LostGolfBalls.com BLOG

Information and tips on everything golf ball related from the largest recycler of used golf balls in the world

All Posts

Nelly Korda giving the LPGA Tour a much-needed star



Nelly Korda (TaylorMade TP5) is giving the LPGA Tour a star it hasn’t had in a long time at a time when women’s pro sports is gaining serious global interest.

By winning her fifth consecutive tournament, including the first women’s major of the year, it appears that no one is capable of stopping Korda. In many ways, she has become the female version of Scottie Scheffler (Titleist Pro V1). And similar to Scheffler, who recovered from his post-Masters hangover (so to speak) to easily win the RBC Heritage, Korda dominated the Chevron Championship to record her second career major. She also started off slowly and then picked up the pace to leave the field in her wake.

Korda tied Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam winning five straight LPGA tournaments. I remember when Lopez dominated women’s pro golf in the 80s. It was unlike anything seen before and she became a huge celebrity. She had a certain flair about her, which helped propel her popularity. And because she was American and the majority of the players on the LPGA Tour were American, it helped her marketability.

Sorenstram became a major presence on the LPGA circuit just as Lopez was in the tail end of her career. Sorenstam started doing things that hadn’t been done in years and became the first true women’s international star in her sport.

With the sports world going crazy over basketball player Cailtin Clark, the first overall selection in the recent WNBA Draft and the recipient of an eight-figure deal by Nike, Korda has the potential to push professional women’s golf to new heights. The LPGA has seen a boost in purses in the last few years, largely through Chevron. It has grown to $123.25 million in 2024, an increase of 78.6 percent since 2019. But it lags far behind the men, who are competing for almost $400 million. There are a number of reasons for that, including the presence of LIV Golf that forced the PGA Tour to significantly increase the overall money.

But as I’ve said before, if you compare professional women’s golf to professional women’s tennis, the purses are woefully inadequate. Women tennis players compete for the same purses as men in majors. The first-place prize for the 2023 U.S. Open was $3 million each. Korda pocketed $1.2 million for winning the Chevron Championship, Scheffler received $3.6 million for the Masters.

Korda heads into this week’s Jim Eagle LA Championship with a chance to set a consecutive victory record. It should garner huge attention happening in a media capital such as Los Angeles.

Even if she doesn’t win, it’s huge that she has made it to this point in her career and life. She had to overcome a blood clot in her left arm that required surgery in 2022. Then she had a serious back issue last year and failed to win a tournament for the first time in three years.

Her story has so many elements to raise her profile, in addition to heading into the 2024 Olympics as the defending golf medallist. The focus on her will be immense.

It can be a bad thing when an athlete or a team dominates professional sports because it becomes boring. But greatness is something that should be appreciated because sometimes it is a generational thing.

Professional women’s basketball, tennis, hockey and soccer have become the beneficiaries of a battle among TV networks for content and a paying public wishing to see the players perform.

This is a pivotal time for the LPGA Tour to market Korda, if she wants to do it. Sometimes you can’t push a pro athlete to do something they either don’t want to do or are uncomfortable doing it. Nelly Korda could be the person to take the LPGA to new heights in terms of sponsorship and fan appreciation. All that said, her story is something that will someday be made into a documentary or a movie.

Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

Related Posts