Opting for the LPGA, JLPGA, or KLPGA: Investigating Korean Professional Golfers' Motivations and Attitudes Regarding Tour Options
Hansol Hwang (Indiana University-Bloomington), Hojun Sung (JoongAng Ilbo), Sang Keon Yoo (Indiana University-Bloomington), Patrick Walsh (Indiana University-Bloomington
Abstract: As globalization continues to impact the demographic profile of professional sport properties (leagues, teams, tours, etc.) it is important to understand why international athletes choose to compete in the various property options. One such property that has a large international contingent of athletes is the LPGA Tour. In particular, there are a number of Korean professional golfers that have competed very successfully on the LPGA Tour. The purpose of this study was to examine current Korean professional golfers’ motivations and attitudes towards the LPGA tour and other professional tour options. Interviews were conducted with 13 current professional golfers and the results suggest that the LPGA tour offers better facilities, fans, and overall is more prestigious and seen as a great honor to compete in than their JLPGA and KLPGA counterparts. However, the JLPGA and KLPGA may offer more localized sponsorship opportunities and a better travel and competitive schedule than the LPGA. These results provide a number of implications for the various tour options, and in particular the LPGA, in regards to their attempts to expand in the global sports environment.