By Matt Stables
What is needed to take the step from being a good amateur to becoming a Tournament Golf Professional? It is not easy and could be one of the most challenging tasks you undertake. Firstly, you need talent and to be competent at what you do; then you need determination and a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve. There is a pathway that a golfer can progress along and you need to ensure that you keep moving along this path and achieving success at every level. Consistently reaching your goals throughout the years will provide the ultimate result of a place on the European Tour and it is here that the hard work will really begin! The beauty of golf at any level is that you are always trying to get to that next level. Even Tiger Woods is not immune to this process; he achieved the highest level for a number of years and is now having to work hard to get back up there.
One route you can take to get to your destination is through a number of developmental tours. In the UK the main ones are the Europro Tour and The Jamega Tour but there are also a number of smaller more regional tours. From these your aim is to progress on to the Challenge Tour and then finally the European Tour. These events are very competitive and if you do well the top end of the prize fund can be very lucrative. But, entry is expensive and if you have a run of poor tournaments you can quickly find yourself spending a lot of money with very little income which can take a lot of the fun out the process. Events usually cost around £350 for entry and once you add costs such as a week’s accommodation, travel and food you can easily expect to spend upwards of £500. This is an expensive route and if you haven’t played well it is easy to run out of money before achieving the end goal.
An alternative route is through the Professional Golfers Association (PGA). They are the national body for professional golf and the members are mainly club based professionals. They organise a good competitive schedule and the standard is very high. Playing these tournaments is much cheaper as they have lesser entry fees; this in turn reduces the pressure to get a good result each time and allows a player to take their time in developing their game. There are a lot of good players in these events and this encourages you to raise your game. These events are played on a regional and national level and they offer the opportunity to make it into a number of Challenge Tour events.
If you want to become a full time tournament player there comes a point where you will need to progress from PGA events and start working upwards. In order to make this jump you will likely need some financial support. Of course any help is good but you will need at least £25,000 per year for a few years to support yourself and give yourself a good opportunity to play your best. This will cover your entry fees, travel, coaching, equipment, living and other expenses. A player won’t always be looking for one sponsor to provide the whole amount and a player will often offer part sponsorship such as 25 shares for a £1000 each. But, a sponsor should not view this as just giving money away. It is an opportunity to get some value in return by giving a significant amount of support to someone who is chasing their dreams. So what should a sponsor be looking for in return for providing financial support? Firstly, a percentage of a player’s winnings, this can range from 20% to 50% depending on what the player is willing to give. The player should also offer perks such as free coaching for the sponsor and their friends & family, the opportunity to play in a number of pro-am events throughout the year at some fantastic venues around the county, region and even abroad and there are also additional sponsorship opportunities via clothing, car, company golf days etc to promote the sponsor’s business. The sponsor should feel they have received substantial value and had a great time for their investment, even if the player doesn’t succeed as expected. As an added bonus the sponsor will have an extended interest in the world of professional golf and have some excitement on a Monday morning to see how their player has done in a tournament and over a season.
If you know of someone who would be interested in sponsoring a Sports Professional or if you are interested yourself youthey should ask for the Professional’s sponsorship proposal which will provide details of what they are offering. It can be very rewarding to be a sponsor and to work alongside someone as they strive to achieve their dream.
I hope this provides a good idea of what is involved in becoming a successful Golf Professional; it is not an easy task and requires dedication from all involved. It can be an exciting path for everyone, both on and off the course.
Related Search Terms:Tournament of Champions, Tournament Golf Foundation, Tournament Golf Association, Tournament Golf Games, Tournament Golf Solution