PGA Tour lifetime membership: How to get it, how many wins, the benefits
PGA Tour

PGA Tour lifetime membership: How to get it, how many wins, the benefits

A photo of golfer Dustin Johnson

Rory McIlroy won the 2021 The CJ Cup at Summit for his 20th-career PGA Tour win, putting him on the precipice of securing PGA Tour lifetime membership.

A PGA Tour player can earn lifetime membership by doing just one thing. If a PGA Tour player wins 20 PGA Tour events in their career, they instantly obtain lifetime membership whenever they hit that milestone. They can never lose PGA Tour status, no matter how they play for rest of their career, from that point forward unless they resign their membership. They can lose voting rights if they don't play the minimum number of PGA Tour events (15) in a season, but that's about it.

In 2022, the PGA Tour changed the requirements for lifetime membership to eliminate the rule that a player had to also have 15 seasons of PGA Tour service in addition to 20 official wins to earn membership.

Now, a PGA Tour lifetime member doesn't necessarily mean that player gets into any tournament they want. In terms of the PGA Tour's priority order, which determines how PGA Tour players get into most open PGA Tour events, PGA Tour lifetime members are in Category No. 17, behind the last five winners of each of the four majors, the winners of PGA Tour events and a few other categories. In addition, the majors, World Golf Championships events, invitationals and several other tournaments have their own entry order putting other criteria ahead of the PGA Tour's priority order system.

In other words, having PGA Tour lifetime membership doesn't guarantee much of a schedule, but a player who has 20 wins and 15 seasons of service probably doesn't have that much of a problem setting up their season.

On the PGA Tour, there are currently only two players competing under the lifetime membership category: Vijay Singh and Davis Love III. Other players, like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, have that status but do not yet need it.

Dustin Johnson earned lifetime status in 2019, pending playing 15 seasons. Rory McIlroy earned lifetime status in 2021, but he has to complete 15 seasons on Tour -- for which he is now exempt -- to secure that status.

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