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How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

post #1 of 189
Thread Starter 
I hear all different kinds of stuff when ask that question.

Some people make it sound like it's as tough as shooting a 59 every time you play and others say if you are a +2 and shoot even par on most courses in tournaments you have a good chance.

How tough is it really to make a decent living on the Nationwide or PGA tour?
post #2 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post
I hear all different kinds of stuff when ask that question.

Some people make it sound like it's as tough as shooting a 59 every time you play and others say if you are a +2 and shoot even par on most courses in tournaments you have a good chance.

How tough is it really to make a decent living on the Nationwide or PGA tour?
I would say you have to be around a +4 handicap or higher, and have that handicap on wicked courses, not just local munis. I've heard the nationwide tour and PGA tour have the same quality players, and that the difference is between the ears, but I doubt that is true.
post #3 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Originally Posted by st0wgolf08 View Post
I would say you have to be around a +4 handicap or higher, and have that handicap on wicked courses, not just local munis. I've heard the nationwide tour and PGA tour have the same quality players, and that the difference is between the ears, but I doubt that is true.
I don't know,I think it's pretty true think about the difference in gallery sizes let alone the difference in magnitude of the tournaments let alone playing in majors if you can even get that far, there have been alot of pga tour players that have fallen off just because of the mental side of the game being to much for them, and then there have been alot of nationwide tour players that have come on tour and then lost there card within a few years because of the same reason, I mean could you imagine the mental pressure going on before a tournament just knowing that you have to be with it 100% mentaly and physically every single shot if you really want to contend week in and week out let alone the pressure going on while your trying to focus and hit sometimes impossible shots in front of 1,000 people or more I mean honestly how do you do just hitting in front of 50 strangers, I know I would get nerved up.
post #4 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Originally Posted by jcrob902 View Post
I don't know,I think it's pretty true think about the difference in gallery sizes let alone the difference in magnitude of the tournaments let alone playing in majors if you can even get that far, there have been alot of pga tour players that have fallen off just because of the mental side of the game being to much for them, and then there have been alot of nationwide tour players that have come on tour and then lost there card within a few years because of the same reason, I mean could you imagine the mental pressure going on before a tournament just knowing that you have to be with it 100% mentaly and physically every single shot if you really want to contend week in and week out let alone the pressure going on while your trying to focus and hit sometimes impossible shots in front of 1,000 people or more I mean honestly how do you do just hitting in front of 50 strangers, I know I would get nerved up.
Hm, I don't think it's that mental, my junior golf tournaments probably have as many as 50 strangers watching so I don't feel it would be any different, if not any easier, knowing I'm pro.
post #5 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

I think it's a combination of both physical and mental abilities performing at top notch. Yeah, you need to be good. I mean real good. As stated earlier a +2 would probably minimal. But what separates the elite from the best is the ability to make good shots day in and day out.

You see guys like Adam Scott who has the ability to duel Tiger and may I even say beat him? But his mental game is nowhere near Tiger's and that's why Tiger is the best golfer in the world. No one can come close to playing at that level.
post #6 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

I think you do have to be atleast a +handicap, but more importantly you have to be mentally tough and focused and willing to sacrafice a lot in life to get to where you want to go (going to practice as opposed to taking a girl on a date, hanging out with friends, etc.) You also have to be extremely confident in your abilities. There are plenty of people with the game to be a successful pro but only an elite few that have the mental capabilities to become a successful pro.
post #7 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Originally Posted by tonyy View Post
I think it's a combination of both physical and mental abilities performing at top notch. Yeah, you need to be good. I mean real good. As stated earlier a +2 would probably minimal. But what separates the elite from the best is the ability to make good shots day in and day out.

