PGA of America

Playing Ability Test (PAT)

Understanding PAT Scores

  • Passing Scores: Achieving a passing score in a PAT (including alternate events) signifies full compliance with the requirements. The PAT involves completing two rounds of golf (36 holes) and shooting equal to or lower than the course rating for 36 holes + 15 strokes. 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 is necessary for becoming a PGA of America Member.
  • Qualifying Scores: A qualifying score (such as a handicap index submission) allows you to start the PGM Associate Program, but a full passing score must be achieved to become a PGA of America Member.

PAT Passing Options:

  • Take a 36-hole PAT: The traditional method to achieve a passing score. This competition is normally conducted in one day.

        Register for PAT

  • Alternate PATs: Scores from PGA events, collegiate tournaments, USGA events, and several other types of events can be used to satisfy the PAT requirements. Participants in standard 36-hole PAT events have the option to combine two 18-hole scores from multiple PAT events within a year to meet the 36-hole requirement.

        View Alternate Submission Options

PAT Qualifying Options:

  • Handicap Submission: Submit a handicap index less than ten as a qualifying score to start the PGM Associate Program. Click here to submit your handicap index for review.
  • Qualifying Score: This option allows entry into the PGM Associate Program but requires eventual completion of a full passing score to become a PGA of America Member. A Qualifying score is a score that is within 5 strokes of the target score divided by 2 (ex. Target Score 160, Qualifying Score, 160/2+5=85) Click here to schedule your PAT.

        View PAT Scoring Table

Adaptive Golfers and Americans With Disabilities Act

The event model found here is an alternate path for Adaptive Golfers. PGA of America offers reasonable accommodations for individuals who require accommodations due to a disability for their Playing Ability Test needs based on the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  For additional information, please contact the PGA Membership Department at

Do I need to take a PAT now to start the Associate Program?

How long is my PAT valid?

How much does a PAT cost?