The PGA Tour, or the Professional Golfers’ Association Tour, is one of the world’s premier men’s professional golf tours.
Out of approximately 80 million golfers globally, only the elite 175 plus exemptions qualify for the PGA Tour.
It is a top-level competition for professional golfers and features some of the most talented and well-known players.
As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, the PGA Tour has a limited number of players because it operates as a membership organization, and the number of players can vary from season to season.
However, I can provide some details on how the PGA Tour operates:
PGA Tour Membership
The PGA Tour has a membership system where professional golfers become PGA Tour members by meeting specific criteria, typically including earning their Tour card through a combination of performance in qualifying events and other exemptions.
These criteria can change from year to year.
In addition to PGA Tour members, there are exemptions for players who might not be regular members but earn spots in tournaments through various means, such as sponsor exemptions, past champions’ exemptions, and unique invitations.
The field size for PGA Tour events can vary. Most PGA Tour events have a field size of around 120 to 156 players, but this number can fluctuate depending on the specific tournament and its format.
To compete in PGA Tour events, golfers must meet eligibility requirements, including their performance on the PGA Tour, past achievements, or exemptions granted by tournament organizers.
Some players may also earn their way onto the PGA Tour through the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly the Web.com Tour) or by attending PGA Tour Qualifying School (Q-School).
Q-School is a series of tournaments where aspiring professionals compete for a limited number of PGA Tour cards.
The specifics regarding the number of players on the PGA Tour can change from season to season, and there might have been updates since my last knowledge update in September 2021.
Check the official PGA Tour website or other reliable sources for the most up-to-date information on PGA Tour membership and field sizes for their events.
Requirements for a Tour Card
Obtaining a PGA Tour card is a significant achievement for professional golfers, and the requirements for earning one can vary depending on several factors, including a golfer’s performance on different tours and changes in the qualification criteria over time.
As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, here are some general guidelines for earning a PGA Tour card:
Korn Ferry Tour Success
Many golfers earn their PGA Tour card by performing well on the Korn Ferry Tour, which is the developmental tour for the PGA Tour.
The exact requirements for earning a card through the Korn Ferry Tour can change yearly. Still, typically, the top golfers on the Korn Ferry Tour money list or the top finishers in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals (a series of tournaments at the end of the season) secure PGA Tour cards.
Qualifying School (Q-School)
Historically, aspiring professionals could also earn a PGA Tour card through the PGA Tour Qualifying School (Q-School). Q-School was a series of tournaments where golfers competed for a limited number of PGA Tour cards.
However, Q-School has changed and no longer provides direct access to the PGA Tour. As of my last update, it primarily grants access to the Korn Ferry Tour.
Some players might receive sponsor exemptions to PGA Tour events, allowing them to compete without a full tour card. They may earn their way onto the tour if they perform well in these opportunities.
Past Champion Exemptions
Former PGA Tour champions may be eligible for exemptions, allowing them to compete in select tournaments even if they do not have full membership status.
Performance on Other Tours
Exceptional performance on other professional golf tours, such as the European Tour or Asian Tour, can sometimes lead to invitations to PGA Tour events. This can be a pathway for international players to secure PGA Tour status.
Players may sometimes receive unique invitations from tournament organizers to compete in specific events, regardless of their tour card status.
It’s important to note that the PGA Tour regularly evaluates and updates its qualification criteria, and the process can change over time.
Additionally, my information is based on the state of the PGA Tour as of September 2021, and there may have been updates or changes since then.
Check the official PGA Tour website or consult with governing bodies and organizations for the most current information on PGA Tour qualification and tour card requirements.
Benefits Of A Tour Card
Earning a PGA Tour card is a significant achievement for a professional golfer, as it comes with several benefits, including:
Access to PGA Tour Events
The most apparent benefit of holding a PGA Tour card is the opportunity to compete in PGA Tour events. These tournaments feature the world’s best golfers and offer substantial prize money. Competing on the PGA Tour provides exposure, experience, and the chance to earn a substantial income through tournament winnings.
Increased Earnings Potential
PGA Tour events typically have larger purses and higher prize money than most professional golf tours. Golfers can compete for significant earnings in each tournament with a tour card.
PGA Tour cardholders typically enjoy exemption status, which means they have guaranteed entry into many tournaments without needing to qualify through other means.
This status ensures a consistent schedule of events and reduces the uncertainty of securing tournament spots.
World Golf Ranking Points
PGA Tour events offer World Golf Ranking points, which can improve a golfer’s standing in the world rankings.
A higher ranking can lead to invitations to prestigious international events and majors.
Playing on the PGA Tour and achieving success can attract sponsorships and endorsement deals, providing additional income and support for a golfer’s career.
Access to Majors and WGC Events
Holding a PGA Tour card often comes with invitations to major championships, such as The Masters, U.S.
Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship, as well as World Golf Championships (WGC) events, which are highly prestigious tournaments.
Stability and Job Security
Earning a PGA Tour card provides job security in the professional golf world. It allows golfers to plan their schedules more effectively and focus on improving their game.
Access to High-Quality Facilities and Coaching
PGA Tour players often have access to top-notch training facilities, coaching staff, and support services to help them enhance their skills and performance.
PGA Tour events receive significant media coverage and attention, allowing players to showcase their talent to a global audience. This exposure can lead to increased fan support and sponsor interest.
Long-Term Career Prospects
A PGA Tour card can pave the way for a long and successful career in professional golf, with the potential to compete at the highest level for many years.
How Many Players Are On The PGA Tour? Earning a PGA Tour card is a significant accomplishment for professional golfers, offering various benefits that can significantly enhance their careers. These benefits include access to prestigious tournaments, increased earnings potential, exemption status, sponsorship opportunities, and exposure to a global audience. Holding a PGA Tour card provides stability, job security, and access to top-notch facilities and coaching, making it a coveted goal for aspiring and established golfers. While obtaining and maintaining a tour card can be challenging and competitive, the rewards and opportunities it brings can pave the way for a long and successful career in professional golf.
What Is The Primary Path To Earning A PGA Tour Card?
The primary pathway to earn a PGA Tour card is through success on the Korn Ferry Tour (formerly the Web.com Tour), a developmental tour for the PGA Tour. Players who perform well in Korn Ferry Tour events or the Korn Ferry Tour Finals can secure their PGA Tour cards.
Can International Players Earn A PGA Tour Card?
Yes, international players can earn PGA Tour cards.
They often do so by performing well on other professional tours worldwide or receiving unique invitations to PGA Tour events based on their achievements.
How Do Exemptions Work For PGA Tour Events?
Exemptions are unique invitations that allow players to compete in PGA Tour events without a full tour card.
These exemptions can be granted to former champions, sponsors’ picks, and players who meet specific criteria set by tournament organizers.
What Are The Minimum Requirements To Maintain A PGA Tour Card From Season To Season?
To maintain a PGA Tour card, players typically must finish within a specific ranking on the FedExCup Points List or the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
These requirements can vary from year to year.