You see guys like Adam Scott who has the ability to duel Tiger and may I even say beat him? But his mental game is nowhere near Tiger's and that's why Tiger is the best golfer in the world. No one can come close to playing at that level.
Along those lines and not so much about the thread topic, I've heard people say that Phil is just as talented if not more talented than Tiger. It's just that Phil is a headcase. I think the mental aspect goes a long way. Every guy out there is an incredible player but to be able to handle the pressure and gallery every week is where Tiger rises above everyone else. This is coming from someone who doesn't particularly care for Tiger.
post #8 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Originally Posted by jcrob902 View Post
I don't know,I think it's pretty true think about the difference in gallery sizes let alone the difference in magnitude of the tournaments let alone playing in majors if you can even get that far, there have been alot of pga tour players that have fallen off just because of the mental side of the game being to much for them, and then there have been alot of nationwide tour players that have come on tour and then lost there card within a few years because of the same reason, I mean could you imagine the mental pressure going on before a tournament just knowing that you have to be with it 100% mentaly and physically every single shot if you really want to contend week in and week out let alone the pressure going on while your trying to focus and hit sometimes impossible shots in front of 1,000 people or more I mean honestly how do you do just hitting in front of 50 strangers, I know I would get nerved up.

I guess it depends from people to people... I've played some tournaments where people where whatching and when they were pulling for me, I'd go and hit good shots. When they weren't, I'd still give them something to cheer about...
post #9 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Let's put it this way. Tom Lehman finished 185th on the money list last year and his scoring ave was 71.98. This on courses that tend to run over 7,200 yds and are just wicked tough.

The average guy......even low handicappers can't even begin to understand how good those guys really are.
post #10 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
Let's put it this way. Tom Lehman finished 185th on the money list last year and his scoring ave was 71.98. This on courses that tend to run over 7,200 yds and are just wicked tough.

The average guy......even low handicappers can't even begin to understand how good those guys really are.
i agree. i was recently on the range at TPC Tampa hitting balls next to a Nationwide Tour player and was just amazed how shot after shot, long iron after long iron, were just so perfect, sounded the same, and landed in the same spot 200+ yards away after every swing. and he made it look so effortless every time. those guys are unbelievably good.
post #11 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Lets put in into perspective. My dad and I are both scratch golfers. The course we play at hosts a Nationwide Tour Event. The best score I have ever shot from the tips is 71 (-1). My dad has shot 70. However, the low on the day is consistently in the low 60's during the Nationwide Tour Event.

And thats just the Nationwide
post #12 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post
I hear all different kinds of stuff when ask that question.

Some people make it sound like it's as tough as shooting a 59 every time you play and others say if you are a +2 and shoot even par on most courses in tournaments you have a good chance.

How tough is it really to make a decent living on the Nationwide or PGA tour?
There is an old saying that was, I believe, credited to Bobby Jones....... "there is Golf and there is tournament Golf... and the two are not very much alike." A more contemporary idiom might be..... "posting a 68 in a practice round... translates carding 74 when it counts."

There are quite a few golfers that have the all of the shots they need in order to compete. However, tournament Golf is more about blind execution than ability (presuming you have it). It's about the ability to simply pull the trigger, without undo concern for the outcome. It is about managing your own game and fears when it really counts. And while this may sound simple, it isn't.

If you want to play tournament Golf, check your fears and expectations at the front gate; Pay attention to your intent for shot in front of you, as that is the only thing you can really control; Have a short and selective memory; and most importantly... believe in yourself.

Good luck
post #13 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

You need to be looking at the +3 mark, to make it through the first stage of Q school this year in europe you have to shoot -6 through 4 rounds in an english autumn. Mentally it has to be strong but every pro on tour has the knowledge that they are in 100% control of everything over every putt. This includes emotions, thoughts of the possible outcomes and the adrenaline down the stretch.
post #14 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Play Bethpage Black.
Play it 15 times.
If altogether you end up with a +15 or better go out for Q School.
post #15 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

saw this on another board regarding what it takes to make it as a pro & thought it sounded like good advice so i thought i would pass it on:

