Information on Joining the Golf Tour

By Jennifer Stow

The Golf Tour is the official developmental tour for the PGA Tour. It is designed to let professionals gain tour experience before joining the ranks of the best players in the world. That doesn't mean it is an easier tour. Some say it is harder to be successful on the tour than the PGA simply because of the number of players and the determination in each one of them. So if you are looking to join the Golf Tour, you need to make sure you are ready.


Difficulty: Challenging
Step 1
One of the ways to get on the Tour is through the PGA Tour Qualifying school, known simply as Q-school. This means paying your money and going through a number of qualifying tournaments across the country. A requirement for signing up for the qualifier is professional status or being an amateur with an attested handicap of 2 or less. Q school consists of four stages. To proceed to the next stage, you need to score low enough to qualify. If you do not score low enough, you cannot advance. At the final stage, the top 45 and ties gain status on the Tour, which means they have top priority in all the tournaments. Any other golfers who make the final stage also gain Tour status, but still must individually qualify for each tournament. 
Step 2
The other way to play on the Tour is to go through open qualifying for each individual tournament. This means you have no status on the tour, but anyone can go through these open qualifying rounds. Whenever there is a tournament that does not get full, they will have what is called open qualifying. This means that the tour will hold a one-day-only qualifying round the day before the tournament starts for the number of spots available. Sometimes there can be several and sometimes there can be two spots, so the odds are small.
Step 3
Of course, there is an option for women. The official development tour for the LPGA is the Symetra Tour. To join that tour is much the same as the Tour.

Tips & Warnings

To make it through all stages of Q school is very hard and emotionally and mentally draining. Make sure you are ready for this by preparing far in advance. Most professionals give themselves years to get ready for it.

About The Author

Based in Minnesota, Jennifer Stow has written golf related articles for Dick's Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy and local golf media. She has been a professional golfer and a golf professional for over ten years and has experienced all sides of the business. She holds a Bachelor of Arts sociology from Rollins College.


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