Become a Member

Playing Ability Test (PAT)

The Playing Ability Test or "PAT" is a measure of golfing ability.  It means PGA Professionals have the skills needed to teach and grow the game. 

The  36-hole playing ability test for golf is something you must pass if you want to become a PGA Professional.

One of the following must be completed within eight years prior to registering into the PGA Professional Golf Management Program (PGA PGM Program):

  1. Pass the 36-hole Playing Ability Test or;
  2. Attempt the PAT at least once within the eight years prior to registering into the PGA PGM Program. Within that time frame, shoot one 18-hole score in a PAT that is equal to or less than the PAT target score for 18- holes, plus 5 strokes. Note: Each PAT score has a validity date of eight years (see the chart below).
36-Hole PAT Target Score 18-Hole Target Score Target Score to Register as an Associate
Course Rating for 36 holes + 15 (36 PAT Score/2) (36 PAT Score/2) + 5
151  75.5  80
152  76.0  81
153 76.5  81
154  77.0  82
155  77.5  82
156  78.0  83
157  78.5  83
158  79.0  84
159 79.5  84
160 80.0  85
161  80.5  85
162  81.0 86
163  81.5  86
164  82.0  87
165 82.5  87

The 36-hole PAT remains valid during the Acceptable Progress period. In order to pass the 36-hole PAT, you must achieve a 36-hole score within 15 shots of the course rating. For example, if the course rating is 72, the target score for the 36 holes would be 159 (72 x 2 = 144 + 15 = 159). This competition is normally conducted in one day.  Fewer than 20% of those taking the test achieve a passing score, therefore, it is highly recommended that you work diligently on your game prior to registering for the PAT.

Click here for the PAT schedule and online registration. To register by phone, please contact PGA Membership Services at 800-474-2776.

Click here to view PAT policies and procedures.

Scores from the first two competition rounds of a collegiate golf tournament (Division I, II, III, NAIA, and Junior College) may be used to satisfy the 36-hole PGA Playing Ability Test requirement.  Playing Ability Test validity would extend eight years past the date of passing.  Applicant would be responsible for submitting documentation of scores, yardage and course rating to verify Playing Ability Test eligibility, and all PGA minimum standards for the Playing Ability Test must be met. Click here to send us your scores.