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Pathway to Membership

NEXT STEPS for attaining your PGA Membership

We are excited to have you working toward your PGA Membership, as a individual with Pre-Qualified or Qualified Eligible status here are some resources to help you with the next steps for starting the PGA Associate program.

Where do you stand?

PQ (Pre Qualifier): the individual has purchased the Qualifying Exam material (history of the PGA, Rules of Golf, PGA Constitution, and Industry Awareness), but has not passed the Q Exam yet, but HAVE passed the background test.

QE (Qualified Eligible): the individual has passed the Qualifying Exam (Q level exam), may or may not have passed the PAT, and may or may not be working full time in the industry.

Next Steps for entering the Associate Program:

CLICK HERE for a checklist and information for entering the associate program.

CLICK HERE for eligibility requirements for registering as an associate. Registering as an associate is your first step to achieving your career goals in golf. In order to be eligible to register as an associate, you must be employed in one of the following classifications. CLICK to view classifications.

Update your current place of employment by updating your records HERE or by reaching out to one of us at the Connecticut Section office:

If you have any questions concerning this information or requirements to become a PGA Member, call PGA Membership Services at (800) 474-2776.

Frequently Asked Questions about the PGA Associate Program

You do not need to register immediately, but there are some “validity periods” of the PAT, Q level exam, and background checks.

All PAT scores last for 8 years from the first date of the event. A passing Q level exam and background check is valid for 1 year (you must submit your Associate application prior to when these time periods expire).

Yes, all associates must maintain full time eligible employment within the industry while in the associate program. Individual’s employment must be in place by the time they submit their application to the program.

Affiliates, however, do not need to hold full time eligible employment within the industry. They are able to begin the qualifying level and complete Level 1 but will need to gain Associate full-time employment in order to transfer into the Associate program and complete Level 2 and Level 3 to become a PGA Member.


A Member’s employment hours must be regular, continuous, at an eligible facility, and provide the public with golf-related goods and/or services. Their classification is determined by what duties make up the majority of their hours. If they are employed at multiple facilities, they will be affiliated with the one where they work the majority of their hours. A member whose only career is golf does not need a minimum amount of hours but must be deemed to be working as a professional by the section.

If a member is working in golf as well as another career, to be considered eligibly employed they must be working an average of 30+ hours per week in their golf career.


Associates must be working full-time hours as golf professionals to be considered eligibly employed. This may be split between facilities if they cannot obtain full hours at one. They will be affiliated with the facility where they spend the majority of their working hours.

You can use college scores within the last 8 years for the PAT, and must be submitted and reviewed through the following link:

The average time it takes to complete the Associate 3.0 Program is four years. However, an Associate needs 28 work experience credits and with a four-year university degree (12 credits), it could be completed in 16 months.

University Programs take an average of 4.5 years including internships.

Total Expected Fees: $3,957

For a breakdown of costs, please visit:

To calculate individual fees, please utilize the Fee Calculator: