Standards Questioned On LPGA Tour Over Locker Room Controversy

The LPGA has faced criticism at the season-opening Hilton Grand Vacation Tournament of Champions

An LPGA Tour flag
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The LPGA's season-opener should be a cause for celebration, but the week got off to a rocky start as players were told they would be unable to use the locker rooms at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club.

As reported by Golfweek (opens in new tab), the renowned Florida club does have a men's locker room that would provide ample space for the 29 competitors in the field, but due to the hospitality arrangement, it is to remain open to the public. 

Ryan O'Toole, who is sharing a car with a fellow competitor, expressed her dismay at the situation. She told Golfweek: "I’m not mad at the club; I’m not mad at the sponsor. I’m annoyed at the LPGA for that just being an overlooked factor."

Matilda Castren, who won her maiden LPGA title in 2021, added: "You should have a certain standard."

The situation left players with access to the women's bathrooms and showers only and facing the prospect of having nowhere to store valuables. However, the tournament sponsor and organisers have now installed an additional 36 lockers in time for the first round, meaning all players - professional and celebrity - have their own locker.

The tournament, which features a unique celebrity competition, is renowned for its fun and vibrant atmosphere, making it one of the most popular stops on the calendar. This year, the star cast assembled includes Leona Maguire, Charley Hull, Danielle Kang and newly announced TaylorMade ambassadors Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson.

Korda was a big hit at the end of last year when she gave the best male players in the world a glimpse of her prodigious talent at the PNC Championship and QBE Shootout. At both, she finished in a tie for fifth and earned rave reviews from her peers. 

Ahead of the Hilton Grand Vacation Tournament of Champions, Korda said she hopes that encourages more people to tune in to the LPGA action this year and beyond. 

"Honestly, it was such an incredible experience," she said. "They were very kind with their words towards me, but I think if they came out here and watched all the girls compete, they would be as equally impressed.

"Just shows the product that we have out here and hopefully we continue to grow that."

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.


Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.


As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.


What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1