The opportunities for golfers wishing to have an exciting career in the golf industry are continually growing. The industry offers career pathways in club, pro shop, retail and resort management; equipment manufacture, wholesale and retail; course design, construction and maintenance; media, promotional work, corporate days and the areas seen as the most enticing for young players; professional golf. This section will focus on professional golf. Please use the links below to navigate through the various options available and to other websites that offer information on other spheres of the golfing vocational community. How to turn pro Tour Schools Traineeships
How to turn pro There are two main avenues by which a player may become a professional: Completing a three-year traineeship at a golf club – this entitles this person to become a member of the PGA of Australia and allows them to coach, apply for positions at golf clubs such as Head Professional or Assistant Professional or Teaching Professional. Earning a Tour Card on a professional golf circuit – this means competing against a field of players over multiple rounds to earn the right to play on a particular Tour for the ensuing year. This is a playing membership and doesn&apost have the entitlements that completing a traineeship does. The Tour player is seen as the most exciting option for most young players as it is the Tour player who is known through television and other media coverage.
Tour Schools PGA Tour of Australasia The PGA Qualifying School is conducted in two stages. The first stage is held mid-November and the final stage mid-December. The First Stage is a 54-hole event and has been held for a number of years at Amstel GC on the Ranfurlie Course. The Final Stage is over 72 holes and is usually held at the Peninsula GC on the North Course. The top 35 qualifiers in the Final stage are eligible to become full members of the Australasian PGA Tour for the following year. Related Links: PGA Tour of Australiasia PGA
Asian Tour At the Asian Qualifying School there are two stages. The First Stage is conducted over 72 holes. After 36 holes, the field is cut to the top 80 players plus ties. The number proceeding to the Final Stage is announced during the week of the First Stage. The Final Stage is played around mid-December and is a four-round competition with a maximum field of 240 players. After 36 holes in the Final Stage, the field is cut to the top 100 plus ties. After 72 holes, the top 40 players plus ties receive exempt status on the Asian Tour for the following year. Related Links: Asian Tour
European Tour The Qualifying School for the European Tour is conducted over three stages. The first stage is a 72-hole event conducted in mid-September. There are approximately 130 players who compete at one of two venues. After 54 holes, only those players within 7 shots final qualifying score will play the final round, i.e. if there are 20 players who will advance to the Second Stage and the 20th placed person is on even par, then all players on +7 or better will play the final round. There will be at least 20 players at each of the First Stage venues who will advance to the Second Stage. The second stage is held early November at four different venues. The Second Stage is over 72 holes with no cut. The number of players advancing to the Final Stage will be advised during the Second Stage. The Final stage is held mid November, following the completion of the Second stage. It is contested over 108 holes (6 rounds). The starting field of 156 players will be cut to the top 70 plus ties after 72 holes. The top 30 players plus ties after 108 holes will be offered exempt status on the European Tour for the following season. Those making the cut but outside the top 30 will be offered exempt status on the Challenge Tour for the following season. Those not making the cut but contesting the final stage will be offered some status on the Challenge Tour for the following season. Related links: European Tour
US PGA Tour Players wanting to qualify to play the US PGA Tour for 2008 had to compete in three qualifying stages. The First Stage is a four-round event contested at 12 different sites. There were approximately 80 players at each site with the top 24 (approx) advancing to the second stage. The Second Stage is contested over four rounds at four sites. There are usually around 110-120 players at each course. The number qualifying to compete in the final stage is announced during the playing of the Second Stage. Final Stage is a six-round (108-hole) event. The starting field will be around 156 players. At the end of the six rounds, the top 25 players (plus ties) will receive exempt status on the 2008 PGA Tour. The next 50 players will receive exempt status on the Nationwide Tour for 2008. The remainder of the Final Stage field will receive non-exempt status on the Nationwide Tour for 2008. Related links: PGA Tour
Nationwide Tour There are two options for playing on the Nationwide Tour each year: 1. The first option is that each player who finishes in the top 80 of the final stage of the PGA Tour qualifying is exempt to play the Nationwide Tour the following year. The top 30 will have PGA Tour cards and the next 50 will be exempt on Nationwide. 2. The second is to finish 26-60 on the Nationwide Tour the previous year. The top 25 are awarded cards to the PGA Tour. The first is a dedicated event in which a number of &aposcards&apos are won. It is also possible to compete in a Nationwide Tour event via Monday pre-qualifying. Each week on the Monday prior to the event, there are a minimum of 14 spots available in the event. Any professional can enter the pre-qualifying, as can amateurs with a handicap of 2 or less. Related links: PGA Tour
