moment in the development of golf in the Asia Pacific region particularly, and is testimony to the shift toward an omnipresent sport culture among fans and TV viewers alike. The elite women’s tour players have brought a different tone of voice, which is very appealing to sponsors”.
The organisers of the World Golf Series say it is designed to fill a gap in the market for women’s golf during its long off-season and argue that the appetite of fans is not currently met during this period. They say the launch of the China Women’s Open is in part a response to an extensive consultation period with sport and business networks in the region.
TK Pen, the chairman of the World Golf Series, said: “Women’s golf needs to evolve to fit the new media and event landscape and I’ve received calls from several countries asking for a platform to showcase their top professional players in an open series without membership barriers.
“Rather than create another professional golf tour, I have decided to partner with Ivan to create a series of top tournaments that can meet these calls. It is synonymous to the One Belt initiative to create this series of events from Asia to the Middle-East providing players from all tours the opportunity to compete against each other in the traditional off-seasons .”
World Golf Series is a limited company registered in Hong Kong. Its main shareholder is Orient Golf.