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Playing Ability Test

The Playing Ability Test is a measure of golfing ability. It means PGA Professionals have the skills needed to teach and grow the game.

Golfer taking a shot

The 36-hole playing ability test for golf is something you must pass if you want to become a PGA Professional.

One of the following must be completed within two years prior to registering into the PGA Professional Golf Management Program:

1. Pass the 36-hole Playing Ability Test or;
2. Attempt the PAT at least once within the two years prior to registering into the PGA PGM Program. Within that time frame, shoot one 18-hole score in a PAT that is equal to or less than the PAT target score for 18- holes, plus 5 strokes. Note: Each PAT score has a validity date of two years. (see chart on the right)

The 36-hole PAT remains valid during the Acceptable Progress period. In order to pass the 36-hole PAT, you must achieve a 36-hole score within 15 shots of the course rating. For example, if the course rating is 72, the target score for the 36-holes would be 159 (72 x 2 = 144 + 15 = 159). This competition is normally conducted in one day.

The PAT is conducted from the middle tees of the golf course with the flagsticks set on a generally flat area of the green. Although this sounds relatively simple, less than 20% of those taking the test achieve a passing score. If your game is marginal, it is highly recommended that you work diligently on improving prior to registering for the PAT.

Click here for the PAT schedule and online registration. To register by phone, please contact PGA Membership Services at 1-800-474-2776.

Click here to view PAT policies and procedures.