Women's Elite Amateur Series to begin summer of 2024
Pinehurst will host the Men's and Women's North & South concurrently in 2024
When the Men’s Elite Amateur Series launched in 2022, Andy Priest, Executive Director of the Southern Golf Association and the Chairperson of the Elite Amateur Golf Series, said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” The goal of EAGS was to make the world of amateur golf better and stronger beyond the seven events they had earmarked for the new series.
Now, the tide is lifting the women’s game, too. The Elite Amateur Series announced that a Women’s Elite Amateur Series (WEAGS) would begin this summer with five events. Those five events are the Sea Island Women’s Amateur, Southwestern Women’s Amateur, North & South Women’s Amateur, Women’s Western Amateur, and the Ladies National Golf Association (LNGA) Amateur.
One of the biggest challenges in the women’s amateur game is the lack of a coherent schedule at the highest level. Events can conflict with one another, forcing players to make choices and thinning out fields.
In a conversation with AmateurGolf.com last February
, Andy Priest knew that scheduling was an issue and hoped a Women’s EAGS would help clarify a summer schedule.
“One of the big things that we want to achieve out of this is a better schedule. There are multiple elite women's events that are on top of each other on the calendar,” Priest said. “We want to try and help incentivize them to work this out to where those conflicts don't exist. That's the one thing that we would like to see on the men's side mirror on the women's side, so these elite events are not competing against each other.”
- Elite Amateur Golf Series photo
Just like the Men’s EAGS, there will be a series-long chase for an Elite Amateur Cup. To the victor will go the spoils, which will include USGA exemptions and other professional opportunities. The top finishers in the rankings will also receive professional exemptions. Those will be announced at a later date.
“Since day one, our goal has been to align the top competitive amateur events in the United States, not only for the men’s game but for the women’s game as well,” Andy Priest said in the official announcement. "We are excited to play a leading role in elevating elite women’s golf by providing these athletes with an aligned summer schedule of competition at some of the most renowned venues in the country conducted by historic organizations and world-class resorts.”
The Men's Elite Amateur Series has seen a plethora of drama. Nick Dunlap, the 2023 U.S. Amateur champion, won back-to-back events in the 2023 season, taking the Northeast Amateur and then, a week later, the North and South Amateur.
In its inaugural year, Caleb Surratt won the Elite Amateur Cup. New Zealander Kazuma Kobori won the 2023 Elite Amateur Cup after competing in all seven events and tallying four top tens, including a win in the Western Amateur.
The five women's events have a balance between nascent events - the Sea Island Women's Amateur and the Southwestern Amateur - and more established ones. The Men's and Women's North & South Amateurs will run concurrently for the first time this summer.
2024 Women’s Elite Amateur Golf Series Schedule:
May 29-31 | 4th Sea Island Women's Amateur, Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside), St. Simons Island, GA
June 12-15 | 4th Southwestern Amateur, Desert Mountain Club (Outlaw), Scottsdale, AZ
June 25-29 | 122nd North & South Women's Amateur, Pinehurst Resort (No. 2/No. 4), Pinehurst, NC
July 16-20 | 124th Women’s Western Amateur, Onwentsia Club, Lake Forest, IL
July 23-25 | 94th LNGA Amateur, Hot Springs Country Club, Hot Springs, AR
For more information on the Men's and Women's Elite Amateur Series and the complete WEAGS press release, visit the Elite Amateur Series website.