How to play in a PGA Tour pro-am and how do they work
Golf Culture

How to play in a PGA Tour pro-am and how do they work


If you've ever wanted to play golf with a professional golfer, then you should strongly consider playing in a PGA Tour pro-am. And how do you go about playing in a PGA Tour, or another professional tour, pro-am? It's remarkable simple, believe it or not.

Most PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, LIV Golf, Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour Champions events have pro-ams that you can play in for the right amount of money, and, often times, each tournament has multiple options that will fit different budgets.

Typically, there's a Monday pro-am and a Wednesday pro-am at professional golf events that have them (the men's majors and most of the LPGA majors do not have them, for example).

How much does it cost to play in a pro-am?

The Monday pro-am typically features players that aren't nearly as well known as the ones who will be playing on Wednesday. That means playing in the Monday pro-am costs less money than the Wednesday pro-am. The cost can vary wildly, but playing as a solo player in a pro-am can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000, save for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which is done by invitation and costs in upwards of $70,000 for a two-day event. Often times, groups can buy whole foursomes for a slight discount.

Ultimately, the proceeds from the pro-am help to defer some of the costs of running the tournament and also help fund the tournament's charitable contributions.

Ahead of the pro-am, there is typically a pairings party, where the amateurs learn their pro and get to enjoy some time with many of the players who will be competing in the tournament.

What is the format for a pro-am tournament?

The pro-am format at most professional golf events is a one-day affair, featuring one pro in a group with four amateurs. The format is typically a scramble or a shamble, with the amateurs' handicaps counting toward the best-ball score. The pros play from their tees and the amateurs play from up tees to make it easier. The winning score is typically sub-60, sometimes in the mid-50s, with a lot of birdies and eagles. Often times, there are two tournaments in a single pro-am day, with a morning and afternoon session, each running on their own.

When playing in a pro-am, it's a good idea to treat it just like any other casual round of golf. Don't ask the pro about winning. Don't talk about the course record. Don't try to show off. Don't get angry. It's a fun affair, and it's an opportunity, if you get a good pro, to make a great contact and have a good time.

Afterward, there's usually a reception and party where prizes are awarded.

If you're interested in playing in a PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, LIV Golf or PGA Tour Champions pro-am, find details by going to the website of the specific tournament or contacting the tournament office by phone.

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