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What Is PGA Tour University and How Does It Work?

Stanford's Michael Thorbjornsen finishes his last hole of collegiate golf at the NCAA Championship.

Ten members of the PGA Tour University flew into Carlsbad, Calif., to present the PGA Tour card to one lucky – and hardworking – college player tomorrow, May 27th. They have been onsite all week watching their top 25 players compete in the 2024 NCAA DI Men’s Golf Championship.

Before we get into the ceremony tomorrow, you may be wondering, “What is PGA Tour University? How does it work?”.

Director of Player Relations at PGA Tour Pathways, Justin Bardgett, shares those answers with us.

What is PGA Tour University?

PGA Tour U began in 2021 with the mission to ease the transition between collegiate and professional athletics. College seniors’ tournament results from their last two years at school, on the PGA Tour or in some DP World Tour events will continuously shuffle them up or down a rankings list.

How Do the PGA Tour University Rankings Work?

At the end of the NCAA Championship, whoever has the most points will win certain levels of PGA Tour membership, among other benefits. Some of these include:

  • 1st place: full PGA Tour membership starting the week after the NCAA Championship through the next season.
  • 1st – 5th place: full Korn Ferry Tour membership starting the week after the NCAA Championship through the end of the current season; membership on the PGA Tour Americas Segment; exemption into the Final Stage of the current season’s PGA Tour Qualifying School (“Q-School”).
  • 6th – 10th place: conditional Korn Ferry membership starting the week after the NCAA Championship through the end of the current season; various levels of membership to the PGA Tour Americas Segment; exemption into the Second Stage of PGA Tour Q-School.
  • 11th – 25th: membership on PGA Tour Americas starting the week after the NCAA Championship through the end of the current season; conditional membership on PGA Tour Americas the following season; exemption into the Second Stage of PGA Tour Q-School.

What Is PGA Tour University Accelerated?

Vanderbilt's Gordon Sargent tees off Hole #16 at the 2024 NCAA DI Men's Golf Championship.
Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent tees off Hole #16 at the 2024 NCAA DI Men’s Golf Championship. Kelly Okun, Fairway to Green.

For those freshmen, sophomores and juniors who are eligible and apply, there’s an opportunity to earn your PGA Tour card before your senior year. If they earn at least 20 “Accelerated Points” through various tournaments at the collegiate, amateur and professional level, they can elect to become members of the PGA Tour after their NCAA eligibility runs out (e.g., they graduate) or on January 1st of the year they become eligible to make this decision.

Vanderbilt Junior Gordon Sargent has amassed the points needed to join the PGA Tour, but he has elected to defer until after he graduates.

Who Is Winning the Full PGA Tour Membership in 2024?

Michael Thorbjornsen of Stanford has earned 1st place on the PGA Tour University Rankings and will be presented with his PGA Tour card tomorrow. Fairway to Green will be there to cover the ceremony and share more about this year’s winner.

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