The Ladies Professional Golf Association’s Futures Tour, which concentrates on player development, is looking to expand its schedule and has approached the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth about hosting a tournament next July.

The Futures Tour, much like the Nationwide Tour for men, gives promising women pros the opportunity to improve their games in tournament competition and advance to the LPGA Tour by being in the top 10 on the money list.

“We’ve been wanting to go to Maine for a long time,” said Zayra Calderon, the chief economic officer of the LPGA Futures Tour. “It’s a good market. We’re expanding our market. We’re going to have a tournament in Rhode Island. From geographical and logistical points, it makes sense. It’s top-qualify golf. The players take pride in the market they’re playing in. Over 85 percent of our players on the LPGA Tour come from the Futures Tour.”

Karrie Webb, Lorena Ochoa, Cristie Kerr and Meg Mallon are among the current and former LPGA stars who played on the Futures Tour.

The Futures Tour, which started in 1983, had 16 events this past season, including in Bloomfield, Conn., and Concord, N.H.

Purpoodock members were sent an email Thursday asking for feedback. The club’s board of directors will decide early next week after gauging members’ interest.

“The board felt we should get input from the members,” said Robyn Violette, Purpoodock’s general manager. “We’re giving members first refusal.”

Violette and the club president, Jim Harvey, are in favor.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Harvey. “I’m pretty excited about it.”

Violette said the Futures tournament would tie in nicely with the club’s 90th anniversary in 2012 and give Purpoodock some good publicity.

“The tournament will put us in the forefront and we might get some new members from it, which would be great,” she said.

The dates would be July 9-15. Purpoodock requested August dates, but they weren’t available. The LPGA would pay Purpoodock $35,000 for course rental. The Futures Tour wants a three-year commitment.

“They really want to play at Purpoodock and because we’re not getting our preferred dates next summer, they’re giving us a little more in rental fee than they normally do,” said Violette.

“We don’t have to commit to three years. We can opt out after one year, but we would get the August dates the last two years if we commit to three,” she said.

The Futures Tour also looked at Sunday River in Newry and The Woodlands in Falmouth. Jeff Harris of Harris Golf, which owns the Sunday River course, said the parties couldn’t reach an agreement, and The Woodlands said the timetable wasn’t right.

“It was very simple,” said Bill Robinson, The Woodlands’ general manager. “The LPGA wanted a decision fairly soon. Things don’t move that fast here. We would have had to shut down the course for a week.”

Stefa Normantas of Green Tree Event Consultants, an event management company in Falmouth, said the company has been working with the LPGA.

“They approached us about producing a tour stop in Portland,” she said. “I think it would be fabulous. It would be exciting introducing the future stars of women’s golf to the Portland market.”

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH