Last updated on October 31st, 2023 at 10:21 pm
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Beginnings of Golf in Colombia and the World
The first woman to distinguish herself in golf was Mary I, Queen of Scotland in the 16th century, giving prestige to the sport and influencing women of the upper class. Starting in the 1920s, women began to participate more in golf. The first women’s associations became known in the United States, such as the United States Senior Women’s Golf Association. In 1929, nine different amateur golf tournaments were sponsored by the United States Golf Association. By 1950, women’s golf in the United States began to gain renown.
Evolution and History of Women’s Golf
1984: Creation of the first women’s golf course in New Jersey with only 7 holes.
1905: Dorothy Campbell becomes the first female professional golfer.
1920: The first women’s golf tournaments began in the United States.
1944: The first women’s golf association, WPGA, was created, which would later become known as the LPGA, part of the PGA.
1950: Women started playing professional golf in the United States.
2003: Annika Sörenstam became the first woman to compete in a men’s tournament. She became one of the greatest players in history, also winning many titles.
2012: The National Golf Club of Augusta in the USA accepted two women as members for the first time.
2014: The Royal & Ancient Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs and the birthplace of golf, began admitting women as members.
What Are the Most Important Women’s Golf Tournaments Outside of Colombia?
Unlike men’s golf, women have more tournaments in addition to the most important ones in the world, including:
Evian Championship: This tournament has been held in France at the Evian Resort Club since 1994. Although it was not initially considered a major, it received that designation in 2013. The prize money for this tournament is approximately $3.3 million.
British Open: Although it was inaugurated in the late 1970s, it became a major tournament in 2001. It is held at different clubs in England and Scotland and has a prize fund of over $2.5 million.
US Women’s Open: Created in 1946, it has been considered a major since its inception. The current prize fund is $5 million.
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: This is the second major in women’s golf and was created by the collaboration of the LPGA and PGA of America along with sponsor KPMG. This tournament is held at a different course in the United States, with a prize fund of $3 million.
What Is Women’s Golf Like in Colombia?
Starting in the 1920s, as mentioned earlier, women began to excel in sports, and Colombia was no exception. In 1923, women like María Helena Torres and Queen de la Torre were significant figures in golf. Women who played golf tended to be from the upper class, as it was suggested as a physical activity to improve their health.
Today, this division is very present in different golf clubs and associations in Colombia, from junior to senior categories, and some women have excelled in national and international tournaments. The Colombian Golf Federation created the Senior Women’s Division in 2020, bringing together all players aged 50 and above.
Which Colombian Associations Include Women’s Golf?
Colombian Golf Federation: This organization is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive in the country, with various divisions, including the Senior Women’s Division. This association hosts some women’s golf events such as the National Senior Women’s Championship and the National Senior Women’s Tour.
Karibana Beach Golf Condominium (Cartagena): This club is part of a luxury resort in Cartagena known for its wide sea views. The Heroica Open, intended exclusively for female golfers, is played at this club.
Women’s Golf Tournaments in Colombia
This tournament is part of the Korn Ferry Tour within the PGA Tour circuit and is held annually. It attracts players from various categories, from juniors to seniors. The Colombian Golf Federation hosts this significant tournament in Colombia.
This tournament was created during the pandemic in 2020, with more than 50 female golfers participating, divided into amateur, pre-senior, and senior categories. The Heroica Open takes place in the city of Cartagena and serves as an example to encourage women to play more golf and be part of it in Colombia.
Interestingly, 20% of the proceeds from the tournament go to the Ellen Riegner Casas Foundation, which supports oncology patients with limited resources.
National Senior Women’s Championship
This championship is held annually by the Colombian Golf Federation and is designed for the Senior Women’s Division, bringing together the best female golfers in the country. It is worth noting that this tournament competes for spots to participate in the South American Golf Tournament, and its score counts towards the National Senior Women’s Ranking to evaluate their performance in other international events.
National Senior Women’s Tour
This tour is a circuit held on different dates and on different golf courses across the country every year. It is also sponsored by the Colombian Golf Federation and attracts amateur and professional players. The National Senior Women’s Tour also includes the mid-amateur category, meaning players over 35 years old with a valid Fedegolf certificate can participate.
Prominent Figures in Colombian Women’s Golf
The players we will highlight have represented Colombia in important international golf tournaments and in some cases have become world champions. These players were also part of the prestigious LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Circuit, one of the most significant women’s golf organizations in the world, achieving victories in their tournaments and earning within the tour.
María José Uribe
Also known as Mariajo Uribe, she is a renowned Colombian golfer and a member of the LPGA. She won gold at the Pan American Games in 2015 in Toronto, Canada, and silver at the South American Games in 2015 in Chile. She also won tournaments such as the Evian Championship, the US Open, and the American Women’s Amateur Golf Championship, achieving top-10 placements and earnings within the tour.
A professional player in the LPGA, she was born in Florida but obtained Colombian citizenship. Her professional career started in the United States. She won the silver medal at the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and represented Colombia at the Junior Golf World Cup in Japan. She also won the gold medal at the South American Youth Games in 2017 in Chile.
María Isabel Baena
A former Colombian golfer who participated in various tournaments from a young age. She represented Colombia at the South American Golf Championship, which she won in the pre-junior and junior categories, and also won the Copa Los Andes in Colombia. She turned professional in the United States in 1999 and became the Match Play World Champion of the LPGA in 2005.
She announced her retirement at the end of 2009 due to health issues she had experienced in previous years, particularly a hip surgery that hindered her performance in the sport.
More about Golf in Colombia
Find out everything you need to know about golf in Colombia in our blogs.