PGA of America

Playing Ability Test (PAT)

Playing Ability Test 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.  

You must complete one of the following 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.

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 to schedule your PAT, or call PGA Membership Services at (800) 474-2776.

Americans With Disabilities Act

The PGA of America offers reasonable accommodations for individuals that 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 (800) 474-2776.

PAT Professional and Amatuer Event Consideration

Scores from the first two individual stroke play competition rounds of a PGA Qualified Professional Tour golf tournament, collegiate golf tournament (Division I, II, III, NAIA, NCCGA and Junior College), PGA National or Section Professional or Amateur Event, a State Open, State Amateur and State High School Championship and 36-hole qualifiers administered by the United States Golf Association or R&A, or AJGA administered events that meet the minimum yardage qualifications for PAT’s may be used to satisfy the 36-hole PGA Playing Ability Test requirement, provided the individual was age 16 or over at the time of participation. 

Two 18‐hole scores from rounds played in PGA sanctioned events (National, Section, Chapter) that restrict participation to PGA Members, Associates, PGA Students and/or non-PGA Professionals) that qualify as a PAT attempt, may be combined within a one-year period of each other to fulfill the 36‐hole PAT requirement.

An 18‐hole score from rounds played in PGA Golf Management University conducted events that restrict participation to PGA Students that qualify as a PAT attempt, may be combined with other qualifying PAT scores in a one-year period of each other to fulfill the 36‐hole PAT requirement.

For participants of standard 36-hole PGA Section operated PAT events, two 18-hole scores may be combined from more than one PAT event within a one-year period from each other to fulfill the 36-hole requirement. If this may apply to you, send us your scores using the form below.

Playing Ability Test validity would extend eight years past the date of passing. Applicants 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. Events must be at least 36-hole events to qualify. PGA Qualified Professional Tour is defined by a regular and continuous series of events for Professionals accepted at the discretion of PGA of America. Click here to send us your scores.

For any questions about the PAT, please call PGA Membership Services at (800) 474-2776 or email