Millions of people enjoy the game of golf around the world. To become good enough to play professionally seems like a daunting task. There are about 2,000 individuals who are good enough to play on the pro golf tours in North America, Europe and Asia. However, there are many more individuals who play on the minor tours or work as teaching or club pros.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Start playing the game as a youngster. Many of the best players in the world--including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk--all began playing at an early age. Parents of prospective golfers should give them an opportunity to see how much they like the sport and if they have any talent at it. Take lessons from the top teaching pros in the area and read as much as you can about golf theory. This is what makes golf different than the other sports. There is more to learning the game than just doing. Learning the theories of the game makes a golfer much better.
Play in as many age-group competitions as you can once you reach 13 or 14 years old. This will help you get used to the competitive aspect of the game, and it will help you figure out if you have a future as a player because competition brings out the best in many professional golfers. Specifically, when you prepare for tournaments, work on your short game. Learning how to play with the pitching wedge, the gap wedge, the lob wedge, the sand wedge and the putter will help you advance quickly.
Play competitively in high school and college. If you show proficiency in high school and also have academic ability, you will have a reasonable chance at winning a scholarship. It's hard to get a scholarship at schools in the sun belt or southern California, but they are available at many schools throughout the East, Midwest and Far West, including the Big Ten and Big Ten schools. Most golfers think that those schools are out of their reach, but if they have shown proficiency in the game and the classroom, they can make it in these schools.
Go to a qualifying school to try to win a spot on the Professional Golf Association (PGA) tour. The PGA runs "Q-schools" at various locations in the United States two or three times a year, and the top two or three performers at the 2- and 4-day schools can earn their tour cards and start playing for the big prize money.
Don't give up if you don't make it. You can play on one of the minor or "satellite" tours while you hone your skills. If you can improve enough, you will get another shot at a qualifiying school in the future. Additionally, you can seek out club professionals, present your qualifications and get a job as a teaching pro or second club pro. You can take a 5-day course with the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America (PGTAA) in La Quinta, California in order to become a teaching or club pro.
Tips & Warnings
Stick with your dream even if the odds are against you. Keep working and making progress and don't let others sway your opinion if you believe in yourself.