- Espirito Santo Trophy
Espirito Santo Trophy
The Espirito Santo Trophy is the world amateur team golf championship for women, organized by the International Golf Federation (originally called the World Amateur Golf Council) and it’s the female equivalent of the men’s Eisenhower Trophy which sometimes takes place around the same time at the same venue.
It all started back in 1964, with a French Golf Federation proposal to host an informal match against the US Curtis Cup team that was playing against Great Britain & Ireland in Wales. The USGA accepted the invitation but suggested other nations might also take part to form a women’s counterpart to the Eisenhower Trophy which had been established six years earlier.
France’s Vicomtesse de Saint Sauveur (known better as Lally Segard) helped plan the inaugural championship and she also came up with the idea of asking friends in Portugal if they would donate an unused trophy she’d heard was in their possession.
Ricardo and Silvia Espirito Santo were only too pleased to confirm that the gold-plated cup – originally owned by Nicolas II, the Tsar of Russia, and purchased at auction for a Portuguese international event that never took place – could be used for the new ladies’ golf tournament.
The first edition of this stroke play contest took place later that year at Saint-Germain in Paris, with twenty-five teams participating. To the delight of the home support, the French team narrowly edged out the USA team by one shot (588 to 589) to win the match. The scoring format was the best two of three scores to count for each of the four rounds played and it’s remained that way ever since.
The USA has won half of all the competitions ever played (as at 2020), finishing outside the top three positions on only eight occasions. Incredibly, the USA won 13 of the 18 contests organised up until the end of the 1990s – including six in a row from 1966 to 1976 – but it has only added one more in twenty years since 1998. In the new millennium, five different nations have won the tournament, with Korea emerging as a real golfing powerhouse for women, claiming three wins in four outings between 2010 and 2018.
The Espirito Santo Trophy is rotated around three geographic zones – Asia-Pacific, Americas and Europe-Africa – with a large percentage of the contests held at one venue, though sometimes two 18-hole layouts are utilised, such as at Grange in Australia (2008), Gloria in Turkey (2012) and Carton House in Ireland (2018). Occasionally, two clubs close to one another will share the honours, as in 2016 when Mayakoba El Camaleon and Playa Paraiso in Mexico co-hosted.
You will not find the venue for the 1970 event listed below as Real Sociedad Hipica Espanola golf club has since moved to another location in Madrid. Three other venues are also missing from our listings: Hindú Club in Buenos Aires (1972), Karuizawa 72 in Japan (2014) and Prince of Wales in Chile (1998).
Espirito Santo Trophy Top 100 Leaderboard