Korn Ferry Tour: Strategies to Qualify and Challenges to Expect

By Todd Mrowice

Korn Ferry Tour sign

The Korn Ferry Tour is the official developmental tour of the PGA Tour. It is designed to let professionals gain tour experience before joining the ranks of the best players in the world. It can also be a place for reviving careers of players who have lost their PGA Tour card. Some say it's actually more difficult to find success on the Korn Ferry Tour because of the number of players and the determination in each one of them. If you're looking to join the Korn Ferry Tour, you'll need to know a few things first.

Qualifying School

One of the ways to get to the Korn Ferry 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.

To even sign up for the Q-school, you must either be a professional or carry a USGA GHIN handicap of 2 or less as an amateur.

Q-school consists of four stages. To advance through each stage, you need to play well enough to qualify. At the final stage, the top 45 players, and those tied for 40th, gain status on the Korn Ferry Tour, which means they have top priority in all the tournaments. Any other players who make the final stage gain conditional Korn Ferry Tour status, and gain limited access to Korn Ferry Tour tournaments.

Pre-Qualifying Stage

Format54-hole stroke play
Entry Fee$2,950 (early)/$3,650
Sites

6

FieldApproximately 468 total (78 per site)

1st Stage Spots

Approximately 228 plus ties (Approximately 20 per site)

First Qualifying Stage

Format72-hole stroke play
Entry Fee$5,250 (early)/$5,900
Sites

12

FieldApproximately 936
2nd Stage SpotsApproximately 360 plus ties

Second Qualifying Stage

Format72-hole stroke play
Entry Fee$4,750 (early)/$5,400
Sites5
FieldApproximately 375
Final Stage SpotsApproximately 138 plus ties

Final Qualifying Stage

Format72-hole stroke play
Entry Fee$4,250 (early)/$4,900
Sites1

Monday Qualifying

The other way to play on the Korn Ferry Tour is through Monday qualifying for individual tournaments. On the Monday before each tournament there are a few, usually between 4-8, tournament spots up for grabs. A hundred-plus hopefuls show up each week to battle for a few precious spots in that week's tournament.

Paperwork

In order to participate in any of the qualifying events, players have to fill out the appropriate qualifying tournament application .

LPGA & Symetra Tour

The official development tour for the LPGA is the Symetra Tour. To join that tour is much the same as the Korn Ferry Tour.

Financials

Players are responsible for a large portion, if not all, of their expenses while going through qualifying. This includes travel, hotels, and entry fees. Players lucky enough to have endorsement contracts from companies can offset some of that cost. The up side? It was announced in 2021 that Korn Ferry Tour purses for each event will go up in 2022, and by 2023 all events will have a $1 million purse.

About the Author

Todd Mrowice is a Staff Writer for GolfLink. He has been writing about golf for over 10 years including a long tenure at GOLFChicago Magazine. Todd has covered all aspects of the game including travel, products, business, and professional tours.