Discover how many players on the PGA Tour compete and how they qualify for this prestigious golf competition.
The PGA Tour is one of the most prestigious golf tours in the world, featuring the best professional golfers from around the globe. The tour consists of a series of events held throughout the year, with players competing for lucrative prizes and titles.
I. How many golfers on the PGA Tour?
One of the most frequently asked questions about the PGA Tour is how many players participate in each event. The answer to this question is influenced by various factors, including the venue, the season, and the qualifying criteria.
Generally, the fields in PGA Tour events range from around 120 to 156 players.
The PGA Tour typically features 144 players in the spring and winter. However, during the summer and into the fall, nearly 156 players play on the PGA tour. Eligibility criteria set by organizers can further limit the number of players who can participate in some events.
The top players in the Official World Golf Rankings and the top players on the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup points list typically receive automatic entry into most tournaments, while others may have to qualify through other means such as sponsor exemptions or Monday qualifiers.
II. Who qualifies to play on the PGA Tour?
Being a former major champion or multiple-time tournament winner qualifies you for PGA Tour membership. There are many PGA-recognized competitions that might grant you eligibility for membership.
The PGA Tour has various exemption categories that determine which players are eligible to play each week and in which tournament. The core group of players consists of 125 professionals who have full PGA Tour exemption, while other players have conditional membership and can play a few events a year.
Some weeks there will be two separate events being played, with the top players competing in the main event and lower-ranked players competing in the secondary event. Special invites are also given out to players from other tours, giving them a chance to compete on the PGA Tour.
III. Is it difficult for players to join the PGA Tour?
To enter the PGA Tour, golfers need to have a strong resume that includes competing in various junior-level and college-level tournaments. The top 125 golfers with the most FedEx Cup points by the end of the year receive their Tour cards, with the top 50 earners getting direct entry. At least 50 golfers advance from the Korn Ferry Tour each year, and European Tour players may also qualify for some events.
However, exemptions are arranged in a hierarchy, and only 144/156 seats are available for PGA events, making it tough for golfers outside the top 125. Players who finish in the top 10 automatically qualify for the next event, but they can lose their Tour card by failing to make the cut at a championship or finishing outside the top 125 in the FedEx Cup rankings.
IV. Fees to play on the PGA Tour
In order to compete in PGA Tour events, PGA professional players must pay entry fees, the amount of which varies based on the event and the player’s level. While traveling, the players are responsible for their own lodging and food costs. Nevertheless, if they do well in tournaments, they may be able to make up some of these costs with prize money.
In addition, players on the PGA Tour who are exempt from qualifying are not required to pay entry fees, but they are obliged to pay an initiation fee and annual dues.
V. Do all PGA Tour players get paid?
Professional golf pay works differently compared to many other professional sports. While top golfers can earn multi-million dollar paychecks, they only get paid if they make the cut and play the last two days of the tournament. This is unlike other sports like NFL or NBA, where players get paid a weekly salary, win or lose.
Even though some PGA Tour professionals have endorsement contracts that may include incentives for high finishes, they are not paid to appear in tournaments. Therefore, every shot a golfer makes directly affects their revenue.
If a golfer fails to make the cut, they won’t receive any payment for that particular week.
VI. How many PGA Tour Cards are there?
Obtaining a PGA Tour card is an arduous and remarkable feat for golfers, requiring years of dedicated practice, exceptional skill, and a touch of fortune.
The top 125 players from the previous PGA Tour season automatically maintain their PGA Tour status, granting them unrestricted participation in the upcoming season’s schedule.
The Korn Ferry Tour, one tier below the PGA Tour, awards PGA Tour cards to the top 30 players, providing them with an opportunity to progress. Previously, the Korn Ferry Tour extended cards to the top 25 players.
Participating in Korn Ferry Tour events allows golfers to compete against top-notch players, serving as a stepping stone towards their PGA Tour journey.
An additional chance to earn a PGA Tour spot arises through the DP World Tour. The top 10 players in the DP World Tour season secure PGA Tour cards for the following season.
Starting in 2023, the PGA Tour has reinstated its Q-School to provide a direct pathway for qualifying into the PGA Tour. Participants who secure a top 5 finish at the Final Stage Q-School will earn the opportunity to compete on the PGA Tour in the subsequent season.
Alternatively, players can gain entry to the PGA Tour through various other means. These include being the highest-ranked golfer according to the PGA Tour University Velocity Global Ranking at the end of the season.
