Reaching excellence in a sporting discipline is a tough and time-consuming path that is not for those faint of heart.
Whether it’s football, basketball, tennis, or indeed golf, becoming good at it will take you years if not decades of constant practice and dedication. Of course, depending on the sport in question, you may also need to count on parameters such as buying the necessary equipment or the prospect of joining a club.
In this article, we’ll talk about what it takes to become a professional golfer and how you can slowly but surely start going in that direction in case you’ve decided you want to turn professional in this demanding, but beautiful sport. As you will see, becoming a pro golfer takes a lot of time, dedication, effort, and an undying will to succeed and become the best.
To help you understand the scope of this undertaking, we will talk about honing your golfing skills, becoming a part of the local golf community, as well as about how you can integrate yourself in the higher circles of golfing by taking part in specific tournaments.
Right then folks, without further ado, here’s the deal.
Honing Your Golf Skills
Start Young (If Possible)
Although this suggestion may not be exactly fair if you’re already past a certain age, we still need to mention it.
As you are probably well aware already, starting out young can be a great way to form a good basis for virtually any sport, and golf is no exception. The same way bilingual kids are able to speak two languages by the time they reach adolescence if they’re exposed to both languages growing up, kids who learn the ropes of golf at a young age and then grow up practicing it often are more likely to have a successful career later on.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that folks who have picked golf at 24 don’t have a chance of success, but had they practiced golf from a young age, they would certainly have an advantage when they’re fully grown.
Consider Taking Golfing Lessons
While there is always a certain pleasure in learning things completely on your own, taking golfing lessons is often the step many golf pro wannabes take in order to set themselves on the right path.
The tricky part here is that golf is not exactly the cheapest sport out there, so taking lessons will mean you’ll have to dedicate some financial means for having the lessons in the first place.
That said, a well-trained golfing instructor can teach you a lot about this sport, as well as help you hone your skills and direct your playing style depending on your talents and abilities. The important thing here is that working with an instructor means that he or she will dedicate their full attention to you, so you can rest assured that you’ll be getting optimal support on your path to becoming a professional golfer.
Come up with a Golf Routine
Having a sound golf routine to fall back on when things get tough (and they will get tough sooner or later) is essential for keeping concentrated on becoming a better golfer.
What we mean by a ‘sound routine’ would be scheduled time slots dedicated to practicing golf and the many individual skills that make up this game such as putting, pitching, chipping, etc.
Now, in order to get the most out of this sort of arrangement, you need to do it on a regular basis and figure out what exercises to do and when. Surely enough, practicing only your golf swing for the entire week will improve the pitching, but the other parts of your game will then be neglected.
So, in order to do this the proper way, aim to dedicate at least two hours of golf practice every day if you’re a beginner. Once you feel comfortable with this setup, you may move on to practice three or four hours a week, which is more the sort of work hours that professional golfers are putting in for their practice sessions.
Expand Your Skillset
As we’ve already mentioned, golf is a complex sport that requires you to master multiple skill sets in order to truly be able to excel. So, in order to offer excellent, well-rounded performances every time you enter a golf course, you’ll need to cover thoroughly all of these different aspects of the game.
For example, putting is an important part of any golfer’s skill set as it enables you to drive the ball carefully toward the hole once it’s in its proximity. On the other hand, it’s equally important to be able to drive the ball powerfully from its initial position, so that you can minimize the number of additional strikes afterward.
So, to become good at the game of golf, you will have to become fairly confident in such parts of the game as putting, chipping, pitching, lob shots, bunker shots, as well as swinging the club.
Practice the Individual Skills
Even though it is true that you’ll make great progress if you can practice on your golf course for a couple of hours every day, this does not mean you should completely disregard the other necessary strength and agility exercises.
For example, the same way basketball players lift weights and do rope-skipping a couple of times a week to increase their strength, you must also be prepared to practice your swinging motion, the way you putt your balls, and the way you approach bunker shots.
You see, the more practice hours you put in just the swinging motion, the more confident you will feel when it comes to pitching the ball, which means you will inevitably have more success when you start playing the game.
These may appear to be boring and pointless sometimes, especially if all you’re doing is swinging a heavy club a couple of hours a day, but if you venture to do this regularly and push through the boring and difficult stages of the practice, you’re going to love the positive results you get from it all the more.
