Women's Open

The Women’s Open – originally named the Ladies’ British Open then the Women's British Open – was established as a four-round stroke play competition by the Ladies’ Golf Union in 1976, with the first edition taking place at Fulford in Yorkshire. Jenny Lee Smith won that inaugural event as an amateur but, not to belittle her achievement, it must be remembered there were few professional women golfers in Britain at that time – indeed, amateur players won three of the first seven Opens.

In 1987, Weetabix took over sponsorship of the event – this association with the breakfast cereal firm lasted twenty years – and that year’s championship was played over the new Nicklaus-designed course at St. Mellion in Cornwall. Defending champion Laura Davies had just become the first person to hold both the US Women’s Open and Women’s British Open titles at the same time but she was edged out of retaining the trophy by Alison Nicholas.

Women's Open Trophy

The Open was an official stop on the Ladies’ European Tour until it was upgraded to the status of an LPGA tournament in 1994, increasing the quality of the field and the profile of the event. Seven years later, it became an LPGA major, replacing the du Maurier Classic in Canada. Prize money amounting to US$1 million at the end of the 1990s would then increase more than four-fold over the following two decades.

Ricoh, the global leader in digital office solutions, took over title sponsorship of the Open in 2007 and the event that year became the first ever professional women’s tournament to be played on the Old Course at St Andrews, with Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa winning her first major title by four shots from her nearest challen...

Women's Open host courses

Ferndown (Old)

4th Dorset - Best in Area 51st England Ranking

Ferndown Golf Club plays across a sandy outcrop of land where there is a proliferation of heather and pines... it’s an inherently pretty golf course.

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Foxhills (Bernard Hunt)

33rd Surrey - Best in Area

The Bernard Hunt golf course (formerly the Chertsey) at the Foxhills Resort plays across a lovely, undulating and densely forested parcel of land. It was on this layout in 1978 when Janet Melville won the Pretty Polly Women's British Open...

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Fulford

5th Yorkshire - Best in Area

Fulford Golf Club will always be remembered for the tree-climbing exploits of Bernhard Langer in the 1981 Benson & Hedges International.

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Lindrick

4th Yorkshire - Best in Area 59th England Ranking

Lindrick Golf Club is remembered passionately because it was here in 1957 that Great Britain beat the USA to win the Ryder Cup.

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Moor Park (High)

5th Hertfordshire - Best in Area

Moor Park Golf Club oozes quality. The High is a classy golf course and a warm welcome awaits in the spectacular clubhouse mansion.

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Northumberland

3rd Northumberland - Best in Area

Renowned for its firm, fast greens, strategic bunkering and racecourse setting, Northumberland Golf Club has played host to the Dunlop Masters and the English Amateur Championship.

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Royal Liverpool

1st Cheshire - Best in Area 16th England Ranking 42nd Britain & Ireland Ranking

Without doubt, Royal Liverpool Golf Club is a tough links. Only six holes are in the dunes – otherwise there is little protection from the ever-changing Hoylake wind.

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Women's Open Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Brian Ward Courses Played 20
2 Ed Battye Courses Played 18
= Keith Baxter Courses Played 18
= Andy Newmarch Courses Played 18
5 BL Tracker Courses Played 16
= James Pinkstone Courses Played 16
7 Simon Bale Courses Played 15
= RM61 Courses Played 15
= Gregory Forde Courses Played 15
= KP Courses Played 15