The highest level of golf is played on the world’s premier professional tours. The PGA, European, and LPGA tours attract elite fields to compete in exciting events for millions in prize money. Learning each tour’s history, tournament formats, qualifying process, and stars provides a deeper appreciation of professional golf. Follow this guide to get to know the pinnacle of golf competition.

Golf Leagues For Beginners: PGA Tour, America’s Top Golf Circuit

Founded in 1929, the PGA Tour is the leading tour in the U.S. and the richest in the world:

  • Conducts over 40 events at the highest level annually, awarding over $400 million in prize money.
  • Tournament formats alternate between stroke play, match play, and team events.
  • The four Men’s Major Championships are Flagship events – The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, and Open Championship.
  • Other prominent tournaments include The Players, Memorial, Tour Championship, and FedEx Cup Playoffs.
  • Tournament fields comprise 125-156 players, with cuts after 36 holes down to the top 65 plus ties.
  • Players are exempt through wins, rankings, earnings, or qualifying tournament finishes.
  • Well-known stars include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, and veterans like Phil Mickelson.

With a rigorous qualifying system, deep fields, and exciting formats, the PGA Tour represents the pinnacle of men’s professional golf.

Golf Leagues For Beginners: European Tour, Europe’s Premier Golf Circuit

The European Tour features top international players in events across Europe, Asia, and South Africa:

  • Founded in 1972, currently conducts over 30 tournaments in 20+ countries.
  • The season spans late fall through late fall, avoiding winter months in Europe.
  • Flagship events include the BMW PGA Championship, Scottish Open, BMW International Open, and DP World Tour Championship.
  • Also, the Ryder Cup is contested between U.S. and European teams every two years.
  • At least 78 players are required, with cuts to the top 65 and ties after 36 holes.
  • Players earn exemptions based on the Race to Dubai points list, rankings, wins, and qualifying school.
  • Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland, and veterans like Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood are notable stars.

With global reach, rich history, and strong fields, the European Tour complements the PGA Tour as golf’s premier worldwide stage.

Golf Leagues For Beginners: LPGA Tour, Women’s Professional Golf Circuit

Founded in 1950, the LPGA Tour is the world’s top women’s professional tour:

  • Conducts over 30 events annually across North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia.
  • Competes in stroke play, match play, and team formats. Crown season-long winners with the Race to CME Globe.
  • Five significant championships, including the ANA Inspiration, U.S. Women’s Open, Evian Championship, and more.
  • Flagship events include the CME Group Tour and KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
  • There were 144 players in the tournament who qualified for the next round if they were in the top 70 and tied after 36 holes.
  • Qualify via LPGA Tour school, top Symetra tour players, sponsor’s exemptions, or re-entry criteria.
  • Notable stars include Inbee Park, Brooke Henderson, Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson, and veterans like Michelle Wie.

The LPGA features talented international fields, pioneering history, and growing tour prominence as women’s golf continues elevating.

Access and Coverage of Professional Tours

Watching professional golf now is easier than ever:

  • Tournaments are shown live on TV networks like CBS, NBC, Golf Channel, and Sky Sports.
  • PGA Tour Live and European Tour Pass stream events online and in apps.
  • Free tournament highlights and recaps on YouTube keep casual fans engaged.
  • Golf news sites report breaking developments, interviews, analysis, and more.
  • Social media gives fans insider views of player practice, travel, fitness, and equipment.
  • Attending events in person creates lasting memories and appreciation for skill.

With digital access, global fields, and exciting competition, fans today enjoy professional golf’s stories, personalities, and excellence more than ever.


From edge-of-your-seat Sunday finishes to seeing new stars develop, professional golf tours offer a lifetime of entertainment. Knowing the premier events, top players, qualifying systems, and tour schedules gives all fans a richer connection to the game. Understanding how elite golfers strategize, manage pressure, and master different courses provides learning opportunities for golfers of all skill levels.

Continually keep up with professional tours to fuel your love of golf competition. The dedication and mastery displayed at the highest level inspire and reflect the essence of golf done right.

With the right beginner golf courses and focused practice, new golfers can aspire to keep improving their skills step-by-step over time. Learning professional tours’ history also provides context on the game’s excellence. See our Golf Courses for Beginners guide to start your own golf journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do players earn their way onto pro golf tours?

Ans: Extremely high-level amateurs can earn some temporary exemptions directly out of college golf. Most aspiring pros must first excel on qualifying tours through consistent top finishes and eventually earning a player card at the final qualifying school.

Q2. What golf organizations run the main professional tours?

Ans: The PGA Tour organizes the main U.S. tour, the PGA European Tour runs the European circuit, and the LPGA Tour operates the women’s tour. All work cooperatively to sanction world golf.

Q3. How many golfers makeup fields at professional events?

Ans: PGA Tour fields range from 132-156 players, while European Tour events include a minimum of 78 players. LPGA Tour events have fields of 144 golfers. Cuts are made after 36 holes.

Q4. What are the most prestigious events on each golf tour?

Ans: The four major championships are most coveted by men, along with The Players, FedEx Cup, and Race to Dubai finales. The five majors and the CME Group Tour Championship are the most prestigious for women.

Q5. Do pro golfers make all cuts and play every event in a season?

Ans: Only the top 60 players typically qualify for all main tour events. Others pick schedules based on qualifying chances. Missed cuts mean early exits. Playing 16-22 annual events is expected.

Q6. What makes professional golf tours fun and exciting to follow?

Ans: I saw the world’s best compete in exciting venues, impressive shot-making skills, diverse player personalities, the drama of Sunday finishes, and watching new stars emerge.