What Is a Pro-Am in Golf?
In most sports, amateurs would never have the opportunity to play with or against professional golfers.
That’s where Pro-Am comes in.
A Pro-Am is where professionals and amateur golfers compete against each other in a tournament. These are typically single-day events where teams comprise of one pro golfer paired with four amateurs.
These Pro-Am tournaments are a win-win for all parties involved. Regular golfers can play with tour players - and sometimes celebrities! - while the PGA Tour or tournament organizers collect large sums of money for charitable causes.
In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about Pro-Am events, such as their benefits and how you can participate. Let’s begin!
How Does a Pro-Am in Golf Work?
As mentioned, Pro-Ams are single-day tournaments usually held on Mondays or Wednesdays. Monday Pro-Ams feature lesser-known players and have lower entry fees.
The group consists of one pro golfer paired with four amateur players. There are two rounds of 18 holes, one held in the morning and the other in the afternoon. If there’s a tie for first place, you could expect a third round. Then, the exciting awards reception!
Event participants typically receive sponsor-donated swag, such as golf balls, duffel bags, t-shirts, or other gear. The higher-prestige events may have even better gifts, such as a driver, putter, fairway wood, or wedge. One of our favorite parts? You receive a picture with the pro-am group, signed by your pro.
Additionally, a community networking party is held before the event where amateurs can mingle with pros and other players.
Professionals can get paid quite generously for participating in pro-ams - some of which have won a million dollars! Pros love to put up excellent scores and compete against fellow contemporaries for a chance to win big for charity - and, of course, to show off their skills on a national stage.
What Is the Purpose of a Pro-Am Golf Event?
Pro-Am events serve many purposes for different parties involved. Professionals get the chance to interact with potential business contacts and sponsors. Likewise, pros can network to earn additional income by becoming the face of a brand - or featuring in product placements!
Sponsors also increase their exposure by building brand awareness and equity among their potential audience. For example, golf gear manufacturers may become a sponsor to get more eyeballs on their products.
And amateurs? Amateurs get to play alongside the best golfers in the world! This unique experience is worlds apart from even the top tournaments and provides a major confidence booster. If they ask, they may even receive guidance from world-renowned golf pros.
As for the club? The club organizer increases exposure, which helps the organization gain credibility and eligibility for even larger events. The bigger the event, the more revenue income!
How to Participate in A Pro-Am Tournament
We know - now you’re wondering how to participate! The process of participating in a Pro-Am tournament is quite simple. Find a Pro-Am event you’d like to play and read the regulations and rules to sign up. Their website will usually outline any entrance fees and the registration process. You can contact the club hosting the Pro-Am to learn more information about how to enter.
However, there’s one big puzzle piece here: qualification. Some basics: you’ll need a sponsor to sign your scorecard - to vouch for you. Secondly, you can’t have played in a Pro-Am event within the last six months or have had fewer than 20 rounds since going pro. And thirdly, your handicap also can’t be more than two strokes worse than in standard PGA Tour tournaments.
How Much Do Pro-Ams Cost To Enter?
The cost to enter into a Pro-Am tournament may vary. Depending on the event, entry fees typically range from $2,500 to $10,000. However, organizers charge these entrance fees per group for every four players.
PGA-level tour Pro-Ams are much more pricey. The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am cost $25,000 back in 2011 and now ranges up to $40,000! Better start saving up now!
However, getting the Pro-Am experience doesn’t always mean paying a steep price. For example, LPGA tours tend to cost a fraction of the price. In particular, the Symetra Tour Pro-Am costs $2,000 for a group of three.
Also, keep in mind that expenses, such as food, drinks, and travel, are covered by the amateur.
What Are the Benefits of Playing in a Pro-Am Event?
Amateurs can receive a wealth of knowledge from professionals and other players. Playing with a pro allows you to receive invaluable feedback and discover ways to improve your game. You may even be privy to secrets to their game, personalized tips, and have access to pro golf stories and banter. The primary advantage of attending these events is getting an inside glimpse into how pros play.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most commonly asked questions about playing in a Pro-Am.
Who Can Play in a Pro-Am?
Both professionals and amateurs are allowed to play in Pro-Am tournaments. For pros, it’s an opportunity to play against other pros and align with business contacts for potential sponsorships. Amateurs can play in a course under professional rules and against the best in the world.
Do Pro-Am Players Get Paid?
While pros can earn money, amateurs aren’t eligible to earn prize money. Amateurs can accept the prize if the value is $750 or less, such as vouchers for free golf clubs. Phil Mickelson won a tournament once as a 20-year-old, only to forfeit it due to its amateur status.
A Pro-Am is an amateur golf tournament where you can play with pro golfers to compete for prizes. These tournaments are typically held before major championships and serve as a great learning opportunity to gain feedback.Interested in taking your game to the next level? Stitch Golf has got you covered. With everything from golf bags to apparel, you’ll find the right gear for any tournament - amateur, professional, or a day out with your buddies.