Japanese PGA Tour Qualifying for the Japanese Tour involves competing in four stages of qualifying. The First Stage is a 54-hole event contested over five courses with approximately 100 players at each venue. The leading players will advance to the Second Stage. The number to advance will be advised during the week of the First Stage. First Stage is held late July to early August. Second Stage is a 72-hole event which is played over 12 courses with approximately 100 players at each course. This stage is conducted during the first half of September and the first half of October. The Third stage is conducted at six different courses with approximately 100 players at each course. As with all previous stages, every player completes all of the rounds; Third Stage being 72 holes. Third Stage is played late October and early November. Final Stage is over 108 holes (six rounds). Approximately 200 players will contest Final Stage with a cut being made after 72 holes to the top 90 players plus ties. Related links: Japanese PGA Tour
ALPG Tour The Australian Ladies Professional Golfers is the body responsible for women&aposs professional tournaments in Australia. The main events conducted by the ALPG Tour include a series of pro-ams which are held in November and December each year, mainly around the Far South Coast of New South Wales. Other professional women&aposs events held each year include the LG Bing Lee Women&aposs NSW Open, MFS Women&aposs Australian Open and ANZ Ladies Masters. Related links: ALPG Tour Golf Australia
Ladies European Tour The First Stage is played over three rounds (54 Holes) with the top players advancing to the Final Stage. Approximately 100 players contest the first stage with around 25 advancing to the final stage. The Final Stage has a field of approximately 100 players who compete over four rounds (72 holes). After 54 holes there is a cut to the top 50 plus ties. After 72 holes the top 30 players plus ties are awarded exempt status on the Ladies European Tour for the following season. The remainder of the players who made the cut are offered conditional status for the following year, meaning they may get some starts in tournaments, but this depends on places available in the field. Related links: Ladies European Tour
LPGA Tour There are two stages to the LPGA Tour. Uniquely each player has two chances of advancing from the First Stage to the Final (second) Stage. The First Stage is a four-round (72-hole) event with a starting field of around 150 players. After 36 holes there is a cut to the top 70. The top 30 players plus ties following the final round advance to the Final Stage. The First Stages are conducted late October and early November. The Final Stage is a five-round (108-hole) event conducted late November each year. There is a cut to the top 70 players plus ties after 72 holes. After the final round the top 15 will receive exempt status and the next 35 will receive non-exempt status for the following year. Related links: LPGA Tour
Futures Tour The Futures Tour is the secondary Tour in the US, behind the LPGA Tour. It has provided a launching pad for quite a lot of Australian girls. The Futures Tour has numerous events throughout the year and at the end of the season the Top 5 players on the Futures Order of Merit receive their &aposcard&apos for the LPGA Tour for the following season. To qualify for the Futures Tour, players either compete in the Futures Qualifying School which is played early November. There is usually a starting field of around 300 players who are cut to the top 90 plus ties after 54 holes. Related links: Futures Tour LPGA Tour
Loss of Amateur Status if attending Qualifying School Amateur golfers may enter and play any in any stage of a PGA Tour Qualifying School tournament without forfeiture of amateur status, provided in advance and in writing they waive the right to any prize money on offer. This is done by signing the waiver condition on the Qualifying School entry form. Amateur golfers who fail to do so are in breach of the rules of Amateur Status. Otherwise, the breach occurs when having qualified, they accept an offer of, or apply for, PGA membership. Reinstatement to Amateur Status can be applied for via the State Golf Association. A period awaiting reinstatement of between 3 and 24 months can apply depending on the circumstances. Related Links : Golf Australia R&A
Traineeships The Professional golfing world has become a very complex and competitive service and promotion industry. Both the club and tournament professional are required to possess many skills, apart from being elite golfers, to meet the demands in the business of golf. Currently in Australia there are two ways in which golfers may qualify to become golf professionals: * The PGA Trainee Professional Scheme * The PGA Tour of Australasia Tournament Qualifying School (men) * The ALPG Tournament eligibility criteria (women) By becoming a member of the Professional Golfers Association through the Trainee Scheme, an individual has the opportunity to both play at the professional level and enter a career in the golf industry as a qualified teacher, merchandiser and club technologies and fitting specialist.
