Alex Armas will hold her head high when she walks away from her role as chief executive of the Ladies European Tour at the end of this year. In her seven years as head of the LET, she has greatly increased playing opportunities for European women.
The LET announced Armas’s resignation Wednesday, although she will fulfill her role until the end of this season. “Alex has been an asset to the Ladies European Tour, driving the company forward and impacting the growth of women’s golf across the globe,” said Karen Lunn, chairman of the LET’s board of directors. “Thanks to her commitment, loyalty, business understanding and insight to the players’ requirements, the Tour has been rewarded with positive results and is financially well-placed for continued success.”
Armas earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics at Wake Forest, where she played on the golf team and graduated in 1997. She went to work for the Faldo Junior Series in London for a couple of years before turning professional and joining the LET in 1999.
The Spaniard took over the role of chief executive in 2005 after a bitter boardroom squabble. The board voted out previous incumbent Ian Randell and installed Armas as the new head. Armas was already on the board but knew she wanted to take her role further after a significant moment during the 2004 season.
Armas had just finished the Wales Open and realized her season was all but over – and it was only August. There was only one tournament left, and it wasn’t until October.
“I sort of thought it’s a bit early to be finishing the season,” Armas said. “What do we do now?”
There were only 15 events on that 2004 schedule. Although that was an improvement on the eight played in the 1998 season, Armas wanted more.
“I felt the Tour could get better and I could help,” she said. “I felt it should be better and there should be more opportunities.”
The schedule increased to 21 in 2005, to 25 in 2007 and to 29 in 2008. Then the credit crunch hit and the LET had to scale back its growth plans.
Despite the world economic situation, this year the LET will feature 25 events, as well as 11 Access Tour events, a new feeder tour for the LET initiated two years ago to give those players without full LET cards a place to play. She has also helped break new ground in her time in office in China, Dubai, India, Turkey and New Zealand.
“We launched the Access Tour because we realized there was nowhere for women to play if they didn’t make the LET,” she said. “Our sole purpose is to allow players the opportunity of making a living.”
Armas certainly has helped do that in her time in office.