No. 1 - GOLF must be your life's "passion"......specifically tournament golf.......if it's not then don't bother trying as you won't make it......the "willingness to SACRIFICE" WAAAAY above and beyind the norm is the most important attribute a golfer can have if they want to EXCELL......(that way with everything else too).......however, if you are DETERMINED to make your life professional golf then here's some sound advice....(since you asked for it...hehe)

MOST people will tell you your "wasting your time"......"wasting your life"......"will never make it".....etc. etc. etc......You'd better have VERY thick skin and the ability to ignore "criticism"......cause your gonna' get it......the thing is, MOST of the folk's criticizing you never had the gut's to stick their neck out and take a chance in their life........and if they aren't criticizing you they are criticizing somebody else.......they go through life like this......get together with a few others with like-minded thoughts and "criticize".....like a bunch of old widow's in a sewing circle.......LOL.......so realize you have a "hole in BOTH sides of your noggin' and YOU determine what goes in and bounces around and what passes right on through"......you MUST be "tough minded"........if your not then don't even try professional golf.......or any other aspiration you might have that's a bit "out of the ordinary"........I can name probably 20 or 30 guy's I played against in my day who I thought had "no chance" or were "can't misses" and either did or didn't "make it"........IMOP the deteriming factor that seperated these guy's was DESIRE/PASSION/DISCIPLINE/Willingness to SACRIFICE........and the one's that made it are/were VERY "tough minded"....."mentally tough".......the one's that didn't.....well, ONLY they know why they didn't.....

Your gonna' pretty much put the "rest of your life on hold" for awhile........LOTS of divorces/breakups....dysfunctional kid's.....relationship heartache involved in pursuing professional golf........so you'd better be prepared to "go it" on your own for awhile.......IF you do find a "good un' " then she can make all the difference in the world, but, most of em' are nothing more than a REAL hindrence to your golfing goals and will only cause you problems........my dad had a great saying IMOP, "ONE out of 10 will make ya', the other 9 will ruin ya' "......and it's VERY true......and not only in golf......

I've been fortunate enough to work with quite a few young pro's/college players who have the same aspiration as you say you do........and I can tell you what ruins the chances of a LOT of them ever amounting to much in professional golf.......besides the one's mentioned above.......they spend too much time "play acting" the "professional golfer" when in reality they are only worried about drinking/partying and hookin' up with the desk clerk at the Ramada.......( "NOT that there's anything wrong with that" ).......they are NOT TRULY dedicated to their golf game/career......they flounder around for a few years and waste many, many thousands of their sponsor's hard earned dollar's........NOT to say you shouldn't have some "fun on the road"......It just CANNOT be a priority........you'll never make it otherwise......not today with the level of competition.......

You'd better be in GREAT physical condition......golf isn't considered by some to be a "sport," but, I can attest that to play 8 weeks in a row in June/July driving up to a thousand miles between tournaments you WILL get WORN OUT if your not in great shape.......and carry a fishing rod in your SUV so that you can find some quite moments alone to "recharge" your brain........your body might be able to handle the "stresses," but, I'll guarantee you that if you think golf 24/7 for that 8 weeks you'll be F R I E D by week 4.........and you'll rarely, if ever, perform up to your abilities if your tired and burned out.......it's REALLY hard to focus on ONE blade of grass on a tough downhill 6' slider if your fried.........a "bright," "clear," "engaged" brain is VERY, VERY important to your success on the course......in fact, a LOT more important than how your hittin' it......a player CAN win without stripin' it IF their brain is "engaged"......

I've also been privileged (lucky) to be in the "inner circle" with 3 very, very successful PGA Tour player's........and they ALL swung the club VERY differently, but, had ONE thing in common........a burning desire to be successful with their golf clubs and as a result were ALL very organized and self disciplined........very, very self disciplined........MUCH more than the average "Joe"........you'd better "have your act together" or you've got no shot..........

