How to join the PGA of South Africa

Qualifying as a PGA member

There are two ways in which you can qualify as a PGA member.

One is to do the PGA’s academic programme as a student at a tertiary institution and then gain practical experience as an apprentice; the other is to join the PGA as an apprentice member.

In the former the student remains an amateur and has the advantage of studying full time and playing in amateur tournaments. Students have to do some of their practical time while they are studying and make up the rest with the PGA as apprentices.

Apprentices on the other hand do their studies through the PGA while serving a 3 year apprenticeship. They have to be a 4 handicap or better for men and a 7 for ladies, have matric and be employed on a full time basis by a AA class PGA member, and then join the PGA and give up their amateur status.

On-site training is the backbone of training received by young professionals and the academic component is done via distance learning. Daily contact in a personal relationship with a professional often with many years’ experience provides for a good learning experience.

Both students and apprentices have to show their practical competency by passing a Custom Fitting Practical, Teaching Practical exams and a shot demonstration.

The apprentice also has to prove his Playing Ability by achieving a set standard of playing. The apprenticeship is not only a time of academic and practical application; it is also a time for the young pro to see how far he can take his game.

Whichever route is taken to attain full PGA status, the academic subjects done are the same:

  • Theory and Teaching of the Golf Swing
  • Equipment Technology and Custom Fitting
  • Golf Business Management and Retailing
  • Business Law
  • Rules of Golf and Tournament Administration
  • Sports Science (including Biomechanics, Screening and Golf Fitness)

This leaves the graduate with a broad knowledge of all aspects of the golf operation.

The PGA of South Africa is a member of the World Alliance of PGAs and our qualification is globally recognized.

There are many career path options available to the PGA member. Some of these are:

  • Head Professional at Golf Club. The Head professional is usually owner or operator of Golf Shop at the club
  • Golf Coach. The coach could be the Teacher at Golf Academy, Driving Range or Golf Club or could specialize in junior coaching at schools. Some coaches specialize in elite athletes and follow the tour with their players.
  • Director of Golf at Golf Club. The DOG is responsible for all golfing aspects of club operation
  • Golf Club Manager
  • Rules official
  • Golf Event Manager
  • Education
  • Golf Management company offering management advice to golf clubs
  • Greenkeeper
  • Golf Journalist and commentator
  • Golf administrator

Registration for Apprenticeship

Entries are processed are taken and processed from the 15th of January to the 15th of March. Contact the education department at education@pga.co.za or phone 011 485 1370

Note: it is not always the case that if an apprentice is employed by a full member, he will necessarily pass the interview and be accepted by the PGA