The American Express entry fee isn't cheap. You're going to plunk down a pretty penny to compete alongside the PGA Tour's best at PGA West -- the Stadium Course and Nicklaus Tournament Course -- and La Quinta Country Club.
It costs $29,000 to play in the three- or four-day pro-am. The entry fee to get into The American Express increases from time to time. That entry fee can be dramatically higher than playing in other PGA Tour pro-ams.
However, playing in the The American Express isn't as simple as plunking down the entry fee and getting a pro partner for three incredible days of golf. Yes, there are 156 spots available in the pro-am, but there needs to be spots open for a player looking to compete.
Players who have previously competed in The American Express typically get priority over new competitors. While there are 156 spots available, they fill up quickly with celebrities and business luminaries who want to be part of the thrilling experience. Once most players get a spot, they're reluctant to give it up to someone else.
Beyond that, though, being selected is a matter of getting in the right priority order and then having the cash to pay the fee.
The American Express isn't like the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where there's a waiting list to get the call to play in what was originally called the Crosby Clambake.
It's way easier and less expensive to get into a PGA Tour pro-am for other events.
For example, it costs $7,700 to play in the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines near San Diego. However, the tournament also has a Monday pro-am featuring up-and-coming PGA Tour players, which you can get into for $3,850 -- a fairly reasonable fee for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The good news is that with The American Express, an amateur is guaranteed to play three rounds and potentially a fourth if they're in the top five players heading into the final round. Being able to play inside the ropes at a PGA Tour event for three or four days is well worth it to plenty of people.