Growing the game means ensuring that pipelines exist to bring more players into the business of golf. The PGA Professional Golf Management program is a training program and pipeline for aspiring PGA Professionals.
It consists of self-studies, seminars, work experience and testing. The PGA of America offers two distinct programs focused on training aspiring PGA Members: the PGA Apprentice program and PGA Golf Management University program. There are nearly 4,000 PGA Professionals in the Apprentice Program and nearly 2,000 college students currently enrolled in the PGA Golf Management University program as of November 2017. These cutting-edge education programs ensure that participants have the necessary skills to succeed in the business of golf and that our members’ needs are met by finding work opportunities for them to grow the game at a club level. The PGA Apprentice program offers PGA Professionals the opportunity to attend seminars with the PGA Education Center and participate in online courses and self-study, all while working full-time at a PGA recognized course or office. Along with the other requirements of the apprentice and university programs, potential members must pass a Playing Ability Test (PAT).
In 2017, we elected 652 people to PGA Membership. Slightly more than half (332) became PGA Members through the traditional Apprentice Program and the remaining 320 achieved Membership by graduating from the PGA Golf Management University program and gainful employment in the golf industry.
The PGA Golf Management University program is a unique offering that partners with 18 universities to train enrollees in golf management, both in and out of the classroom. The program requires students to complete at least 16 months of internship experience in the business of golf. These two programs are instrumental in ensuring that aspiring members gain the skills and experience necessary to become PGA Members in the future.