Introduction to PGA TOUR University – A New Path to the Pros

The world of golf is ever-evolving, and that applies to the path to becoming a professional golfer, as well. The PGA TOUR University is a new tour that the PGA is sponsoring, and we will dive into what it is and how it will impact your path to the professional ranks of golfers. The PGA TOUR University is a program designed and administered to identify the best college golfers in the United States and to provide such players with playing opportunities on Tours operated under the PGA TOUR umbrella.

What Is PGA TOUR University?

The PGA TOUR University is a program established by the PGA TOUR to provide college golfers with a structured pathway to pursue a career in professional golf. It aims to help talented collegiate golfers transition smoothly from the amateur ranks to the professional circuit. PGA TOUR University bridges the gap between college golf and professional golf. College golf’s top players can earn membership through PGA TOUR University and have a guaranteed place to play immediately after their college careers are complete.

How To Qualify For PGA TOUR University

According to the PGA TOUR website, players eligible for the PGA TOUR University Ranking are NCAA Division-I golfers who meet the eligibility criteria below. Eligible players must meet each of the following criteria:

  • Either (a) exhaust four years of NCAA athletic eligibility, OR (b) complete four years of college academics (with a minimum of two years of athletics), OR (c) provide intent (with substantiation) of early college graduation (with a minimum of two years of college athletics participation).
  • Meet PGA TOUR minimum age and membership requirements.
  • Play a minimum of five Eligible Tournaments during the first year of the Ranking Period (Class of 2024: Week 23/2022 through Week 22/2023).
  • To enroll, a player must apply on forms provided by PGA TOUR University before the deadlines established by PGA TOUR. A player is eligible to participate in the PGA TOUR University Ranking one time (i.e., over a single two-year period) unless the player has a medical redshirt approved by the NCAA, or an additional year of eligibility (i.e., NCAA eligibility relief granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic) is otherwise approved by PGA TOUR University.

How The PGA TOUR University Ranking Works

Looking at how the rankings work for the tour, The PGA TOUR University Ranking is the official ranking system of PGA TOUR University. It is designed to look at and rank NCAA Division-I collegiate players competing in eligible tournaments (decided by the PGA TOUR) based on winning, competitiveness, and season-long performance.

In partnership with the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), PGA TOUR University ranks players based on their average performance in eligible tournaments. Players competing in Eligible Tournaments earn points equivalent to the number of points awarded by WAGR®, except for the NCAA D-I Men’s National Championship and professional eligible tournaments. All PGA TOUR University Ranking points are calculated and rounded to four decimals.

What are some of the benefits of being on the PGA TOUR University?  After the NCAA D-I Men’s National Championship, the top 25 eligible players in the final PGA TOUR University Ranking will earn status on the PGA TOUR, Korn Ferry Tour, or PGA TOUR Americas. To be eligible for such membership, a player shall apply for membership, including the payment of application fees, on forms provided by PGA TOUR before the deadlines established by PGA TOUR. Before the membership application deadline, players must notify the PGA TOUR if they wish to retain their amateur status (i.e., to play in an amateur championship or team competition, or accept an exemption as an amateur)

The top 25 eligible players from the final PGA TOUR University Ranking will receive status on the PGA TOUR. But only the number 1 player from the ranking receives the invitation to play on the TOUR. If the person who placed first decides to decline their invitation, then the person who placed second will receive the invitation. The player who finishes No. 1 in the final PGA TOUR University Ranking is the only player eligible for PGA TOUR membership through PGA TOUR University.

What does this mean for junior golfers?

This new venture means another pathway to becoming a professional golfer in America. If you play well in college, you will be rewarded a PGA TOUR membership. The program evaluates players based on their performance in college golf tournaments and ranks them according to a points system. The top finishers in the PGA TOUR University Ranking at the end of the collegiate season earn status on the Korn Ferry Tour, the pathway to the PGA Tour. This initiative aims to support young talent and streamline their entry into the professional golfing world. Once a player gets to college, the PGA TOUR University provides college golfers with increased exposure to professional golf opportunities. Players have the chance to compete in designated events where they can showcase their skills in front of scouts, sponsors, and team representatives.


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