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Golf: The PGA Tour

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The PGA Golf Tour runs the premier set of professional golf tours in the United States. This is where the best golfers in the world compete many of the weekends throughout the year. The LPGA is a similar organization for women golfers.

How do you get to play on the PGA Tour?

In order to get to play in tournaments on the PGA Tour you must qualify. Qualifying is also called earning your tour card.

Players that are already on tour can qualify a few different ways. One way is by finishing in the top 125 in earnings for the year. Another way is to win a tournament. If you win a tournament you automatically qualify for the following two years.

If you are a new player you have to qualify through the Qualifying school, also called the Q-school or Qualifying Tournament. This involves a number of stages which are basically a series of tournaments. You have to keep finishing in the top of each stage to move on to the next. If you make it to the final stage and finish in the top 25, you qualify for tour.

The PGA Golf Season

The golf season starts with the regular season which is a series of around 37 tournaments from early January to late August. Next comes the Fedex Playoffs which is 4 tournaments to help determine the Fedex Cup Champion. After that is the Fall Series. These are smaller events that the top players don't usually attend.

Types of Tournaments

PGA golf tournaments are classified in different ways:

Majors - The majors are the most prestigious tournaments. There are four majors, the Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open, The (British) Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. Great professional golfers are usually considered by how many majors they have won. There are often special requirements to play in these tournaments.

Regular - there are, of course, regular tournaments. These are top tier professional tournaments, but are not unique in any specific way. All the players that have tour cards can play in these.

Playoff - After the regular season there are four playoff tournaments: Barclays Classic, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship, and finally the Tour Championship. The number of players is cut each week until only 30 players get into the final championship.

Invitational - These are similar to regular tournaments, but have a smaller number of players. Not all players get to participate.

What is "Making the Cut"?

Most tournaments are a series of 18 hole rounds played over 4 days for a total of 72 holes. Typically the number of players is cut down to 70 after the first two days or 36 holes. By "making the cut" you are in the top 70 scores and get to continue to compete in the tournament the next two days.

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