How To Become A Professional Golfer (Pro Golfer)?

a female viewing PGA Tour on the display of her phone

This article will help you understand what a professional golfer is and how to become one. It will also give you a better understanding of the different types of professional Golfers.

Golf is a sport enjoyed by many across the globe.

For some, it is a casual hobby to enjoy with friends on weekends. For others, it is a passion that consumes their every waking thought. Then, there are those rare few who take their love of golf and turn it into a profession.

But becoming a professional golfer is not as easy as one might think. It takes years of dedication and hard work to achieve such a feat.

What is a professional golfer (pro golfer)?

Before we can dive into the steps of becoming a professional golfer, we must first establish what exactly a professional golfer is. 

You may have heard many people say some golfers a golf pro and some a pro golfer. But are these terms same or different? 

If a person is a golf fan or is a non-golfer, they may use the terms interchangeably. But, if a person is into golf, then for them, these two terms make a difference. 

A professional golfer is defined as someone who earns money through playing golf tournaments. But a golf pro is a term used for golfers who work as professional golfer at golf courses, driving ranges, pro shops, and similar facilities.

In order to be considered a professional golfer, one must be affiliated with a professional golf organization such as the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Champions Tour, Tour, or European Tour.

Types of professional golfers

There are three main types of golf professionals: tournament professionals, teaching professionals,  and club professionals.

Tournament professionals are those who compete in golf tournaments at the local, state, national,  or international level in order to win prize money. In order to compete in tournaments, one must first become an affiliate of an organization such as the PGA Tour or LPGA Tour.

Teaching professionals are those who teach golf lessons to beginners or those looking to improve their game. These professionals typically work at driving ranges or golf courses and give both private and group lessons. To become a teaching professional, one must obtain certification from either the PGA or the LPGA.

Club professionals are those who work at private clubs or country clubs and manage all aspects of the club’s golf operations, including course maintenance, pro shop management, and lesson planning/execution. In order to become a club professional, one must obtain certification from the PGA or the LPGA.

So now that we know what being a professional golfer entails, let’s look at how one goes about becoming one.

What does a professional golfer do?

The role of a professional golfer goes beyond simply playing golf.

A professional golfer must also be an excellent teacher, an astute business person, and have top-notch people skills. They must be able to market themselves and their brand in order to attract sponsorships and endorsements. And they must be able to connect with their fans in order to build a loyal following.

In short, being a professional golfer is much more than just hitting a little white ball into a hole.

Steps to becoming a professional golfer

Here are some of the steps you need to follow to become a pro golfer:

1) Start young: Most successful professional golfers start playing around age 5. But, when you start playing golf at a very young age, you start building up skills and get better over them day by day.

At an early age, your body is flexible and can easily help you train a perfect swing compared to someone older. Moreover, if you start it too early, you have a lot of chances of becoming a professional and having a long-lasting career in golf.

2) Find the right coach: Not all coaches are created equal. So, do your research before entrusting your child’s development to someone or yourself.

If you want to excel in this field, you need to know all the finer aspects and rules of the game. Moreover, you can even consult a person who is already into this or refer to a local golf course to get on.

3) Play in tournaments: This will not only help you or your child develop their skills but will also give them invaluable experience.

When you master anything, you have the confidence to handle the defeats and to look forward to something better. By playing more and more tournaments, you will improve your skills, especially the shot trajectories. 

4) Get a college scholarship: This will allow you or your child to play while also getting an education. This is the best way to get into the field of golf and become a professional. This will help you get your degree as well as excel in golf without comprising your studies.

5) Turn pro: Once you or your child has graduated from college and feels confident in their abilities, they can then choose to turn pro and join an organization such as the PGA Tour. The ultimate goal of most professional golfers is to be a part of the PGA. 

6) Never give up: Success in anything worth pursuing seldom comes easy. So, encourage the person to persevere even when things get tough. 

These are just some general guidelines on how to become a professional golfer. The road to becoming one is long and arduous, but if you or your child has the talent and the drive, they just might make it! Who knows, maybe someday they’ll be the one teeing off at Augusta National for The Masters!

How to become a PGA member?

There are two basic pathways that lead to PGA Membership:

  1. The PGA Professional Golf Management Program
  2. The PGA Golf Management University program

To become one as a member of the PGA, you would need to become an associate before completing the PGA Professional Golf Management (PGA PGM) Program, which is an award-winning educational program. This is designed for aspiring PGA Professionals that focus on People, the Business, and the Game.

The PGA Golf Management University Program, accredited by the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA), is a degree program that is designed to attract and educate bright, highly motivated members to service the industry and produce PGA members.

What age can you go pro in golf?

The new minimum age for professional golf is 18 years for the PGA and Tours since 2001. The changes were approved by the Official World Golf Ranking Govern in Board at the 1999 British Open but delayed for two years to avoid a retroactive reduction in the value of points earned. 

Points are now based on a ”graduated decline” system, in which golfers gain points. The new system also takes into account points lost by a player through injury or illness or by a player who has not completed two full seasons.

How hard is it to become a pro golfer?

A research study found that it generally takes seven to ten years for an amateur golfer to develop the skills needed to turn professional.

Other experts have argued that, in order achieve mastery of a skill, athletes need 10,000 hours of practice.

However, when trying to become a professional golfer specifically, the quality of practice likely has equal importance as quantity.

What handicap can you turn pro?

There is no specific handicap that allows a golfer to turn professional. However, the general rule of thumb is that a golfer needs to have a handicap of four or fewer to have a chance at turning professional. This number can vary depending on the level of competition that the golfer wants to enter. 

For example, golfers trying to join the PGA Tour typically need to have a handicap of three or fewer. Moreover, before making it professional, the world’s best golfers, according to experts, had handicaps ranging from +4 to +6.

What are the benefits of being a professional golfer? 

The main benefit of being a professional golfer is that it allows the athlete to make a living by doing something that they love.

Professional golfers also receive many other perks, such as free golf clubs and clothing, travel expenses, and entry fees into tournaments.

In addition, many professional golfers receive endorsement deals from companies that help to further supplement their income. 

What are the risks of being a professional golfer? 

There are several risks associated with being a professional golfer. First and foremost, there is a very real risk of injury. Golfers put a lot of strain on their bodies, and injuries are common.

In addition, professional golfers often have to travel to different tournaments, which can be both physically and mentally exhausting.

Finally, because the competition is so fierce, many professional golfers struggle to make a living and may even have to supplement their income with teaching or working at a golf course.


Becoming a professional golfer takes years of dedication and hard work, but it is certainly achievable if you have what it takes! So if you have dreams of playing on the PGA Tour someday, start young and never give up! Who knows where you might end up!

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