The road to professional golf for both men and women has many paths. For decades, the developmental tours have been the chosen programs for amateur and professional golfers waiting for their entry and qualification into the pro tours.
Various title sponsors have taken a role to support the growth process of these athletes. For the LPGA, the Epson Tour has been one of the strongest launching points for women golfers. And, the Korn Ferry Tour has been the route to the PGA Tour for decades.
The Epson Tour is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA where the best female professional golfers compete on their journey to play the game of golf at the highest level. Similarly, the Korn Ferry Tour develops players on their path to the PGA Tour and comprises excellent golfers, which drives competition. Both tours help players grow their game and skill set.
Much can be said about the support, encouragement and the financial role these tours provide to developing golfers. Although other routes to professional golf are available to young players, these professional platforms have strengthened player performance with practice, travel support and structure.
Imagine being in a family with another sibling with the same dream at the same time. For identical twins Jenny Coleman and Kristin Coleman, their paths on the Epson Tour have brought much success. The sisters began competing in tour events in 2016 at age 23.
Jenny has recorded 39 top-25 finishes in 65 events when making the cut on the Epson Tour, a 60% conversion rate. Recently, she won the 2023 IOA Golf Classic presented by LPT Realty for her first career victory. Her time on tour has refined her game as she looks to breakthrough on the LPGA Tour. She has made at least 10 starts on the LPGA Tour in four seasons since 2017 and earned a trio of top 10s in 2021.
Kristin has learned from her sister about what it takes to elevate her game to the next level. In eight seasons on the Epson Tour, she has recorded 22 top-25 finishes with her best finish a tie for sixth at the 2022 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship.
Although twins are not new to sports, there are advantages of being a twin while playing the same sport. “Having a twin is great,” said Jenny. “She is someone to practice with and can look at my swing. Golf is tough, and Kristin is my built-in best friend.”
Equally, identical twins Pierceson Coody and Parker Coody launched their professional careers last year on the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour Canada, respectively. Pierceson made his first start at the 2022 BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX and recorded three top-10 finishes including one win in three months. Parker improved his game in Canada with six made cuts and one win, elevating him to the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023. The brothers, now aged 23, follow a similar path to the Coleman sisters.
This year is another step toward their goal of playing on the PGA Tour together. Having a close competitor encourages better performance. Pierceson recorded his second career win in February while Parker finished in the top five for the first time in May. Pierceson is currently the only player on the Korn Ferry Tour to win in consecutive years. As they continue to better their game, each player has risen through the Official World Golf Rankings with Pierceson moving toward the top 150 players in the world.
Even though twin athletes may have the same goals for success in golf, each person remains a unique individual with their own strengths. For Jenny, her strength is her approach shots, while Kristin excels in driving accuracy.
“Kristin is a bit more creative around the greens with her putting,” said Jenny.
|Jenny Coleman vs. Kristin Coleman|
|2023 Performance Statistics|
|Greens in Regulation||77%||65%|
|Putts per GIR||1.764||1.812|
For the Coody brothers, each of them has worked on their putting skills, while Pierceson has emerged with his ball striking ability.
|Pierceson Coody vs. Parker Coody|
|2023 Performance Statistics|
|Greens in Regulation||62%||73%|
|Putts per GIR||1.726||1.776|
For every player on the developmental golf tours working towards their professional golf career, other advantages emerge over time. As their golf career develops, they begin to appreciate the guidance and assistance that these tours provide. Not only for their sport, but contributing to their business sense, leadership skills, and their decision-making abilities.
Developmental tours in any sport help players to see the long-term goals of success.