The PGA Trainee Professional Scheme Administered by the PGA Academy of Golf, this scheme is a three (3) year minimum full time program. It is available to any young golfers (male or female) who wish to become golf professionals. They must meet the demanding eligibility requirements set by the PGA Academy. During the three years of training, which are spent with a fully qualified PGA member at a recognised golf course, trainees gain invaluable on-the-job training and experience. At the same time they complete a series of coach education and training courses. These courses vary from distance education to intensive live-in training schools. The subject of Retail and Business Management is delivered by the PGA IGI through both distance education and live-in schools. During the course trainees are required to maintain a high level of performance in tournament golf. Upon graduation from the traineeship, PGA Australia Full Members (Vocational) are eligible to become tournament and/or club professionals, and carry a Level 3 Coaching Accreditation with the Australian Sports Commission. Only full PGA members are able to hold this level of accreditation. Graduates are also awarded a Diploma of Coaching (Professional Golf) by way of the Australian Qualification Framework. The PGA is registered as a Registered Training Organisation and offers nationally recognised training.
Academic Structure And Course Content By graduation the trainee will have gained a high level of competence in the following subjects undertaken throughout the training period: Coaching: This subject is designed to give the trainee a background in human anatomy, physiology and biomechanics. Such study provides a solid foundation for understanding the areas of swing analysis and motion. Areas such as learning styles and coaching structures are explored enabling the trainee to teach and coach golf to clients of all ability levels from juniors, to elite players, seniors and other groups. Club Construction, Design and Repair: Equipment repair and manufacture have always comprised a vital part of the professional s livelihood. This subject examines equipment repair, construction techniques and future directions in the ever expanding area of golf equipment, accessories and technologies. Retail and Business Management: The PGA Academy, in association with the PGA International Golf Institute, presents modern business principles as they apply to the golf professional. The areas of merchandising, account keeping, financing, human resource management and law are examined. Upon completing this topic, the trainee is better equipped to enter the area of Golf Shop Operations in the golfing industry. Tournament Play: Tournament play is an integral component of the trainee program. Many opportunities exist for playing – ranging from local events to the international stage. Throughout the traineeship, trainees are required to maintain a standard of play that is representative of a professional golfer. Students graduating from the program must have maintained a played average better than 4.00 against par with no CCR adjustment after 40 rounds of tournament golf. Playing opportunities for trainees include: * Weekly PGA trainee events * Entry to Pro-Am events (subject to availability) * PGA State Trainee Championships * PGA National Futures Championship * Other state and national events (subject to invitation) The PGA Academy is a recognised training organisation and offers nationally recognised training. Students graduate with a Diploma of Sport Coaching (Professional Golf). Rules, Ethics and Tournaments: Study of this subject gives the trainee an essential grounding in The Rules of Golf, career paths and the ever-challenging area of junior golf development.