Individuals who have achieved a PGA Tour victory or a Major title within a specified timeframe are eligible. Another option is to obtain sponsor exemptions and deliver a strong performance, accumulating enough points to maintain a tour card.
VII. How to get a PGA Tour card: Requirements to get one
The journey towards earning a PGA Tour Card is a rigorous and challenging process that tests a golfer’s skills and endurance.
1. Ways to Obtain a PGA Tour Card
Golfers can play PGA Tour events with a card. The odds are against players getting Tour Cards to play on the big stage. PGA Tour membership requires a card. There are various ways to get this tour card, each with its own problems. The Korn Ferry tour is the easiest way to acquire a Tour card, but getting there is difficult.
2. Acquiring a Tour Card through Points and Playoffs
Acquiring a Tour card can be done through points and playoffs after successfully making it to the tour. The Tour offers 50 tour cards, with the top 25 players who are regular season points leaders receiving one. The remaining 25 cards are given to the top 25 players following the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
3. The Three-Win Promotion: A Shortcut to PGA Tours
The Three-Win Promotion lets Korn Ferry Tour players play PGA Tours. Three Korn Ferry Tour wins in a season earns a player his Tour card.
4. Upgrading PGA Tour Special Temporary Memberships:
Players who have PGA Tour Special Temporary Memberships can upgrade to PGA Tour cards. Non-members can get PGA tickets through sponsorship exemptions and Monday qualifiers. If they accumulate FedExCup points equal to the player who finished 150th the previous season. Non-PGA members can earn temporary membership. Finishing in the top 125 of the FedExCup points list during the regular season earns them a Tour card.
Winning a PGA Tour tournament is the most difficult way to get a Tour card. Winning players receive two-year Tour exemptions. Any non-member who wins an event via sponsor exemption or Monday qualifying will receive a Tour Card. Major champions receive five-year PGA Tour and European Tour exemptions.
VIII. Benefits of having a PGA Tour Card
Being a PGA Tour cardholder is not just about prestige and recognition but also comes with a range of benefits that can help elevate a golfer’s career.
- Playing in PGA Tour events: The ability to participate in PGA Tour events is the main advantage of possessing a PGA Tour card. These include major championships such as The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship, as well as other highly regarded events like The Players Championship and the FedEx Cup playoffs.
- Sponsorship Opportunities: Golfers with a PGA Tour card are more likely to attract sponsorships and endorsements from companies, which can provide additional income and exposure.
- Exemption from Qualifying School: The rigorous six-round PGA Tour Qualifying School is not required of those who hold a PGA Tour card, which is a significant obstacle for many players wanting to get into the tournament.
- Improved Status: In the golfing community, players with PGA Tour cards are more respected. They are recognized among the best athletes, capable of winning important championships, and those who compete at the highest level.
The exact count of golfers exempt from playing in PGA Tour events is hard to pin down.
To participate in PGA-sanctioned events, golfers must have qualified in one of several ways, such as finishing among the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings from the previous season, being in the top 50 on the Korn Ferry Tour playoffs, being past winners, or invited by a sponsor.
Golfers who finished between positions 126-200 on the FedEx Cup rankings are given a chance to play on the Korn Ferry Tour to regain their place on the main PGA Tour.
How many PGA Tour events are there per year?
The Fortinet Championship in 2022 and the Wyndham Championship in 2023 are the first two of the 44 FedExCup Regular Season competitions. Three competitions make up the FedExCup Playoffs, which conclude with the TOUR Championship when the FedExCup Champion is announced.
How much does the average PGA tour player make per year?
Over 120 golfers who participated in the 2021/22 PGA Tour season made more than $1 million in prize money, with the average being $1.6 million. However, after taking into account travel and other expenses, some players might struggle to break even on $100,000 in winnings.
Starting with the 2022/23 season, all exempt PGA Tour players are guaranteed a base income of $500,000, and lower-ranked players now receive $5,000 in expenses when they miss a cut.
How many tournaments do PGA tour players play per year?
The 2022-23 PGA TOUR season is in full swing, with 47 exciting FedExCup events scheduled throughout the year. Fans can gear up for 44 high-stakes Regular Season events, starting with the 2022 Fortinet Championship and leading up to the 2023 Wyndham Championship.
But that’s not all – the FedExCup Playoffs will add even more drama to the mix with three thrilling events, concluding with the ultimate showdown at the TOUR Championship where the FedExCup Champion will be crowned. Get ready to witness some top-notch golf action!