The LPGA Stars of 2016

The LPGA Tour has seen some of the youngest female golfers to ever win on international-level competitions, but the 2016 season stood out in particular with an average winner’s age of only 22. The season lasted from January to November, with 33 tournaments held in over 14 countries. Out of the winners, two of them stand out in particular: Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand and Chun In- Gee from South Korea

 

Ariya Jutanugarn

 

21-year old Ariya Jutanugarn has made history in 2016 as the first Thai golfer to win a major championship after getting first place at the Women’s British Open last July, beating out Mirim Lee (S. Korea) and Mo Martin (USA), but what truly defined her success this season was her winning her first three titles in consecutive fashion – a first in LGPA history. She would later win her first major and another tournament in back-to-back fashion, bringing her LGPA season’s win count to 5.

Further cementing her success this season, Ariya also won the 2016 Rolex Player of the Year Award, 2016 Money Title, and being the first in the Race to the CME Globe title at 6,800 points, beating South Korea’s Lydia Ko by 1,750 points and earning her a $1 million bonus at the end of the season.

 

Awards:

Rolex Player of the Year
Race to the CME Globe
Money Winner

 

Tournaments Won:

Yokohama Tire Classic (May 8, 2016)

Kingsmill Championship (May 22, 2016)

LPGA Volvik Championship (May 29, 2016)

Ricoh Women’s British Open (July 31, 2016)

Canadian Pacific Women’s Open (August 28, 2016)

 

Season Earning:

$2,550,928

 

InGee Chun

22-year old In Gee Chun won this year’s Vare Trophy by having a scoring average of 69.583 after closing with a 2-under 70 in the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship. She barely won over Lydia Ko by a small margin of only 0.013 points. This makes her the second rookie to ever win the prestigious trophy, preceded by Nancy Lopez way back in 1978.

 

Aside from the Vare Trophy, Chun also won her second major victory by winning the Evian Championship. She also received the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year Award, finishing the season with one of the largest leads of all time. Her consistent performance has also allowed her to hold the number 3 spot in the Women’s World Rankings for nine straight weeks.

 

Awards:

Vare Trophy (Scoring Leader)

Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year

 

 

Tournaments won:

Evian Championship (Sep 18, 2016)

 

Season Earning:

$1,501,102

 

There are numerous other pro golfers who made waves during this season, which include the individual tournament winners, the leaders of the 5 majors, and those who have topped the Official Money and Scoring Average lists.

 

Most Tournaments Won

 

These players won the most number of tournaments during the 2016 LGPA Tour:

 

  1. Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) – 5 tournaments won, including 1 major
  2. Lydia Ko (New Zealand) – 4 tournaments won, including 1 major
  3. Ha Na Jang (South Korea) – 3 tournaments won

 

Majors Winners

 

Here are the winners of this year’s LPGA majors:

 

  1. ANA Inspiration – Lydia Ko (New Zealand)
  2. KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – Brooke Henderson (Canada)
  3. U.S. Women’s Open – Brittany Lang (USA)
  4. Ricoh Women’s British Open – Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand)
  5. Evian Championship – In Gee Chun (South Korea)

 

Top 5 Money Leaders

 

The following are the top five money leaders this 2016 season:

 

  1. Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) – $2,550,928 over 28 events
  2. Lydia Ko (New Zealand) – $2,492,994 over 24 events
  3. Brooke Henderson (Canada) – $1,724,409 over 31 events
  4. In Gee Chun (South Korea) – $1,501,102 over 19 events
  5. Shanshan Feng (China) – $1,458,579 over 21 events

 

Top 5 Average Score

 

Here is a list of the top five average scorers for the 2016 season:

 

  1. In Gee Chun (South Korea) – 69.583
  2. Lydia Ko (New Zealand) – 69.596
  3. Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) – 69.870
  4. Shanshan Feng (China) – 69.877
  5. Ha Na Jang (South Korea) – 69.976

 

With the 2017 LPGA Tour just around the corner, it’s time drop the curtain on what is sure to be remembered as one of the most exciting season in women’s golf. Follow the Swing Control Blog for more updates in the future!

2016 LPGA Tour Highlights

Another year of competitive golfing has come and gone, allowing us to witness a handful of young and promising players, unbelievable comebacks, and first-time winners. As we wait for the 2017 season that’s just around the corner, it’s a good time to review the amazing feats we’ve seen so far. Let’s take a look back at some of the best moments of the 2016 LPGA Tour.

