- The season-long race, which is in its fourth year, begins at the Magical Kenya Ladies Open – the first of 30 tournaments in 21 countries this year.
A new Ladies European Tour (LET) season gets underway next week marking the start of the 2023 Race to Costa del Sol with the Magical Kenya Ladies Open taking place at Vipingo Ridge.
The Race to Costa del Sol, which is the official LET ranking, offers a €250,000 bonus pool to the top three finishers. The Race begins in Kenya with the first of 30 LET tournaments spanning 21 countries in a record-breaking 2023 LET schedule and concludes with the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España in Spain in late November.
Linn Grant was crowned winner of the third edition of the Race to Costa del Sol following in the footsteps of Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul and Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen. In her rookie season on Tour, the 23-year-old clinched four titles and only finished outside the top 10 in individual events on four occasions.
The Swedish star was pushed all the way by her good friend and compatriot Maja Stark with the title being decided at the LET season finale in Spain, but it was Grant who came out on top and clinched the title accumulating 3,624.91 points from 17 events and winning by a margin of 209.77 points.
Grant became the fifth player to win both the Race to Costa del Sol and Rookie of the Year titles in the same season, while she also voted Players’ Player of the Year and climbed to a career-high of 24 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
The 2023 season starts at Vipingo Ridge in Kenya before heading to Morocco for the return of the Lalla Meryem Cup and then on to Royal Greens for the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund (PIF), which now has a prize fund of $5million.
In March, the Tour heads to South Africa with the Joburg Ladies Open at Modderfontein Golf Club followed by the Investec South African Women’s Open at Steenberg Golf Club in Cape Town. Then the first of five $1 million Aramco Team Series events takes place with a trip to Singapore and after that there will be two more events in Asia.
A return to Europe in May begins with a visit to Evian Resort Golf Club for the Jabra Ladies Open before the Aramco Team Series – Florida followed by the Mithra Belgian Ladies Open. Sweden will then be the host of two back-to-back events with the return of the Helsingborg Open followed by the Volvo Car Scandinavian Mixed – where Grant became the first woman to win a DP World Tour event with a nine-shot victory in 2022.
The European swing continues with the Amundi German Masters, Tipsport Czech Ladies Open and the Ladies Open by Pickala at Pickala Golf in Helsinki, Finland. Next up is the third edition of the Aramco Team Series – London before a debut for the €1 million La Sella Open.
European Major season begins with The Amundi Evian Championship at the end of July which is followed by the co-sanctioned Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open and then the final Major of the year – the AIG Women’s Open – at Walton Heath before the co-sanctioned ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by AVIV Clinics in Northern Ireland.
In September, the Tour then goes back to Dromoland Castle for the second edition of the KPMG Women’s Irish Open and after heads to the Big Green Egg Open at Hilversumsche Golf Club in the Netherlands and back to Golfpark Holzhäusern for the VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open.
Finca Cortesin will be the host venue for the 2023 Solheim Cup on September 22-24, which will see the prestigious competition visit Spain and the Costa del Sol for the first time as Team Europe and Team USA go head-to-head.
Next up is the Lacoste Ladies Open de France, which returns to Golf Barriere in Deauville, and is followed by the fourth Aramco Team Series event of the year in Asia, the Hero Women’s Indian Open and the Aramco Team Series – Riyadh.
The 2022 season will once again culminate in Europe at the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España in Spain in late November. The prestigious tournament will be held at Real Club de Golf Las Brisas and will be the perfect end to the Race to Costa del Sol, which will see the winner of the season-long competition crowned and lift the specially designed Race to Costa del Sol trophy.
The president of Turismo Costa del Sol, Francisco Salado, has emphasised how proud his organisation is to be part of the Ladies European Tour for another year, stressing the opportunity that the Race to Costa del Sol represents for this tourist destination. He said: “Giving the name to the annual ranking and to continue another year linked to the Ladies European Tour is a source of pride for the entire Costa del Sol, as we are raising our tourist destination to the highest category of European and world golf. Our involvement in the Race to Costa del Sol demonstrates this organisation’s firm commitment to golf, which provides so many benefits to our destination, and specifically to women’s golf. Our courses are in peak condition thanks to the effort and great work of the professionals who work on them.”
LET CEO Alexandra Armas commented: “We are excited for the 2023 season to begin in Kenya and to see who will be crowned the fourth winner of the Race to Costa del Sol at the end of the year. Last season saw a tremendous battle between Linn Grant and Maja Stark in the Race to Costa del Sol which went all the way down to the season finale in Spain. It was Linn who clinched the title on the Costa del Sol and showed she was a deserving winner with four victories to her name in her rookie season on Tour. It was once again shown what is possible by playing on the LET with Linn climbing to a career-high No 24 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. I would like to thank the Costa del Sol Tourist Board for their unwavering support over the past few years and we are looking forward to the season ahead.”
The Race to Costa del Sol begins next week… join the conversation at @LETgolf using the hashtag #RaceToCostaDelSol.