PGA of America

The PGM Associate Program

Take the steps to become a PGA Member and build your career in golf.

To apply for membership with the PGA, you must first complete the PGM Associate Program by meeting the milestones listed below. (The background check, Qualifying Level and Playing Ability Test may be completed in any order)

Path to Membership

Expand your career and grow the game you love

By becoming a PGA Member, you can fully immerse yourself in the world of golf, forge a fulfilling career, and actively contribute to the sport's growth and development. Join a network of more than 30,000 recognized golf industry leaders worldwide and embrace a multitude of benefits that come with PGA Membership today.

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Background Check

All individuals registering or re-registering as an associate must complete a Background Check. Employment Screening Associates (ESA) performs this service at a reasonable cost, paid by the prospective member during an online screening session.

*(If you have been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or equivalent, you should submit documentation to the PGA Membership Department to determine your eligibility for PGA Membership prior to proceeding. Per the PGA Code of Ethics, certain transgressions are cause for permanent preclusion to PGA Membership.)*

Qualifying Level

Applicants will review the four Qualifying Level courses - Introduction to the PGA PGM Program, PGA Constitution, Introduction to the Rules of Golf, and Career Enhancement. As courses are reviewed, applicants will complete accompanying quizzes.

Playing Ability Test

One of the following must be completed within eight (8) years prior to registering into the PGA Professional Golf Management Program:

  • Pass the 36-hole Playing Ability Test
  • Attempt the PAT at least once within the eight (8) 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.
  • PAT Qualifying Score: Individuals may submit verification of a current handicap index less than ten, to satisfy the PAT Qualifying Score in order to register as an Associate. This is commensurate with the current parameters of the Qualifying Score, listed in the chart on this page. All individuals who enter in this manner will still need to eventually fully pass the Playing Ability Test to elect into PGA Membership.Please submit your proof of handicap, along with any official supporting documentation, to for review.

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. To register by phone, please contact PGA Membership Services at 1-800-474-2776.

View PAT Policies & Procedures

Eligible Employment

To be eligible to register as an associate, individuals must be employed in an eligible position, within one of the approved classifications. While many traditional golf positions may be top of mind, there are many non-traditional jobs that are also eligible positions including things like tournament director, sales & marketing, hospitality and even real estate. NOTE: Participation in an amateur event will forfeit all work experience credits earned prior to the event.

See Eligible Positions

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Associated Costs

Fees - must be current on all fees and costs associated with the application process. We also have a fee calculator available for your use.

Portal Access to Online Course - $200 Valid for 9 months – If the Qualifying Level is not passed within 9 months of the purchase date a renewal fee of $200 will be required.

See All Fees and Costs

View Fee Calculator

PGA PGM 3.1 Associate Program Overview

To be elected to membership once admitted to the PGA PGM 3.1 Associate Program, Associates will have to meet the appropriate milestones and requirements:

PGM 3.1 Program At-A-Glance

Acceptable Progress

  • Level 1 must be successfully completed within three years of the Level 1 Start Date
  • Level 2 must be successfully completed within three years of the Level 2 Start Date
  • Level 3 and election to PGA Membership must be successfully accomplished within nine years of the Level 1 Start Date

Associates have nine years from their Level 1 Start Date to graduate from the PGA PGM Program, meet all election requirements and become elected to PGA Membership. Failure to complete Level 1 or 2 within three years of the Level’s start date will result in suspension. Failure to exit suspension by the end of two years will result in termination from the PGA PGM Program.

Education - must have a high school diploma or be at least 18 years of age and have the equivalent of a high school education. Please contact one of the following companies to submit your diploma, certificate or degree if your education was completed in a country other than the United States of America:

| Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
7101 SW 102 Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
Phone: (305) 273-1616
Fax: (305) 273-1338
Translation Fax: (305) 273-1984
| World Education Services, Inc.
Attention: Documentation Center
P.O. Box 5087
Bowling Green Station
New York, NY 10274-5087
Phone: (212) 966-6311
Fax: (212) 739-6100 |

Employment - A total of 28 work experience credits must be earned in addition to fulfilling the PGA PGM Program. (One credit per month while eligibly employed full time.) 12 credits are awarded for a four year college degree and six credits for a two year college degree.

Amateur Status: Work experience earned prior to participating in an amateur event will be forfeited.

*Note: All applicants are required to read and write in English to successfully complete the PGA Professional Golf Management Program. *

Path to Membership Resources

If you have any questions concerning this information or requirements to become a PGA Member, call PGA Membership Services at (800) 474-2776.