 

ANA Inspiration (Mar 31 – Apr 3): Lydia Ko Becomes Youngest Two-Time Major Winner

 

Lydia Ko was already making waves when she won the Evian Championship in September 2015, where she became the youngest woman to ever win a major championship. In 2016, she emerged victorious from the ANA Inspiration tournament. Though Ko was initially able to take the lead due to Lexi Thompson’s shaky start, Jutanugarn shifted the game’s momentum by pulling off three-consecutive birdies. Ko, on the other hand, was unable to land a single birdie for nine consecutive holes. Unfortunately, Jutanugarn ended up landing bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes. Thus, Ko finished the course with a score of 12-under par, just one shot ahead of In Gee Chun and Charley Hull. Thus, she made history by becoming the youngest player—at 18 years, 11 months, and 9 days—to win two major championships.

 

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (Jun 9 – 12): Brooke Henderson Becomes Youngest Winner Ever

 

Brooke Henderson has always been a name to look out for in the golfing scene. During the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, she definitely made Canada proud as she faced off against Lydia Ko. Though the game began with Ko in the lead by two shots, Henderson drained a putt at par 5, 11th hole for eagle, turning the tables. Henderson eventually tied with Ko by landing a birdie putt at the par 3, 17th hole. On the 18th hole, Henderson won with an approach to three feet for birdie against Ko’s approach to 20 feet. Not only did 18-year-old Henderson win her first ever major championship, but she also became the youngest-ever victor of the tournament.

 

U.S. Women’s Open (Jul 7 – 10): Anna Nordqvist’s Delayed Penalty Leads to Brittany Lang’s Win

 

Though the U.S. Women’s Open may be the oldest of the five current championships, it’s one that’s become the center of a huge controversy. It seemed like it would be a tough play-off at the final hole for players Anna Nordqvist and Brittany Lang. However, the tides turned in Lang’s favor thanks to a delayed two-stroke penalty that was called on Nordqvist because her club touched the sand in a bunker on the second playoff hole. Unfortunately, Nordqvist was only informed of the penalty after she approach. Thanks to the two-shot lead, Lang was able to seal the win on the final playoff hole with a short par putt.

 

Ricoh Women’s British Open (Jul 28 – 31): Ariya Jutanugarn is Thailand’s First Ever Major Winner

 

Though it seemed like the trophy nearly slipped from her fingers, 20-year-old Ariya Jutanugarn won the Ricoh Women’s British Open at 16-under par. On the final round, Jutanugarn began with a score of 16-under par, creating a nearly five-stroke lead ahead of her competitors Mo Martin and Mirim Lee. Unfortunately, Jutanugarn landed double bogey at the par 4, 13th hole, closing the gap to just one stroke ahead of Lee. At the par 3, 17th hole, though, Jutanugarn managed to make a comeback, putting nearly 20-feet for a birdie, resulting in a two-stroke lead before the final hole.

 

Evian Championship (Sep 15 – 18): In Gee Chun Breaks Major Record with Lowest Ever 72-Hole Score

 

22-year-old South Korean In Gee Chun nearly lost her shot at the championship when her tee ended up in the left rough. Thankfully, she was able to recover by chopping back onto the fairway using a wedge and gliding her ball over the water. Once she sank the 10-feet putt, she finished with a score of 21-under par. Thus, she broke the record for the lowest winning score in a major tournament for both men and women. She has also made history as one of only two players whose first two LPGA wins came at majors. The other player was Chun’s compatriot Se Ri Pak, who made her mark back in 1998.

 

These defining moments make the 2016 LPGA Tour one of the most memorable seasons in the history of the LPGA and women’s golf as a whole. Stay tuned to the Swing Control Blog for more updates in the future!

Our Top 5 Favorite Golf Courses for Snowbirds

Is the winter season dampening both your spirits and your golfing experience? It’s understandable, of course. Compared to the warmer months of the year, winter poses a troublesome challenge for both golfers and golf course caretakers because the cold temperatures can result in turf loss, or a wet or snowy terrain. As such, some clubs opt to close down their courses until springtime arrives.

While it’s possible to enjoy rounds on a snow-covered green and fairway, it can be difficult because winter golf calls for different equipment and techniques. Plus, playing golf in freezing weather conditions can be tough or even unhealthy for some people. However, this doesn’t mean that you should put your clubs away this season. To keep those swinging and putting skills sharp this winter, you can head down south and play in courses where the turfs are evergreen!

