Steps To Become a PGA Pro
Ask almost any five-year-old what they want to be when they grow up. Chances are “PGA Tour pro” isn’t going to be the first words out of their mouth.
But for those young kids who do want to become the next Tiger Woods, how can they make it happen.
The steps to becoming a professional golfer are not very known by the average golf fan. If you ask a baseball fan how to get to Major League Baseball, they will probably bring up being drafted and then working your way up in the minor leagues.
But for golf, no one is really aware of the different types of “minor leagues”, like baseballs single A, double A and triple A circuits.
Here are the steps any aspiring golfer go through to reach the ultimate goal of the PGA Tour.
- College: Compete at the NCAA level to further golf skills at a high level of competition. This is a great opportunity for good golfers because you get free golf, free range privileges and free “lessons” from your coach. Some of todays brightest stars competed at the college level including Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson.
- Q School: This is a set of four different stages. You have the prequalifying stage, first stage, second stage and final stage. You must place in a certain standing to advance to the next stage. If you do well in final stage you get full exemption on the Web.com Tour. The Makenzie Tour, PGA Tour Latin America and PGA Tour China also have Q Schools.
- PGA Tour Latin America: A lower level tour, this is another opportunity for golfers to earn status on the Web.com Tour. During this circuit the top money winner for that season will earn a fully exempt card for the next years Web.com Tour, and then the four golfers under him on the money list will earn status on the Web.com Tour.
- PGA Tour China: Along the same lines as PGA Tour Latin America, this tour is a smaller circuit that also gives you that ability to earn Web.com Tour status. The same way at PGA Tour Latin America, the top money winner is fully exempt and the next four earn status on the tour.
- Makenzie Tour: Canada’s biggest golf circuit, has produced names like J.J. Spaun, Graham DeLaet and Ken Duke. This Tour boasts young star Aaron Wise (standout from Oregon) and Masters Champion Angel Cabrera. To make it to the next tier of competition, the Web.com Tour, the top five players on the Makenzie Tour’s money list will receive playing privileges on the Web.com Tour. The next five will be exempt into the Finals of the Web.com Tour qualifying school.
- Web.com: If qualified, through Q School, you then go to the Web.com Tour. This is the PGA’s version of triple A baseball. You’re right there, about to get to the big leagues. There are two ways of making it on the PGA Tour, via the Web.com Tour. One of the ways is called “battlefield promotion”. We saw Wesley Bryan do this last season. This is when you win 3 events in a season on the Web.com Tour. This makes you automatically a PGA Tour member. The other way is the Finals, but it’s a bit more complicated. The Finals are a four tournament type playoff where 50 golfers will earn PGA Tour membership. 25 of them come from the top 25 golfers on the Web.com money list. The other 25 come from the highest money winners during the Final four tournaments.
Being able to shoot in the low 70’s isn’t going to land you on the PGA Tour.
The path to the PGA Tour isn’t as easy as you expect. Golfers have to grind for many years, to maybe never even win a PGA event.