How to Get Your Pro Card in Golf

Becoming a professional golfer is a dream for many golf enthusiasts. Earning a professional card in golf requires dedication, hard work, and immense talent. In this guide, we will walk you through the necessary steps to achieve your goal and become a professional golfer.

Step 1: Develop a strong foundation

  1. Start young: It’s never too early to start playing golf. The earlier you start, the more time you have to develop your skills and gain experience.
  2. Invest in proper training: Seek out the guidance of a qualified golf instructor to help you develop a solid foundation in the sport. This will help you improve your technique, avoid bad habits, and build confidence.
  3. Practice regularly: Consistent practice is the key to improving your golf game. Allocate sufficient time each week to work on different aspects of your game, such as putting, driving, and chipping.

Step 2: Play competitively

  1. Participate in local tournaments: Begin by competing in local golf tournaments to gain experience and test your skills against other golfers.
  2. Join a golf club: Becoming a member of a golf club will provide you with additional opportunities to compete and network with other golfers.
  3. Play in amateur events: Participate in amateur golf events and regional competitions, such as USGA qualifiers, to build your competitive resume.

Step 3: Achieve a low handicap

  1. Aim for a low handicap: Most professional golfers have a handicap of +2 or better. To be considered for a pro card, you will need to consistently demonstrate your ability to play at a high level.
  2. Track your progress: Monitor your handicap and set achievable goals to steadily lower it over time.

Step 4: Turn professional

  1. Register as a professional: Once you feel confident in your skills and have achieved a low handicap, you can register as a professional golfer with your country’s golf association.
  2. Prepare financially: Keep in mind that turning professional may involve significant financial investments, such as paying entry fees for tournaments and covering travel expenses.

Step 5: Qualify for a pro card

  1. Attend Q-School: Q-School is a series of qualifying tournaments held by professional golf tours, such as the PGA TOUR and European Tour. Successful performance in these tournaments can lead to a pro card and the opportunity to compete in professional events.
  2. Gain status through other professional tours: Smaller professional tours, such as the Korn Ferry Tour, Challenge Tour, or Symetra Tour, offer alternative paths to earning a pro card. Perform well in these tours to increase your chances of gaining status on a major tour.
  3. Earn exemptions: Exceptional performance in certain amateur or professional events can lead to exemptions, granting you temporary access to compete in professional tournaments. Use these opportunities to prove yourself and earn a pro card.

Steps to Get Your Pro Card in Golf

StepDescriptionDurationResources RequiredTips
1. Learn the GameStart by learning the basics of golf, including rules, swing techniques, and course management.3-6 monthsGolf clubs, instructorTake lessons and practice regularly.
2. Improve Your SkillsContinuously work on improving your golf skills, such as driving, chipping, and putting.6-18 monthsGolf clubs, driving rangeUse video analysis to check your form.
3. Gain Competitive ExperienceParticipate in amateur tournaments to gain experience and track your progress.1-3 yearsTournament entry feesNetwork with other golfers.
4. Establish a HandicapEstablish a handicap by joining a golf club and recording your scores for a certain number of rounds.1-6 monthsGolf club membershipAim for a low handicap.
5. Turn ProfessionalApply for a pro card by meeting the requirements set by a professional golf association, such as the PGA or LPGA, and passing the qualifying tournaments.1-3 yearsQualifying fees, travelAttend professional events for exposure.

Golf Equipment

EquipmentPurposeAverage CostBrandsTips
Golf ClubsUsed to hit the ball$500-$2000Callaway, Titleist, TaylorMadeInvest in a quality set of clubs.
Golf BallsHit by clubs to score in golf$20-$50/dozenTitleist, Callaway, SrixonChoose balls that match your skill level.
Golf BagCarrying and organizing golf clubs$100-$500Sun Mountain, Callaway, OgioChoose a bag with ample storage space.
Golf ShoesProvide traction and stability during swings$50-$200FootJoy, Adidas, PumaLook for comfort and waterproofing.
Golf GlovesImprove grip on the club$10-$30FootJoy, Titleist, CallawayChoose a glove that fits well.

Major Golf Associations

AssociationRegionWebsiteMembership RequirementsBenefits
PGAUnited Stateswww.pga.comMeet eligibility criteria, pass qualifying tournamentsNetworking, tournaments, recognition
LPGAUnited Stateswww.lpga.comMeet eligibility criteria, pass qualifying tournamentsNetworking, tournaments, recognition
European TourEuropewww.europeantour.comMeet eligibility criteria, pass qualifying tournamentsNetworking, tournaments, recognition
Asian TourAsiawww.asiantour.comMeet eligibility criteria, pass qualifying tournamentsNetworking, tournaments, recognition
Sunshine TourSouth Africawww.sunshinetour.comMeet eligibility criteria, pass qualifying tournamentsNetworking, tournaments, recognition

Key Golf Tournaments

Tournament NameAssociationLocationPrize MoneyFormat
U.S. OpenUSGAUnited States$12.5MStroke play
The MastersAugusta National Golf ClubAugusta, GA, USA$11.5MStroke play
The Open ChampionshipR&AUnited Kingdom$10.75MStroke play
PGA ChampionshipPGAUnited States$11MStroke play
The Players ChampionshipPGA TourPonte Vedra Beach, FL, USA$15MStroke play

Golf Practice and Training

DrivingHitting balls at the driving range3-4 times/weekDriver, golf balls, teesFocus on accuracy, distance, and consistency.
ChippingPractice chipping around the green3-4 times/weekWedges, golf ballsWork on controlling the ball’s trajectory.
PuttingPutting on a practice green3-4 times/weekPutter, golf ballsPractice reading greens and distance control.
Course ManagementPlay full rounds of golf1-2 times/weekFull set of clubs, golf ballsPlan shots and manage risk on the course.
FitnessStrength and conditioning workouts3-4 times/weekGym equipment, personal trainerImprove flexibility, strength, and stamina.


Earning a pro card in golf is a challenging journey that requires dedication, skill, and perseverance. By following these steps and maintaining a commitment to improving your game, you can make your dream of becoming a professional golfer a reality. Remember that success in golf is often built on patience and resilience, so keep pushing forward and never give up on your goals.


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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