What Was the Futures Tour in Golf?

"Futures Tour" was, for many years, the name of the LPGA's developmental circuit for golfers who aspired to play on the LPGA Tour. The LPGA is the top-level, U.S.-based tour for women professional golfers; the Futures Tour was the second-level, U.S.-based tour for professional golfers.

The Futures Tour was also, for the last several years that name was used, also called the Duramed Futures Tour. Duramed is a pharmaceutical company that came on as a title sponsor for the tour.

The Futures Tour still exists, just under a different name. The Futures Tour dates to 1981 and became known by the name "Futures Tour" beginning in 1983. From 2006-10, it was the Duramed Futures Tour, but 2010 was the last in which the "Futures Tour" name was used. (It later became the Symetra Tour and then Epson Tour as different title sponsors came on board.)

The Futures Tour had no affiliation with the LPGA Tour when it was founded. In 1999, it became a licensee of the LPGA Tour, becoming the LPGA's official developmental tour. The LPGA acquired ownership of the tour in 2007 and has operated the tour, regardless of the tour's name, ever since.

From 1999-2007, the Top 5 golfers on the season-ending Futures Tour money list earned LPGA Tour cards for the following seasons, which was known as "graduating to the LPGA Tour." From 2008-10, the Duramed Futures Tour's Top 10 money earners received LPGA Tour cards.

Futures Tour Graduates and Award Winners

From the period after which the Futures Tour/Duramed Futures Tour became officially affiliated with (later owned by) the LPGA Tour. (See also: Full list of Futures Tour/Epson Tour money leaders/Players of the Year)

1999

  • Graduates to the LPGA: Grace Park, Marilyn Lovander, Audra Burks, Elizabeth Bowman, Eunice Choi
  • Player of the year: Grace Park
  • Rookie of the year: not awarded
2000
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Heather Zakhar, Michelle Ellis, Elizabeth Bowman, Dodie Mazzuca, Sue Ertl
  • Player of the year: Heather Zakhar
  • Rookie of the year: Jamie Hullett
2001
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Beth Bauer, Angela Buzminkski, Birdie Kim, Sarah Lee, Jeanne-Marie Busuttil
  • Player of the year: Beth Bauer
  • Rookie of the year: Beth Bauer
2002
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Lorena Ochoa, Christina Kim, Miriam Nagl, Sue Ginter, Michele Vinieratos
  • Player of the year: Lorena Ochoa
  • Rookie of the year: Lorena Ochoa
2003
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Stacy Prammanasudh, Soo Young Moon, Candy Hannemann, Birdie Kim, Reilley Rankin
  • Player of the year: Stacy Prammanasudh
  • Rookie of the year: Soo Young Moon
2004
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Jimin Kang, Lindsey Wright, Nicole Perrot, Aram Cho, Malinda Johnson
  • Player of the year: Jimin Kang
  • Rookie of the year: Aram Cho
2005
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Seon-Hwa Lee, Virada Nirapathpongporn, Kyeong Bae, Nicole Castrale, Sun Young Yoo
  • Player of the year: Seon-Hwa Lee
  • Rookie of the year: Sun Young Yoo
2006
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Song-Hee Kim, Charlotte Mayorkas, Inbee Park, Kristy McPherson, Meaghan Francella
  • Player of the year: Song-Hee Kim
  • Rookie of the year: Song-Hee Kim
2007
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Emily Bastel, Allison Duncan, Mollie Fankhauser, Violeta Retamoza, Seo-Jae Lee
  • Player of the year: Emily Bastel
  • Rookie of the year: Violeta Retamoza
2008
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Vicky Hurst, Mindy Kim, Sarah Jane Kim, Mi Jung Hur, Jin Young Pak, Song Yi Choi, Jessica Shepley, Leah Wigger, Sophia Sheridan, Kim Welch
  • Player of the year: Vicky Hurst
  • Rookie of the year: Vicky Hurst
2009
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Mina Harigae, Jean Reynolds, Misun Cho, Samantha Richdale, Song Yi Choi, Whitney Wade, Angela Buzminski, Christine Song, Alison Walshe, Dewi Claire Schreefel
  • Player of the year: Mina Harigae
  • Rookie of the year: Mina Harigae
2010
  • Graduates to the LPGA: Cindy LaCrosse, Jennifer Song, Christine Song, Jenny Shin, Gerina Mendoza, Angela Oh, Ryann O'Toole, Tiffany Joh, Hannah Jun Medlock, Pornanong Phatlum
  • Player of the year: Cindy LaCrosse
  • Rookie of the year: Jennifer Song
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