Professional golf tours exist in a hierarchy based on money, prestige, and location. The most important, prestigious and well-regarded golf tour in the world is the PGA Tour, which pits the best golfers in the world against each other in four major championships and a number of other tour events. The other tours exist in the following order from most prestigious to least prestigious: European Tour, LPGA Tour, Champions Tour, Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour, and LPGA of Japan Tour.
Generally, the best golfers in the world play in the PGA and LPGA Tours, respectively, with female golfers trying harder and harder each day to make it onto the PGA Tour. The European Tour is often where high-level U.S. collegiate athletes try to make a name for themselves before they qualify for the PGA Tour and where former PGA Tour golfers move to in the downside or twilights of their careers. Some PGA Tour golfers never want to give up the game, and they will go down the list in terms of Tours and play each one of them until their days are up.
Within each tour is a federation, which governs the economic and global-relations issues that can impact golf. Golf is generally insulated from global and economic crises, but it is important that, for example, the International Federation of PGA Tours exists to ensure that golfers from around the world are safe in any country in which they play a tournament. Each tour also has its own “minor leagues,” in which golfers can make a name for themselves in a second-tier tour before qualifying for the bigger PGA Tour tournaments.
The PGA Tour has the Web.com Tour; the European Tour has the Challenge Tour; and the Asian Tour has the Asian Development Tour, which all serve the same purpose: to prepare future golfers for life in the big tours. Each tour has its own unique set of rules, regulations, and playing locations. The PGA Tour generally gets the first pick regarding which courses, sponsors, clubs, and more, and the other tours observe a trickle-down effect and get the leftovers. Many of the PGA Tour requirements change year to year in terms of pin placement, tee location, club allotment, and other general tour rules as players, equipment, and perspectives evolve.