Becoming a Part of the Golfing Community
Join a Club
Before we proceed with this section, we’d just like to point out that these suggestions aren’t in any chronological order. So, we’re not saying you should first become good at golf and only once you’ve reached a certain level should you join a club.
On the contrary, if you are serious about this sport, no matter how inexperienced you are, you should venture to join a local club as soon as possible. This way, you can learn the ropes about the rules of your club, you can play at the courses they have, learn about the equipment, and most importantly – meet other golfers with whom you can practice and who can help you grow.
Joining a club also can help you track your progress more easily than you would otherwise be able to because every player has their rating if they’re a part of a club. (Calculating your golfer’s handicap will also be easier if you’re a part of a club.)
Find a Golfing Partner
As we’ve already mentioned, one of the biggest problems with golf is that the clubs and courses are few and far apart, so joining one and following through with their activities can be a tad tricky at times.
An important part of becoming better at this game is experiencing some competition, because this way, you’ll be able to see where your game is strong and where it needs improvement – so, you can concentrate on investing effort in improving the individual skills to the best of your ability, while constantly getting feedback from the people you’re playing against.
Now, the best way to achieve this would be to get a golfing partner – a person who will be able to dedicate a couple of hours each week to practicing golf with you. Finding such a person can be a bit tricky, but it can be done. (Nowadays, there are many golfing-related applications for mobile devices you can use to connect with like-minded people and make arrangements for practice sessions.)
Compete in Local Amateur Tournaments
While many young golfers dream of competing with the likes of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, this won’t be possible right off the bat. What you need to do to reach their level is first to fight your way through many amateur tournaments where you have to either win or otherwise rank high in order to get noticed.
Now, while you’ll certainly want to prepare yourself for these as best you can, you don’t want to wait around until your pitching is perfect or until you can putt with 100% accuracy. On the contrary, you should try to enter as many tournaments as possible and try to play as well as you can and possibly win as many of them as you can.
This will let the folks in your golfing community that you mean business and that you’re a rising talent. It’s also a great way to get invited to golf-themed events and get noticed in general.
Taking a Leap to Become a Professional Player
Compete in Professional Tournaments
Once you’ve garnered somewhat of a reputation as a young golfer through competing in local tournaments and amateur events, you can start making a name for yourself in the world of professional golf by competing in professional tournaments.
There are many professional golfing tournaments out there and the more of them you enter, the more experience you will amass for later on. These tournaments represent a great venue for displaying your skills, and hunger for success, which is something clubs and sponsors notice immediately.
When it comes to the tournaments themselves, you can enter the likes of Moonlight tour, eGolf Professional Tour, and many others – depending on where you are from.
PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament
As far as becoming a professional golfer is concerned, entering a tournament such as the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament is the place where you want to be. If you feel ready for it, you should enter this tournament, and then attempt to play your way into the final stage.
This tournament (also known as the Qualifying School or Q School) is played in four different stages. These stages are organized sequentially, so you’ll have to pass through all of them in order to get to the final one. Only 144 players make it to the final stage, so getting here in the first place is a major success for anyone who enters such a tournament.
After the final stage’s been completed, only 25 players will come out in the end, and these 25 will then have qualified for the Web.com tour, which is the place you want to be if you want to get your PGA card.
Getting Your PGA Tour Card
Earning your PGA card is the confirmation of your status as a professional golf player on the Web.com. To get it, you’ll need to have qualified for the Web.com tournament in the first place by being one of the 25 people to complete the final stage of the PGA Qualifying Tournament as we’ve explained in the section above.
Once you’ve done that, in order to get your PGA card, you’ll have to do either of these two things:
- Win any of the three events within the Web.com tournament, or
- End up in the top 25 list of players on the Web.com list at the end of the season.
After you’ve completed these two transactions, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to do use that card to enter further professional tournaments and so make progress with your golfing career. Also, you will have a much easier time finding sponsors, as more people will be willing to invest in a PGA-qualified golfer than an unqualified one.
All in all, becoming a professional in any sport is a tough and demanding process that requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and an unwavering will to never give up. We hope that this article gave you a clearer idea of what it takes to go pro in the sport of golf and we wish you plenty of luck and much success in doing so.