Take a minute to remember all the things that you used to do back in the days when you had a job. You would take a taxi or an Uber home after a night out instead of the night bus. You were a member of a gym that gave out free towels. Buying a round wasn’t the end of the world and going on a date didn’t mean saving up for 6 months beforehand.
All is not lost however, because you can have your old life back if you want it.
Have you ever thought about becoming a professional golfer? You’ll get to do lots of swinging that doesn’t involve somebody sleeping with your partner and afternoon ‘tee’ won’t involve boiling water or indeed cups and saucers made out of bone china.
If riding across vast areas of land owned by Donald Trump in Scotland in a glorified milk van sounds like it could be good fun, here’s what you’ll need to do to become a professional golfer:
Choose which route you’re going to take
In the UK, there are two routes to becoming a PGA Professional namely: the vocational route and the academic one. Both routes will involve work placements and academic study in varying degrees, but the ratio between the two will be different. Whichever route you take however, you’ll still have to keep traditional student activities like stealing supermarket trollies and waking up in the morning with a traffic cone on your head to a minimum.
The academic route
You’ll need to take a three-year degree course at Birmingham University in Applied Golf Management Studies if you’re going to take the boffin’s approach to becoming the next Tiger Woods. This course is not only designed for future golf pros, but also for those individuals that are intending to enter golf club management or other such jobs in the industry. It is in fact, the only degree in the world that offers the chance to become a PGA pro upon completion so long as all the criteria for PGA membership has been met. Unfortunately, beating all your mates in the student halls of residence at Rory Mcilroy Pga Tour will not be sufficient.
Apply for the course
You can apply for a place on this degree course via the usual UCAS procedure, just as you would for any other degree course in the UK. Bear in mind however, that the course is heavily oversubscribed. Students with an International Baccalaureate Diploma are required to have at least 34-35 UCAS points and offers based on A level grades tend to be AAB or ABB, with at least two of the following at A2 level or equivalent required: PE or Sports Science/studies; Business Studies or Economics; Design and Technology or Maths and a science subject. GCSEs of at least grade C in English, Mathematics and a science are also required. Applicants must also have a golf handicap of 4.4 or better for men and 6.4 or better for women – which would instantly filter out anyone here at The W1nners’ Club because most of us find crazy golf pretty damn tricky.
The course itself
Part of the course includes placements that involve working for PGA professionals in the golf industry. It also involves study of the following: the psychology of golf, analysis of swing theory (which isn’t incidentally, string theory simply written with a typo), equipment technology, applied sports science, business and financial performance and event management.
The vocational route
Another route you can take to become a PGA Professional is via the three-year PGA training course which involves distance learning whilst working in the golf industry and incorporates a Foundation Degree in Professional Golf with the University of Birmingham. Once on the course, you’ll have to work for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a golf environment and be employed by a recognised PGA Professional. Please note the term ‘Golf Environment’ does not mean driving around in a medium sized Volkswagen all day.
Applicants must have a playing golf handicap of 4 for men and six for ladies and at least four GCSE passes at grades A to C including Mathematics and English Language. When you’re accepted onto the PGA’s Admissions Review Programme which comprises having to attend two days at the PGA Training Academy and passing a playing ability test; those who have a handicap of scratch or better are exempt from the playing test – which in our opinion seems completely unfair that you should miss out just because you’re better than everyone else!
Once you’ve completed the Admissions Review Programme, you’ll be eligible to sign contracts with a PGA professional. Once this contract is signed however, you’ll lose your amateur status. When the Foundation Degree Programme is complete, students can then apply for PGA membership and hopefully go on to conquer the world of golf without hopefully having too many extra-marital affairs and/or being arrested on a DUI motoring charge like a certain individual whose first name rhymes with Niger.