Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What Needs to Be a PGA Golfer?

The PGA Tour is the highest standard of golf, offering the strongest fields in the world and the biggest purses. Each year thousands of aspiring golfers try to play their way onto the tour with only a small percentage achieving their dream. There is no secret to success, but the paths of successful players on the PGA Tour tend to follow a similar pattern.
The players who make it to the PGA Tour didn't get there purely on natural talent. They've put the work in on the practice range, on the putting green and the short-game area, trying to shave a shot or two off their scores. They've also practiced well. You can walk up to a local driving range and watch amateurs whacking 10 balls a minute, hardly even seeing the last shot land. Watch a professional and you'll see a slower pace, attention to each shot and a consistent routine. Practice the way you want to play on the course.
Make sure your equipment is set up properly for your game. The technology in golf club design is so advanced that manufacturers can build clubs to your specifications so you get the most from your swing. You can't afford to give the advantage to other golfers by simply using the cheapest clubs or the ones you like the look of. Swing analysis software such as TrackMan provides data such as swing speed, spin rates and launch angle, which can help you find the best fit, adding yards to your tee shots and accuracy to your approaches.
No one ever reached the top without believing they belonged there. You must build a level of confidence that doesn't waver with every bad shot or bad round. Many golfers on tour work with sports psychologists such as Bob Rotella, an aid to 2011 British Open champion Darren Clarke and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington. Skills such as focus, course management, confidence and strength are just as important as swing technique and physical athleticism.
Few golfers are ready to come straight out of high school and play on the PGA Tour. The U.S. collegiate system helps prepare golfers for life on tour. The standards are high, with the best amateurs from around the world coming to the U.S. to play collegiate golf. The standard for golf courses is also similar, with most college events taking place on courses measuring more than 7,000 yards. Even after college, most golfers aren't quite ready for the PGA Tour and often spend some time on mini tours such as Hooters and eGolf as they learn to deal with the new pressures of professional golf.
There are a few ways of getting to the PGA Tour, including Qualifying School. Each year more than a thousand people enter the three-stage event that gradually whittles the field for the final stage down to about 150, with the top 25 and ties earning their PGA Tour card. Those reaching the final stage but missing the top 25 will get a spot on the Nationwide Tour, the PGA Tour's feeder tour. The top 25 on the Nationwide Tour order of merit each year also qualify to play on the PGA Tour. It is also possible to get a limited number of PGA Tour starts by invitation if you have a strong amateur career. There are spots available for individual PGA Tour events through one-round Monday qualifiers but be prepared to shoot at least 4 under par to have any chance.

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