I’ve said before that the process of becoming a PGA member is pretty confusing. Ask anyone in the “know” how to go about it, and you won’t get the same answer twice. Since I’m about to embark on the 11-step process of earning my PGA Certification, I figured I would write a little bit about each step (including costs).
The “Steps to Becoming a PGA Member” can be found online at pga.org, but after that you’re on your own. Step 1 is register or re-register as an apprentice and complete a background check. Step 2 is Access the Qualifying Level Courses on the PGA Knowledge Center and pass the Qualifying Test.
You’re not considered a PGA Apprentice until you satisfy all the requirements at the Qualifying Level and register as an apprentice. At the Qualifying Level, applicants must complete three online courses: Introduction to the PGM and the Golf Profession, PGA History and Constitution, and Rules of Golf 1 as well as pass a knowledge test based on the three courses prior to registering as a PGA Apprentice.
Apprentices registered after January 1, 2010, can view and/or download PGA PGM 2.0 curriculum information online.
You can’t register as a PGA Apprentice until you take the courses and pass the test. Access to Qualifying Level courses can be purchased here.
Once you register for the PGA PGM Program and enter your credit card information, you’re allowed access to the Qualifying Level for six months. Shortly after registering, you’ll be sent a confirmation email prompting you to create a login using your Customer Number to access your course materials through PGALinks.com.
The Membership Type you need to select from the dropdown menu is “PGA Pre-Qualifiers” or else your account will be rejected. Copy and paste your Customer Number from the confirmation email into the field labeled Member Number or PGA Customer ID. Create a User Name and Password. Use lower case characters for your username and at least five characters for your password.
It will take approximately 15 minutes before your account can be accessed. Once your account is live, click on “Program Requirements” for course access. Click on the plus sign above Level 0 Qualifying Level to expand the section. Review and study the three courses beginning with Introduction to the PGA PGM Program under “Courses,” click Test: Qualifying Level under “Assessments” to schedule a test. Once you receive a a passing score, you can register for the Level 1 Seminar as a PGA Apprentice.
The PGA offers the following description of the knowledge test: “The Qualifying test will consist of a total of 75 questions and will cover the three qualifying courses. The time allowed for the test is 90 minutes and the passing score is 70%. You should bring a clean, unmarked, unhighlighted USGA Rules of Golf book to the test session.”
Running Total: $258.99
Step 1 – In order to become a PGA member, you first have to become a registered apprentice and go through the PGA Professional Golf Management (PGA PGM) Program. It takes up to three years to complete all 11 steps. Step 1 is pretty self-explanatory. To register into the PGA PGM Program, you have to register or re-register as an apprentice and complete a Background Check. (Cost: $58.99)
If you’ve been convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or equivalent, you should submit documentation to the PGA Membership Department to determine eligibility for PGA Membership prior to proceeding. Per the PGA Code of Ethics, certain transgressions are cause for permanent preclusion to PGA Membership.