How to Become a Professional Golfer

Last updated: February 19, 2021

Golf has made rapid strides on its road to become a recreational sport. More people are now playing golf than they have ever done before. It is no longer considered a sport for the elites, and people now view golf as a relaxing experience. 

Despite its image as a stress buster and a cathartic experience, golf still remains one of the world’s most competitive sports. As more people are drawn to the recreational side of the sport, the number of players competing for a professional status is also rising.

At this point in time, becoming a professional golfer is one of the most challenging and rewarding accomplishments.

Besides, every beginner or amateur golfer dreams of reaching the level of the greats of the game like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau among several others. However, as it is with any competitive sport, becoming a professional is easier said than done.

If you’ve ever aspired to be a professional golfer and are confused about how to begin your journey, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will guide you through the process of becoming a professional golfer and the things that will make the process easier. So without further ado, let’s begin. 

How to Become a Professional Golfer: A Step by Step Guide

Step 1. Begin as early as possible

The first step to becoming a professional in any competitive sport is to begin as early as possible. If you’re a child or a teenager, you shouldn’t wait for adulthood to embark on your journey to become a professional golfer; instead, you should start right now.

Suppose you’re a parent or a caregiver of a young individual who wants to become a professional golfer. In that case, your priority should be to provide encouragement and ensure that they start practicing from an early age.

Step 2. Golf Lessons

No matter how good you think you are, you should still consider taking golf lessons. Golf is one of the most skill-oriented sports in the world. It is the skill and technique that will make a difference, not your physical attributes.

It would be best if you took regular golf lessons at your local golf course to hone your skills and master them. Even if you feel that you don’t need coaching, you should still take golf lessons as there is always something new to learn. 

Step 3. Play regularly and be consistent

Consistency is critical for achieving your professional goals in any sport, and golf is no different. You need to spend countless hours on golf courses and practice the skills you learned in your golf lessons.

You need to do this week in week out. We’ll suggest that you start small and allocate at least 10 hours of golf every week, which you can extend to more than 20 hours as you progress. 

Step 4. Master physical and mental skills

Golf is a physical sport, but it is also a game of the mind. You need a sound and clear state of mind to excel in this sport. Confidence and focus are two of the essential mental attributes you must have to succeed as a professional golfer. 

In addition, your physical abilities should be top-notch too. While practicing, make sure you are working on multiple skills. These include putting, hitting drivers, bunkers, full swing, and pitch, among several others. A professional golfer should be an all-rounder with high proficiency levels in all of the skills.

Step 5. Join your local golf club

If you think that you have become a good enough golfer to compete at the local level, you should join a golf club. A club will not only give you a decent experience but will also connect you to other aspiring golfers like yourself.

There you can sharpen your skills, exchange ideas, and compete against each other. Joining a club will also let you know where you stand in the local golfing community.

Moreover, you can also compete in local and regional tournaments. If you’re a college student, you can play represent your college in tournaments and win scholarships. This can also help in paying for your education.

Step 6. Play in amateur tournaments

By now, you’ll no longer be considered a beginner as you have reached the amateur stage. Now you can compete in amateur tournaments and gain relevant experience and build your reputation as a golfer.

Several amateur tournaments are held each year in every state where amateurs like you can sign up and compete against one another. These tournaments are held throughout the year in different states, and if you’re open to traveling, you can stay busy for the most part of the year.

Step 7. Compete in professional tournaments

After trying out your luck in amateur tournaments, it’s time to go professional finally. If you managed to perform well in amateur tournaments, you must be brimming with confidence and eager to take on the next challenge.

Sign up for multiple tournaments according to your budget and other commitments. These tournaments are held all year round and have varying levels of difficulty. List down the tournaments you’ll compete in a year and prepare yourself accordingly. 

Step 8. Play in the PGA Qualifying Tournament

This tournament is also known as the Qualifying school or Q-school and grants you the PGA Tour playing privileges or the Tour Card. Hundreds of players come together from all across the country and battle it out to achieve professional status.

It is held in 4 sequential stages, and in the final stage, 144 players compete against each other. The top 25 from the final round will qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour (previously known as Web.com Tour). You can find more information here.

Step 9. Earn PGA Tour card

The final step is to earn your PGA Tour card so that you can finally call yourself a professional golfer. You can do this in two ways. The first is to win any three events on the Korn Ferry Tour, and the other is to finish in the top 25 in the total earnings of the regular season of Korn Ferry Tour.

How to Become a Professional Golfer: Final Thoughts

You should have figured out how to become a professional golfer by now. However, as rewarding as it sounds, not everyone can achieve this.

For every golfer who gains professional status, hundreds of others don’t. Also, becoming a professional golfer requires substantial financial backing as golf lessons, club memberships, and tournament fees can take a massive toll on your savings.

Furthermore, traveling across the country for golf tournaments will deprive you of any family time or personal life. So, before going on this road, make sure you have what it takes to get there and are ready to make some sacrifices. 

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