And last but not least.......I TRULY believe ANYBODY can be successful in our game.......might be just winning the 3rd flight in the club championship, but, successful......I TRULY believe that ANYONE can learn to swing a golf club effectively.....chip/putt/think, etc. IF they have the work ethic/desire/passion.......so "technique," while important, isn't THE determining factor as to who makes it........I TRULY believe that ANY kid with average to above average athletic ability who has the above attributes can make it in professional golf........it's NOT talent that seperates who makes it and who doesn't.....at least IMOP......I've said this many, many times.....several times a week....."TALENT is nothing more than a 6 letter word that starts with a T and and doesn't mean S H I T..........TALENT is pretty far down the list in determining who makes it and who doesn't......give me a kid with another 6 letter word, DESIRE anyday.......DESIRE will top TALENT in most cases.......ALL TALENT allows most kid's ta' do is screw around and beat their buddies".........and in my experience it's VERY rare to find a kid who has TALENT and PASSION.......rarely happens......"things" come to easy to the "TALENTED" kid.......as a result they don't have to WORK as hard as the other kid's.......as a result they don't develop the WORK ethic necessary to truly EXCELL.......as a result most of em' are in the "where are they now" file.........while guy's like Jeff Sluman/Tom Kite/Kevin Sutherland/Billy Mayfair go on to be VERY successful players........

So, in conclusion, you CAN "develop" the skills to potentially be a successful professional golfer and don't let ANYONE tell you that you can't........in fact, ELIMINATE the word "can't" from your vocabulary....."if you think you can't you won't"...... Develop a "Teflon" exterior, the ability to blow off criticism, bad rounds, bad tournaments......LEARN from your poor showing/round/etc. but do NOT vacillate on them........Pat yourself on the back (quietly) when you play well as you DESERVE a pat.........Remember that you've got to "get up and practice even though you don't quite feel like it........"every day you miss practicing will take you another to become good"........Pracitce with PASSION.......DETERMINATION.......work on fundamentally sound and PROVEN elements in regards to your techniques........be careful with "tips" and "UNsolicited advice"......can DESTROY your game for awhile.....I KNOW.....it's a helluva lot harder to "get it back" than it is to get it the first time......I KNOW about that too......

GREAT luck in whatever you choose ta' do......if it's golf you choose to dedicate your life to for your living then "hit em' straight"......"hit em' solid"......"and make a TON of putt's".........
post #16 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Originally Posted by st0wgolf08 View Post
I would say you have to be around a +4 handicap or higher, and have that handicap on wicked courses, not just local munis. I've heard the nationwide tour and PGA tour have the same quality players, and that the difference is between the ears, but I doubt that is true.
I think between the ears and the flat stick. But im a 20+ handicap so what the funk do I know.
post #17 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Originally Posted by RocketSauce View Post
i agree. i was recently on the range at TPC Tampa hitting balls next to a Nationwide Tour player and was just amazed how shot after shot, long iron after long iron, were just so perfect, sounded the same, and landed in the same spot 200+ yards away after every swing. and he made it look so effortless every time. those guys are unbelievably good.
I saw Tiger and the gang at the range they where peppering this palm tree with precision. He would hit a PW 130 then hit his 8 iron and just mix up all these shots but they kept going the same exact distance.

I am not a good golfer, but is this a common practice. It was insane some of the shots where so low but just burrowing through the air.

It was a lot of fun.
post #18 of 189

Re: How good do you need to be to play on PGA tour?

Generally, golf courses are set up severely for professional tournaments, with wickedly fast greens and/or penal rough. In addition, the pros play off the very back tees in a futile attempt to defeat modern technology. All of this means either you have to be able to hit the ball a mile (and straight!) or be very good with long irons, as well as have a brilliant short game!

On top of that, as others have said, your mental game has to be tip-top to deal with the intense pressures and distractions. Thousands of guys might have the game, but not many have the necessary mental attributes.
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