What Are the Requirements for a PGA Tour Card?

By Jennifer Gregory

If you have ever picked up a golf club, you might have wondered how a golfer gets on the PGA tour. To play as a member on the PGA tour, a player must have a PGA Tour card. You become eligible for a PGA Tour card after achieving one of several qualifying factors in PGA tournaments.

Requirements for a Tour Card

You can earn a PGA Tour Card by:
- being in the top 50 in a three-tournament series to be played by the top 75 players from the Nationwide Tour along with the players who finished 126 through 200 on the PGA Tour money list.
- winning three Nationwide Tour tournaments in a season.
- being a former major champion.
- being a former multiple tournament winner.
- achieving top 50 status in lifetime career earnings.
- being at least 18 years of age by the first round of the first tournament in the season.

Requirements for the Qualifying Tournament

The three-tournament PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament is held annually starting in October. To attend the tournament you must:
- submit an application before the tournament's deadline.
- pay your entry fee to the PGA tour.
- have a handicap index of at least two, and present a handicap card.
- college students can qualify if their golf earnings are equivalent to being within the top 200 on the PGA Tour money list or the top 75 on the Nationwide Tour.

Benefits of a Tour Card

By having a PGA Tour card, a golfer can play in PGA Tour events. Many players also receive sponsor endorsements and advertising contracts. The PGA Tour card provides the player the opportunity to win large purses in tournaments.

History

In 1965, the first PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament (called Q-School) was held and John Schlee won the event. The tour was played annually since 1965. In 1968 and 1969 and from 1975 to 1981, there were two tournaments each year.

In 2012, Q-School was replaced with the three-tournament PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament.

Misconceptions

Many people think that if a player holds a PGA Tour Card, he can play in any event on the PGA tour. However, new PGA tour players are eligible for tournaments based on their ranking in the final round of the qualifying tournament. Players can also get sponsor exceptions for tournaments.


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