Requirements for becoming a golf pro vary with the type of position desired. For touring professionals, there is usually no certification required other than a PGA or Ladies Professional Golfers' Association (LPGA) membership. These golf pros make it to the elite ranks by successfully touring at an amateur level before moving on to progressively larger tournaments. Through talent, hard work and no small amount of luck, touring professionals may benefit from a long career as a golf professional.
For club professionals and instructors, however, requirements are strict. To be considered a professional, these golf pros must achieve PGA certification. With this distinction, they are considered experts in their field and are recognized by other professional golfers throughout the world. In order to obtain this certification, however, golf pro candidates must endure years of training and hard work. From teaching to managing tours, potential pros must exhibit a high degree of competency in every aspect of the industry. In addition, they must pass the Playing Aptitude Test to demonstrate their golfing ability.
Candidates must also enter the PGA Professional Golf Management Program (PGA PGM), which is an apprenticeship that uniquely prepares them for life as a professional golfer. Graduates of the program are knowledgable in state-of-the-art golfing practices as well as techniques to improve the value of their golf facility. Moreover, successful completion of the program equips golf pros with the skills needed to provide exceptional service to customers or clients and act as a public representative of the PGA.