Eligibility Requirements for a PGA Traineeship To be eligible to be accepted as a trainee member for entry into the Academy, an applicant shall meet the following requirements: * Be at least eighteen (18) years of age during the calendar year of application. * Have attained minimum of Year 12 and a standard of education acceptable to the Academy. (It is preferable that applicants have attained HSC/VCE level or equivalent). * Produce and demonstrate accurate evidence of playing ability. Male applicants shall have an official amateur handicap of three (3) or better and/or demonstrate their playing ability through a playing test conducted by the respective Divisional Office. * Female applicants shall have an official amateur handicap of five (5) or better and/or demonstrate their playing ability through a playing test conducted by the respective Divisional Office. * Attend an interview with representatives of the Academy. Applicants may be required to produce documents in support of their applications. * The applicant will be informed by the Divisional Office within fourteen (14) days of the outcome of the interview and playing test. * Applicants with qualifications in relevant areas of study from institutions of Higher Education are invited to apply for advanced standing in areas of the academic component of the trainee programme. Academic transcripts will be required to be forwarded with all such applications.
Application Details Applications are available from the state offices. All applications for the assessment day must be received at the state office between 1st July and 31st August each year. Applications received outside these dates will no longer be considered. Copies of references from two PGA members, academic transcripts and a twelve month playing statement from the applicant s home club must accompany the application. All enquires should be made to the PGA Head Office or to the various state PGA offices (see our contacts page)
How do you qualify to become a PGA trainee member? Each year all states conduct a similar interview and playing test for all prospective trainees. The aptitude and assessment day and playing test are conducted prior to December in all states. Once they have satisfied Academy representatives that they are eligible, future trainees will be invited to register with the PGA Academy of Golf by no later than 1st January of each year.
Loss of Amateur Status Upon registration of an employment contract with the PGA Academy, trainees automatically forfeit their amateur status. This means that failure in the trainee scheme will leave players in a state of limbo, that is, neither an amateur nor a professional golfer.
Trainee Education Fees As a non-profit making association, the PGA must charge annual education fees to defray some of the administration costs involved in the traineeship. The fees are set and reviewed by the PGA Board on an annual basis.
PGA International Golf Institute The PGA International Golf Institute (PGA IGI) is a centre of excellence for training and education across the wide range of vocations that comprise the golf industry. The PGA IGI exists to develop career pathways and opportunities for students, elite athletes, coaches and administrators in the golf industry and related business sectors. Located on the Gold Coast and utilising Griffith University&aposs campuses and designated golf facilities, the PGA IGI is a unique entity in Australasia. The PGA IGI delivers a distinctive range of world class education services catered to both the domestic and international golf industry. For more information please visit www.pgaigi.com
PGA Tour of Australasia Tournament Qualifying School Each year PGA Tour of Australasia (a Division of the PGA) conducts a qualifying school for golfers wishing to qualify solely as tournament players. The school is purely a playing test, usually over nine (9) rounds of golf across 2 stages, to determine who will be issued a players card. Once golfers have qualified for a players card, they are then able to enter professional tournaments within Australia, New Zealand and Asia. A PGA Tournament Players Card does not entitle a tournament player to become a full member (Vocational) of PGA Australia. If any tournament players wish to do this, they must satisfy all PGA Academy of Golf requirements through a process known as PGA Bridging School. Entry into the school is subject to a player maintaining playing standards as established by the respective boards of PGA Australia and PGA Tour. For further information please ring the PGA Tour Office 02 9956 0000 or their website at www.pgatour.com.au or the PGA Academy of Golf.
Loss of Amateur Status if attending Qualifying School Amateur golfers may enter and play any in any stage of a PGA Tour Qualifying School tournament without forfeiture of amateur status, provided in advance and in writing they waive the right to any prize money on offer. This is done by signing the waiver condition on the Qualifying School entry form. Amateur golfers who fail to do so are in breach of the rules of Amateur Status. Otherwise, the breach occurs when having qualified, they accept an offer of, or apply for, PGA membership. Reinstatement to Amateur Status can be applied for via the State Golf Association. A period awaiting reinstatement of between 3 and 24 months can apply, depending on the circumstances. Related Links: PGA Academy Career