The first thing to say is that the two are not mutually exclusive – A PGA Pro will often play as a Tour Pro, competing in the same events, and many Tour Pros are also PGA Pros. But at both ends of the spectrum of what golf professionals do for work, there are clear differences in how your average Tour Pro and your regular PGA Pro make their money. Here, in a nutshell, is how the Tour Pro and PGA Pro ply their trades –

Professional visit

tour professional

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A Tour Pro or touring professional golfer primarily aims to make a living by pursuing a successful competitive playing career. They focus their energies on getting everything they can from their games. The modern day tour pro is an athlete who will spend every day trying to get better – playing golf, working on fitness, nutrition, mental toughness…Exploring all avenues to give them a competitive edge.

Whether they compete at the highest level – the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LET tours, or even the new LIV Golf tour – or at a lower level on a recruiting tour or national tour, their primary focus is to win at golf. tournaments, or at least finish as high as possible in the final standings to earn money and status to get their name noticed by potential sponsors.

All over the world there are thousands of Tour Pros, plying their trade on numerous circuits in every corner of the golf globe. Those on the lower rungs of the ladder may be trying to climb the ladder to reach the higher heights of professional gaming – To play in those televised tournaments that we see every week on the major professional circuits and even to enter in the Majors.

There will also be Tour Pros who play at a lower level and are content to stay at that level – In some cases being a bigger fish in a smaller pond can be more lucrative. The cost of playing on one of the major international professional tours is extremely high and if a Tour Pro does not enjoy some degree of success they can easily spend more than they earn. Playing at a circuit closer to home with lower prize funds is a more reasonable financial setup for many, considering the much lower expenses involved.

Tour Pros will supplement the prize money they earn with sponsorship money from golf manufacturers and businesses outside of golf. They will have a number of responsibilities each year through their sponsorship contracts – Meeting their sponsor’s customers, dealing with the media, using the right equipment and wearing the right badges/tags on the golf course. At the highest level, these sponsorship deals will often earn top players more money than they will earn in prize money. At a lower level, sponsorship deals are often crucial to keeping the traveling professional afloat.

PGA Professional

PGA Draft

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A PGA Professional is a member of the Professional Golfers Association. To become a member of the association in this country, one must complete a three-year training program which, since 2003, is a nationally recognized qualification – a basic diploma in professional golf. You must also obtain an Association of Sports Qualification Level 2 certificate in golf coaching, as well as a first aid certificate, undergo a background check and have competed at a professional level to an agreed standard – This is a highly valued qualification and one that opens doors.

The options for a PGA Professional are vast. These days, there’s a lot more to choose from than the old, inaccurate cliche of just “selling Mars bars in a store.” PGA professionals work in coaching, management, retail, administration and manufacturing. From course design to coaching an elite player, there are some extremely exciting options to explore.

There’s also the ability to work anywhere in the world – The PGA has 8,000 members, 1,500 of whom work internationally in over 80 countries.

The modern PGA professional working at a golf club or facility in this country has a range of responsibilities that far exceed those of the traditional ‘club pro’. The role has evolved from that of a tradesman doing the occasional repair job and giving the occasional lesson to one much more dynamic with PGA pros involved in at least some, if not all areas of golf club management as well as coaching, public relations, finance. , retailing and sharing general golf expertise in golf equipment, technique, rules and technology.

Once a member of the PGA, it is possible to move up the ranks – from PGA Professional to PGA Advanced Professional, PGA Fellow Professional, PGA Advanced Fellow Professional, and then, to the top of the pile – PGA Master Professional.

But, of course, most PGA Pros are in the business because they love golf and there are plenty of opportunities for PGA Pros to play the game competitively – There are PGA Events in each region and, as qualified pros, they can qualify for larger events and even tours. Famous players like Paul Lawrie and Ian Poulter started their careers as PGA assistant professionals and worked their way into Tour golf.

The basic difference between a Tour Pro and a PGA Pro is that a Tour Pro primarily earns a living by playing the game, whereas a PGA Pro earns a living by using their knowledge of golf to instruct, manage, sell, manufacture or promote within or around the game