Here are Swing Control’s favorite golf courses for snowbirds:

Shadow Creek

shadow creekBuilt over a 350-acre desert flatland in North Las Vegas, Nevada, by Las Vegas casino tycoon Steve Wynn and famous golf course architect Tom Fazio, this stunning 18-hole golf course is a refreshing sight amidst the region’s sandy landscape. With vibrant green trees, colorful flowers, and small waterfalls, Shadow Creek offers a magnificent yet challenging course layout.

This luxurious club lies within the Mojave Desert, so the climate is sunny and dry almost throughout the year. Winters are very mild, and even during the coldest days, you’ll only feel a bit chilly. Due to these conditions, the fairways almost never suffer from turf loss during the winter months. This makes Shadow Creek an ideal choice for those wanting to play golf away from the cold. Here, visitors can enjoy the club’s excellent facilities and play rounds of golf in any season. Keep in mind, though, that Shadow Creek is a highly exclusive golf club. To play here, you need to be a guest of an MGM resort or casino.

 

Los Angeles Country Club

Los Angeles Country ClubThe Los Angeles Country Club had its humble beginnings in the fall of 1897, when a group of local players comprising the Los Angeles Golf Club sought to promote golf, a game which was only starting to become popular at the time. It was then that the Los Angeles Country Club came to be. After a number of relocations due to overcrowding, this country club now sits proudly along Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.

In this century-old club, golfers can play in 36 holes surrounded by formidable bunkers. As Los Angeles enjoys a Mediterranean climate, the weather is often dry and mild, with low chance of rainfall. The winters here can range from cool to warm, with sunny skies dominating the weather pattern.

The club is set to host the 2017 Walker Cup Match in September next year, so you may see some up-and-coming golfers practicing their winning shots on the greens.

 

Monterey Peninsula Country Club

Monterey Peninsula Country ClubLocated on the coast of Pebble Beach, California, the Monterey Peninsula Country Club is sure to take your breath away with its
spectacular ocean views and picturesque verdant landscapes.

Established by environmentalist Samuel Finley Brown Morse in 1925, this 5-star platinum club is perfect for snowbirds. The weather around the Monterey Peninsula is consistent throughout the year: mild and not too hot or too cold. This comfortable environment allows golfers to focus on sharpening their skills.

You can improve your long and short game techniques by challenging the 15 oceanfront holes of the Dunes Course and the Shore Course. Both courses have hosted the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am from 1947 to 1966. After years of being excluded from the hosting rotation, the Monterey Peninsula Country Club will once again hold this prestigious golf tournament this coming February 2017. You also have the option of watching the thrilling matches as a spectator.

 

Augusta National Golf Club

Augusta National Golf ClubEstablished in 1933 by American golfer Bobby Jones and investment dealer Clifford Roberts, the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, has since become one of the most famous golf courses in the world. It ranked number 1 in Golf Digest’s 2009 list of America’s 100 greatest courses, and is currently ranked number 5 in Golfweek Magazine’s 2016 list of the best classic golf courses in the U.S.
Augusta National Golf Club is a favorite among many golfers during the colder months.

Augusta has a humid subtropical climate, so with winters being short and mild, snowbirds can tee off in comfort. As a former plant nursery, this club’s golf course is also teeming with a variety of stunning shrubs and magnificent tree specimens. You can hone your skills or enjoy a relaxing game in any one of its 18 holes.

This renowned golf club also has a long list of distinguished and high-profile members such as Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and IBM CEO Sam Palmisano. Esteemed pro golfers also frequent the course as the Augusta National Golf Club is known for hosting the annual Masters Tournament, a major championship game in professional golf.

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach Golf LinksDesigned and established by golf course architects Jack Neville and Douglas Grant in 1919, Pebble Beach Golf Links is a renowned golf course that has hosted some of the most exciting matches in golf history. Prominent tournaments for the the annual PGA Tour and the PGA Tour Champions, including the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, are often held in this distinguished golf course. It is also set to host the U.S. Open in 2019.

Aside from being home to many renowned golfing events, Pebble Beach Golf Links is also touted as one of the most beautiful courses in the world. With its beautiful ocean views, scenic rolling greens, and cliff-side fairways, it’s easy to see why. Moreover, the weather is always pleasant, even during the cold months.

As the chilliness of winter can affect your overall enjoyment of golf, it’s important to select a golf course that has favorable weather conditions. The golf courses listed here offer just that and more. Aside from their clement environments, these clubs also have great facilities and amenities that can help improve your performance. When you get there, make sure to check out the shops, where you can find Swing Control’s fabulous golf wear collections! Happy New Year!