Have you ever thought that a career in professional golf would be a good fit for you? Most people are thrilled with the idea of playing golf for a living, but there is much more to it than that.
I’ve been following professional golfers for years and have personal relationships with some of them. It’s not an easy road, and very few can make it to the top.
However, the dream of winning the Masters at Augusta or a US Open can motivate people to do a lot of things! Even just playing Augusta National is a dream for many.
Let’s look at what becoming a pro golfer looks like, why it’s so hard and how you can start on this path of becoming a professional.
What Are The Benefits of Becoming A Professional Golfer
The benefits of professional golf go far beyond the money that these players make. In addition to making large sums of money, the history of golf will be written with your name in it!
Professional golfers make a lot of money if they play well. Some sports professionals sign a contract, and even if they get hurt, they get paid. In golf, it’s not like that.
You make money if you shoot low scores and play better than everyone else. This is more of an individual sport than most professionals have to deal with, and it can create even more pressure.
In 2022, the LIV Tour was created, where players can enjoy golf in a slightly more relaxed environment but make millions of dollars just for showing up for an event. There has been quite a bit of controversy here, but many believed that professional golfers were underpaid on the PGA Tour.
If you start winning tournaments, you will become famous. Golfers like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rory McIlroy can tell you a thing or two about this. The fame part of the process is not necessarily easy to handle, but some golfers end up liking it.
Golf history is incredibly special. Any golfer that loves the game can find the history of the sport entertaining.
Knowing how many wins players have, understanding the challenges against them when they win certain matches and who has folded over the years is really interesting.
If you make it on the PGA Tour or LPGA Tour, you get to become a part of all of that history.
Highest Level of Competition
As a pro golfer, you get to play at the highest level of competition offered. Chances are, if you are on this route of becoming a professional, you have quite an interest in competing.
At some point, your game will become so good that you won’t have anyone to compete against that can play to your level. This is when you start winning on the tour.
The highest level of competition is intense, and it takes some time to get there, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most important benefits of becoming a pro golfer.
Can Anyone Become A Professional Golfer?
Very few people can become professional golfers.
It takes quite a bit of time to make it on these tours, and if you are not prepared to commit your life to it, you can’t become a professional. Think about all the golfers that you see across golf courses just in your area on a daily basis.
There is nearly a 100% chance that none of these golfers will make it on the PGA Tour.
Even for those with some natural talent, getting to the level of PGA Tour professional is incredibly difficult. Some people are born with great hand-eye coordination and physical ability, which is still not enough.
The mental side of the game is difficult and requires strength that many golfers underestimate.
The bottom line here is that not everyone can become a professional.
How To Become A Pro Golfer
Now that you can understand why becoming a professional golfer is so special and so difficult, let’s take a look at how to become a pro golfer.
The road to professional golf is different for every player, but these are some of the major steps that you will have to take.
Start Playing At An Early Age
Playing golf at an early age is an extreme advantage for golfers. If you can put a club in your hand as a young kid, golf will always feel more natural.
When people retire from their careers and decide to take up golf, the game is incredibly hard. Beginner golfers must work to even understand how to hold a golf club.
Parents that help young children pick up the sport when they are little kids will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly kids adapt, learn, and take their game to the next level. If you start playing at an early age, it opens up doors to more playing opportunities.
Junior golf is continuing to grow, and players from all over the world have gotten better and better.
Parents need to be careful not to push their children into the sport. The key here is to learn the game young, and if the rest will fall into place, it will.
As children get older, they can decide if they like the sport enough to play it professionally and continue forward with their careers. The decision to play professionally should come from within, as it is best with internal motivation.
Learn To Compete
Playing golf for fun and playing golf in a tournament situation is entirely different. Golf tournaments work differently than a normal game of golf.
In fact, I’ve often said that golf can be two different games.
As soon as you put a few dollars on the line, the pressure involved in hitting certain shots increases significantly. It’s very interesting to see which players can handle this and which ones fold.
Many golfers, when told they are competing for something, will completely fold.
They will learn their game may be good at times, but it can’t hold up under pressure. Other golfers will find out that it’s time to compete for something and they start playing better than they ever have.
For those that start playing incredibly well, the future in pro golf could be quite strong. If you thrive in a competitive setting, continue to pursue your dreams of becoming a pro golfer.
Play In Mini Tour Events
The PGA Tour is your ultimate goal but is not the only stop along the way.
Most pro golfers get to the PGA Tour after playing on the Korn Ferry Tour.
The Korn Ferry Tour is highly competitive, and plenty of these golfers are making a full-time living on this tour. There are other small local tours that can feed into this Korn Ferry as well.
Essentially if you are going to make it at the top level, you need to work hard on competing in and winning in everything else first. Golfers have to learn how to win before they can try and win something as big as the US Open or other golf majors.
Keep in mind that as you work your way up these ranks, there will be people that have been through this before and will have both good and bad advice. Many younger players that win at the local levels will be pushed to the national levels, where it gets incredibly competitive.
However, any pro golfer will tell you that if you want to make it, you need to continually expose yourself to the most competitive players in the game. There’s no way to become the next Tiger Woods without playing in tournaments and events week in and week out.
Get A PGA Tour Card
A PGA Tour Card is the ultimate way to know you have made it. With a tour card, you can play in events and not have to worry about qualifying week in and week out. The PGA Tour card is a tremendous accomplishment, but you won’t be able to keep it forever.
In addition, the events that you qualify for with your PGA Tour Card will vary based on your priority ranking. The ranking is determined by your overall scoring and results, as well as the history of the game of golf.
A PGA Tour Card can be lost if you start falling out of the top pranking levels in the game. The best possible way to stay at the top, hold on to that card and make sure you remain a pro golfer is to win.
A win on the PGA Tour is no easy task, but it will completely change the rest of your career.
At this point, you should have a little better idea as to what goes into becoming a pro golfer. If you are currently a 15 or 20 handicap, you have a long road ahead. If you are a scratch golfer, your chances may be a bit better.
If professional golf is your goal, start working on a plan to get to the top. It’s going to take a lot of time spent on that driving range!