Reminder: The process changed in 2010.

You may recall hearing that the PGA Apprentice Program changed dramatically on January 1, 2010 but if you have not worked with a new apprentice since then you may have forgotten some of the finer points of the new process. I offer this as a review of the changes and whether you are a new apprentice or are hiring a new apprentice I hope the information below helps you understand the process.

To register as an apprentice each candidate must now register on PGALinks for the Qualifying Levels and complete three on-line courses – Introduction to the PGA PGM, PGA History and Constitution and The Rules of Golf – and pass the qualifying test at a local test center. Once these courses are completed and the candidate has passed (or provisionally passed) the PAT they may register as an apprentice provided they are eligibly employed at the time of registration. It is important to realize that the Qualifying Levels, qualify one to register as an Apprentice, They are a preliminary step to Apprentice registration, they are not registration as an Apprentice. A person working through the Qualifying Levels is not affiliated with the Association and has no privileges at the National, Section or Chapter level.

A new element in the registration process is passing a background check. Nothing has changed regarding eligibility; this is just a standardized part of the process.

The Playing Ability Test will be the most common element delaying registration. Professionals may register once they completely pass the PAT or provisionally pass by posting a “qualifying score” in one round of a PAT. (Consult the PAT regulations for the details.)

The timeline to registration has shortened considerably. Complete each step and new professionals may register immediately. The old requirement of 6 months of eligible employment has been removed.

On the Section and Chapter front new professionals will be able to participate in Section and Chapter Pro-Ams and Championships once they a registered apprentice and have completed the Section/Chapter Orientation. This informative Orientation session is designed to help new professionals understand their PGA PGM responsibilities, understand Section and Chapter processes and most importantly share the resources available to help PGA Professionals succeed. Orientation may be attended at any time in this process but the earlier the better.

In summary to gain Section and Chapter playing privileges new professionals must:

  • complete the on-line Qualifying Level courses;
  • pass the PGA background check;
  • pass the PAT;
  • be eligibly employed;
  • register as an Apprentice (note this is another step AFTER the Qualifying Levels)
  • complete the Section/Chapter Orientation.

Click here for a print friendly version.
As always, please call the office if you have questions.