The Legends Tour, formerly known as the Women's Senior Golf Tour before the 2006 season, is a professional golf tour for women aged 45 and older. It is based in the United States and is the official senior tour of the LPGA Tour. The tour was founded in 2000, and is intended to allow women to prolong their competitive golf careers on the model of the PGA Tour Champions for men.
From 1996 to 2000, retired LPGA golfer Jane Blalock worked to organize a new senior golf tour for older and often retired LPGA golfers. After receiving support from 24 other founding members and a 3-year sponsorship program from the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, The Women's Senior Golf Tour debuted in August 2000 in Green Bay, Wisconsin with a minimum age of 43 and a $500,000 purse, with $75,000 going to the winner. Around 30,000 people attended over three days. The senior tour paid a fee to the LPGA for permission to involve active LPGA players, but otherwise remained independent.
The Women's Senior Golf Tour was the official senior tour of the LPGA in 2001, and the Women's Senior Golf Tour is now called the Legends Tour. Initially it grew from two annual events to 11 events by 2013.
Sixteen events were held in the first six years of operation between 2001 and 2006. In addition a team event, the annual Handa Cup pitting LPGA Legends players from the United States against LPGA Legends players from the rest of the world, was introduced in 2006. It is The Legends Tour's version of the Solheim Cup. From 2007 to 2013, 45 tournaments were held.
According to the Tour's website, the tour has over 120 members, who have collectively won over 675 LPGA Tour events, including 70 major championships. In its 13 seasons, The Legends Tour has awarded more than $11 million in prize money and helped raise more than $13.5 million for charity. The Legends Tour has hosted events in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Washington, Wisconsin, Japan and Australia.
With a 2015 announcement by the United States Golf Association that a Senior Women's Open will be added, the tour will consider the potential of changing the eligibility age of golfers from 45 to 50, as all USGA Senior events are for competitors aged 50 or over. The 2018 U.S. Senior Women's Open will be for golfers 50 and older.
- "Blalock has big plans for Legends Tour". seacoastonline.com. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
- Lipsey, Rick (April 26, 1999). "Senior Women Set for 2000". Sports Illustrated.
- Juliano, Joe (August 27, 2000). "Force Four Years In The Making, The Women's Senior Golf Tour Was Born Because Of The Never-say-die Spirit Of Jane Blalock". Philly.com. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- "Lopez, Blalock To Be Inducted Into Legends Hall of Fame". LPGA. July 31, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- Rogers, Amy (2015). "35 Years Later - Jane Blalock's Cut Streak Ends at 299". LPGA. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- Lipsey, Rick (April 26, 1999). "Senior Women Set for 2000". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on May 1, 2013.