Ever thought about what it takes to pursue a career as a PGA Professional? I went through the Professional Golf Management program at Coastal Carolina and spent 4 years at Renaissance Golf Club outside of Boston. There is more than one avenue to obtain PGA membership though, with each leading to many opportunities within the industry.
The first path is to attend one of the 18 accredited universities that offer the Professional Golf Management program. These schools offer a 4.5 year program that covers the industry in all aspects while you pursue a degree in a few different areas like Business or Recreation and Park Management. Within the program, you will take an in depth look at the golf industry from the history of the game to turfgrass management.
Different courses and hands on seminars prepare you for the many different hats you will wear as a PGA Professional. A great aspect of the PGM program is the requirement of internships each summer. During these months, you will be able to learn from some of the industries best while gaining invaluable experience in all phases of the operation. Throughout the 4.5 years, testing will be required as you progress through different levels. Completing this program awards you PGA credentials, but also gives you a degree from a well established university.
The second path gives the opportunity for anyone working in the industry to earn membership. Registering as an Associate will give you access to take the steps towards PGA credentials. Similarly to the university program, you will go through different courses and tests as you work your way through multiple levels. This path gives you the opportunity to complete the coursework on your own, but does have certain time requirements for each level. Both of these avenues require the passing of a playing ability test which will challenge your game in a 36 hole tournament environment. This test must be satisfied along with the different courses/levels in order to complete the program.
Becoming a PGA member gives you the opportunity to work in whatever aspect of the business you please, weather it be teaching, merchandising or a green grass facility. The networking aspect of the role is a major benefit as well. The people you meet can be big influences both professionally and personally. Whether you choose to take the PGM University route or complete the coursework on your own, upon completion you will be recognized as an “Expert in the Game and Business of Golf”.
If you want to know more about the specifics of pursuing a career as a PGA Pro, I'm happy to answer your questions. Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.