Higuchi won the LPGA Championship on 12 June 1977, making her the first Asian-born player to win a major championship for either men or women. (No Asian-born player would win a men's major until Yang Yong-eun won the 2009 PGA Championship.) She remains the only Japanese woman to win an LPGA major championship. Alongside Ayako Okamoto, she dominated the 1970s and 1980s in Japanese women's golf.
Higuchi studied golf from Torakichi Nakamura, a member of Japan's winning team at the 1957 World Cup of Golf. She turned pro in 1967 and went on to win 69 titles on the LPGA of Japan Tour. She was 31 when she won her LPGA Championship.
Higuchi became President of the LPGA of Japan Tour in 1996. In 2003, she became the first Japanese golfer to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. She was soon to be followed by Isao Aoki (2004), Okamoto (2005), and Masashi Ozaki (2011).