Difference between an amateur and pro golfer? Learn What It Takes To Go From Being An Amateur To Pro Golfer!
Golf is a popular sport, with about 24.8 million golfers in the U.S. in 2020. Some of these golfers play the game for fun, while others play it for a living. If you’re thinking about playing golf, you might be curious to know the differences between different types of golf players.
This article discusses the differences between amateur and pro golfers and looks into the different types of professional golfers. Finally, it outlines how to go from being an amateur to a pro golfer.
Whether you’re working on your career path or just enjoying the links, make sure to check back at Our Golf Clubs often. We love all things golf, and we’re constantly adding new information!
The Difference Between Amateur and Professional Golfers
Amateur and professional golfers differ in several ways. Amateur players are hobbyists who play golf as a pastime with other amateur golfers, whereas pro golfers make a career of golf. Golf-playing professionals may also be golf trainers or run a golf course or club.
Additionally, amateur golfers do not receive prizes or money from playing the sport. They participate only in amateur golf tournaments and are not allowed to participate in professional tournaments.
Pro golfers, on the other hand, participate in professional golf tournaments, from which they earn a livelihood. Their income largely comprises prize money, endorsements, and sponsorships. Pro golfers are allowed to participate in amateur golf tournaments only if the golf committee permits it.
Like other professionals, pro golf tour professionals must achieve various qualifications to acquire the title. Golf-playing professionals also differ from amateurs in their level of training, playing style, and results on the golf course. Pro golfers spend substantially more time receiving training under professional instructors.
The Different Types of Professional Golfers
Any person who earns a living from playing or teaching golf is a golf-playing professional. However, the terms golf pro and pro golfer refer to different people in the world of golf. When you hear the term golf pro, it usually refers to an instructor whose career involves more teaching than playing golf.
In the U.S., the term golf pro may also refer to a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA). Golf pros may advise on golf equipment and coach high school or college golf teams.
Golf pros can also be swing coaches. Instead of working as employees on golf facilities, swing coaches work as freelancers or own golf facilities.
The most skilled and experienced swing coaches train golf-playing professionals, helping them reshape and fine-tune their swings. Canadian golf instructor Sean Foley, for example, has coached PGA Tour professionals such as Hunter Mahan, Sean O’Hair, Parker McLachlin, and Stephen Ames.
Golf pro career designations in the PGA include the titles Head Golf Professional and Teaching Professional. A Head Golf Professional provides or supervises golf lessons at golf facilities such as a golf course or driving range. A Teaching Professional provides or supervises golf lessons and trains instructors.
Pro golfer, on the other hand, refers to someone whose livelihood involves playing the sport competitively. Top pro golfers participate in major professional golf tournaments, such as the PGA Tour or European Tour.
Pro golfers earn a livelihood from playing in professional golf tournaments, the most popular and lucrative of which is the PGA Tour. According to the PGA Tour, the average PGA Tour player earned about $1.5 million in 2021. Many golf pros teach golf for a living but also play competitively in regional, state, or local golf tournaments alongside pro golfers
How To Become a Pro Golfer
If you’ve played golf on a championship golf course, you’ve probably at least momentarily entertained the ambition of playing pro golf. You’re not alone. The idea of earning a handsome income playing this extraordinary game on the best golf courses excites many golfers, amateur or otherwise.
However, before you can stroll the fairways duking it out with legends like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, you must progress through the following well-defined path:
- Get an early start. The sooner you start to advance through junior golf tournaments, the better. The majority of golf-playing professionals today started playing very young. There are few exceptions, such as Y.E. Yang. He started playing golf at age 19 but went on to win the 2009 PGA Championship. Pro golf icons, such as Rory Mcllroy, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods, were toddlers when they started swinging golf clubs.
- Practice painstakingly. Practice each phase of the game painstakingly. Work with your instructor to develop a practice routine that allocates enough time to each aspect of the game. Keep in mind that in every professional golf tour, all participants perform well on the fairways and greens. The winners tend to gain their leads in short games and putting.
- Play college golf. College golf serves as an exceptional training ground, so try and play golf in college. Participate in national, regional, and local amateur tournaments that feature excellent golf courses. Top national golf tournaments include the USGA Amateur Public Links Championship and USGA Amateur Championship.
- Advance through Q-School and the Korn Ferry Tour. Take part in the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament (Q-School) to earn playing privileges for the Korn Ferry Tour, which is the official developmental circuit for the PGA Tour. Win enough money to be in the top 25 by the end of the year, and you’ll receive PGA Tour membership for the next season.
- Play professional golf tournaments. If you fail to participate or advance in Q-School, you must play in minor league professional golf tours and earn your way to the pro golfer title. These tours include the Moonlight Tour, eGolf Professional Tour, and NGA Pro Golf Tour. Pro golfers such as John Daly and Zach Johnson perfected their prowess in the minor league tours.
From Amateur to Golf Pro to Pro Golfer
Now you know how to become a pro golfer! Whether you’re an amateur golfer, golf pro, or pro golfer, you get great joy from participating in the sport. However, if you’re thinking about charting a career in golf, follow the path this article has outlined.
And don’t forget to check back at Our Golf Clubs for fresh information, tips, and updates on all things golf!