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Encyclopedia > Professional golfer

In golf the distinction between amateurs and professionals is rigorously maintained. An amateur who plays for money even once usually loses his or her amateur status permanently and is banned from all amateur tournaments. A professional may not play in amateur tournaments. It is very difficult for a professional to regain his or her amateur status; simply agreeing not to take payment for a particular tournament isn't enough. Greg Norman on the 18th tee at St Andrews. ...


Professional golfers are divided into two main groups, with a limited amount of overlap between them.

  • The great majority of professional golfers (at least 95%) make their living from teaching the game, running golf clubs and courses, and dealing in golf equipment. In American English the term golf pro refers to individuals involved in the service of other golfers. The senior professional golfer at a golf club is referred to as the club professional. If he or she has assistants who are registered professional golfers, they are known as assistant professionals. A golfer who concentrates wholly or nearly so on giving golf lessons is a teaching professional, golf instructor or golf coach. Most of these people will enter a few tournaments against their peers each year, and occasionally they may qualify to play in important tournaments with the other group of professional golfers mentioned below.
  • A much smaller but higher profile group of professional golfers earn a living from playing in golf tournaments, or aspire to do so. Their income comes from prize money and endorsements. These individuals are referred to as tournament pros, tour professionals, or in American English as pro golfers. See professional golf tours for further details.

Historically the distinction between amateur and professional golfers had much to do with social class. In 18th and 19th century Britain golf was played by the rich for pleasure. The early professionals were working class men who made a living from the game in a variety of ways: caddying, greenkeeping, clubmaking, and playing challenge matches. When golf arrived in America at the end of the 19th century it was an elite sport there too. Early American golf clubs imported their professionals from Britain. It wasn't possible to make a living solely from playing tournament golf until some way into the 20th century (Walter Hagen is sometimes considered to have been the first man to have done so). English language spread in the United States. ... // Top level professional golf consists of a year round schedule of weekly tournaments played all around the world. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... Walter Hagen (born December 21, 1892 in Rochester, New York; died October 6, 1969) was a major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century. ...


In the developed world, the class distinction is now almost entirely irrelevant. Golf is affordable to a large proportion of the population, and most golf professionals are from middle class backgrounds, often the same sort of backgrounds as the members of the clubs where they work or the people they teach the game, and educated to university level. Leading tournament golfers are very wealthy; upper class in the modern U.S. usage of the term. However in some developing countries, there is still a class distinction. Often golf is restricted to a much smaller and more elite section of society than is the case in countries like the U.S. and the UK. Professional golfers from these countries are quite often from poor backgrounds and start their careers as caddies, for example, Angel Cabrera of Argentina, and Zhang Lian-Wei who is the first significant tournament professional from the People's Republic of China. The OGATOUR (Open Golf Association Tour) being developed in North America will attempt to minimize class distinction and remove the biased privileges afforded to the wealthier players through the current practice of exempting select players from open qualification. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... Ángel Cabrera (born September 12, 1969 in Villa Allende, Córdoba, Argentina) is a professional golfer who plays mainly on the European Tour. ... Zhang Lian-Wei (Zhang is his family name) is a Chinese golfer. ...


In various countries, Professional Golfers' Associations (PGAs) serve either or both of these categories of professionals. There are separate LPGAs (Ladies Professional Golf Associations) for women. Professional Golfers Association, (with or without the apostrophe), is the usual term for a professional association in mens golf. ... LPGA stands for Ladies Professional Golf Association. ...


See also

This list of golfers is sorted alphabetically. ...

External links

  • Career related information from the PGA of America
  • Becoming a PGA Professional - career information from the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland
  • A Career in Professional Golf - from PGA Australia
  • [1] - OGATOUR Program Development

  Results from FactBites:
 
Official Website for Tiger Woods (1980 words)
Nicklaus had been a professional golfer for three years, one year less than Tiger.
An achievement which ranks with any of his professional records, Woods won the U.S. Junior Amateur three times and was the first to win that title more than once.
Tiger played in his first professional tournament in 1992, at age 16, the Nissan Los Angeles Open and in three more PGA TOUR events in 1993.
Professional golfer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (625 words)
It is very difficult for a professional to regain his or her amateur status; simply agreeing not to take payment for a particular tournament isn't enough.
Golf is affordable to a large proportion of the population, and most golf professionals are from middle class backgrounds, often the same sort of backgrounds as the members of the clubs where they work or the people they teach the game, and educated to university level.
Professional golfers from these countries are quite often from poor backgrounds and start their careers as caddies, for example, Angel Cabrera of Argentina, and Zhang Lian-Wei who is the first significant tournament professional from the People's Republic of China.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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