Professionalism and the PGA
Here is a some information that hopefully will answer BILLA's question on the PGA. Without getting into extraordinary depth let me first take from the PGA’s constitution our purpose.“The mission of the PGA is to promote the enjoyment and involvement in the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to the golf professional and golf industry.
The PGA will accomplish this mission by enhancing the skills of its professionals and the opportunities for amateurs, employers, manufacturers, employees and general public.
In doing so, the PGA will elevate the standards of the professional golfer’s vocation, enhance the economic well being of the individual member, stimulate interest in the game of golf and promote the overall vitality of the game.”
That is a pretty encompassing set of goals. To meet those goals membership requirements and standards are set very high.
The membership requirements of the PGA are quite different than PSIA (we have 28,000 full time professionals-no part timers) and in my mind justifiably so based on our goals. As golf professionals we are trained in the entire golf operations business-teaching is a part of our job. PSIA deals strictly in the teaching arena. Interestingly I have far more instructional education available on a local basis through PSIA than I do through the PGA.
To keep it short, to get into the PGA requires completing a 36-hole event known as a Playing Ability Test where you must meet or beat a stringent target score. Pass the exam and you can become a PGA apprentice-not a member. This would be equivalent to PSIA requiring you to pass a Level 3 exam prior to being allowed to join.
Then you go through an extensive (and expensive) education program known as the Professional Golf Management Program. The program requires substantial self study work on a variety of business management subjects as well as golf instruction/operations related tasks. Upon completion of that work and documentation thereof which must be approved both by your Head Professional and The PGA's education staff you then proceed to testing in Florida on three different occasions.
When you have graduated from the program and meet a length of service requirement you will be elected a Class-A member of the PGA.
The average Assistant Professional probably makes 30K on a median basis. The average Head Professional 70K.
If you want to take it down to a little more finite basis, where I work our apprentice makes $30 per half hour for private instruction (which most golf lessons are) and $50 for an hour. Our Class A professionals earn $40 and $70 for the same time frames. Generally our clinic groups come out to the same hourly rate. However, it is important to remember we don’t teach 8 hours a day-we all have significant shop hours for which we receive a lesser rate.
If you want to find out a bit more about the PGA go to this web site: http://www.pga.com/home/pgaofamerica/
Over the past few years the Phantom (aka Bob Barnes-who is getting a wonderful indoctrination in the fine art of construction this summer-measure twice, cut once Bob) have tried to decipher why the apparent difference in the perception of the professionalism of the two organizations exist.
I believe part of it revolves around the exposure of golf through televised tournaments. The average golfer can relate (and dream) about what the tour players do but how many skiers can relate to racing (and this is not meant to demean racing-it is a reality check that skiing is recreation for the vast majority of skiers).
Golfers are also constantly exposed to the professional staff at the course where you may rarely see instruction going on as you go about your recreational skiing day. Golfers see us running the shop, selling hard and soft goods, conducting lessons, repairing clubs etc., etc.
Hope this helps-any questions/comments feel free either to PM me or ask in this forum.