Head Golf Professional: What Exactly is this Job?

Our published content may contain links that can result in a small commission, details in our privacy policy.

If you’re a member of a golf course, the chances are that you’ve interacted with the head professional at your club. This is normally the person responsible for the professional shop, and they’re typically super friendly and willing to offer advice and guidance.

As the name of their job suggests, head golf professionals get paid for their ability to play golf. And while lots of pros aspire to make it big on the PGA Tour, others are more than happy to become resident pros at their local golf courses.

So, this article explains everything you need to know about the role of the head golf professional, and we will help you decide if this highly sought-after job is right for you.

What is a Head Golf Professional?

The head golf professional is a key role at any golf course. The head pro is typically located in the club shop and provides advice, guidance, and assistance to all members and visitors, particularly relating to golf-course issues.

Most head professionals are also responsible for organizing and managing club tournaments, handling the scores, and submitting them to the competition secretary and the organizing committee.

To become a head golf professional, you need to be an active member of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), so it’s not a job that is open to everyone. We take a look at the role of the head golf professional in more detail.

What Does a Head Golf Professional Do?

The job of a head golf professional is often varied and includes a broad range of daily tasks, duties, and responsibilities. Most golf club professionals are responsible for some or all of the following:

  • Providing assistance and advice to all golfers that play the course.
  • Giving lessons to young players and beginner golfers.
  • Managing the pro shop and ensuring the stock inventory is up to date.
  • Arranging and facilitating club competitions.
  • Liaising with other departments to ensure the golf course runs smoothly.
Golfers may also like:  Can You Play Golf in the Rain? (Explained!)

Working as the head professional at a golf course is an excellent way for players who have recently turned pro to get more experience and earn money while they’re looking to progress on the Tour.

It’s also a good career to fall back on if they don’t make it big on either the PGA Tour or other associated tours, such is the competitive nature of elite golf in the United States.

What Makes a Good Head Golf Professional?

First and foremost, a good head golf professional needs to be an exceptional golfer. To make it as a pro and to be a member of the PGA is far from easy, and getting to this level automatically shows that a person has achieved an impressive level as a golfer.

Successful head professionals are also highly personable and enjoy interacting with members and visitors. One of their primary roles is to offer advice and guidance to all players, so it’s important that head pros have a good level of customer care.

Head pros also have to be organized, as they typically have to juggle several roles at any given time. As well as maintaining stock levels in the shop, a pro also has to update their diary for lessons and keep on top of all upcoming golf competitions.

Ultimately, it’s a relatively challenging job, so it’s important for head pros to be organized and efficient at managing their daily tasks.

How Do You Become a Head Golf Pro?

The first and most important requirement of becoming a head golf pro is to turn professional and register with the PGA. To obtain certification as a pro, you will need to be an elite golfer and get a job in a golf-related field, such as a coach or assistant pro.

You will then need to complete five PGA qualifying courses. They include courses related to the history of golf, the rules of the game, and the PGA constitution. To pass, you will need to achieve a minimum score on all of the tests.

The next step is to complete what is known as the PAT, or the Player Ability Test. IN other words, the PGA wants to make sure you’re good enough to provide education to other players.

Last but not least, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree or an apprenticeship in a related field, such as golf management. As you can see, the requirements are extensive, and it’s not easy to become a head golf pro, but it’s a hugely rewarding job if you can make it.

Golfers may also like:  Golf Course Superintendent - A Good Job?

What is the Average Salary for a Head Golf Pro?

According to Indeed, the average base salary for head golf pros in the United States is $45,000 per year. While this isn’t a huge amount of money, it is an excellent starting point from which to build your career.

Many head golf pros also compete at regional and national tournaments when they’re employed at golf courses. This provides them with the opportunity to top up their earnings with prize money, but it really just depends on how successful they are in the tournaments that they enter.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s only really the players who make it big on the PGA Tour who earn huge sums of money.

For most professional golfers, the reality is much more humbling, and they typically only earn a living wage in keeping with other jobs that are available at golf courses.

Head Golf Pro vs Director of Golf – What’s the Difference?

Some golf courses advertise the role of a head golf pro, while others look for a director of golf. In reality, the roles are very similar, if not the same. The director of golf is responsible for managing all aspects of the golf business, from scheduling tee times to arranging club competitions.

However, in some clubs, a director of golf and head pro may work together. In this instance, the head pro would report to the director of golf, who would be responsible for overseeing everything that happens on the course and in related departments.

Again, to succeed as a director of golf, you need to have an excellent grasp of the game and be a talented and highly skilled player. You also need to be well organized and efficient, as you will be tasked with carrying out multiple roles on a daily basis.

So, whether the job you’re applying for is listed as a head golf pro or director of golf, the skills, experience, and requirements for each position are likely to be similar.

Head Golf Professional Job Description: Do I Have the Skills?

Crucially, to land a role as a head golf professional, you need to be highly skilled. As the job title suggests, you need to be a professional golfer and part of the PGA. This means the job is only accessible to players at the elite level of the game.

Golfers may also like:  How Long Does Topgolf Take to Play? - All The Facts!

There are other roles that you can perform at golf courses without needing to become a professional golfer, including a coach, superintendent, or even a member of the hospitality team.

But to succeed as a head golf professional, you need to be a skilled professional golfer first and foremost. Additionally, you will need to possess all of the other skills and abilities that we’ve already mentioned in this article.

If you’re not quite ready to turn pro, you could always apply for a role as an assistant pro, a golf coach, or for any other position within a golf course that doesn’t require PGA membership as a pre-requisite.

How Do You Describe a Head Golf Pro on a Resume?

It’s important to elaborate and explain your roles and responsibilities in detail when describing the head golf pro on a resume. This is because the role encompasses various duties and tasks, so it’s helpful to make it clear what you have been responsible for.

In addition to focusing on your skills and achievements as a professional, explain the management and organizational skills that you have developed as a result of your employment, as these transferrable skills will stand you in good stead as you apply for jobs in the future.

It’s also helpful to go into detail about your daily duties as a head golf pro and break down exactly what has been expected of you as you go about your daily job. After all, the more experiences you can relate to on your resume that are relative to the job you’re applying for, the more likely you are to be offered an interview.


So many amateur golfers dream of the day of turning pro. And although many people dream of emulating Tiger Woods and making it big on the PGA Tour, the reality is that many other golfers work as head professionals at golf courses throughout the United States.

Therefore, if you’re an elite player and you’re interested in taking the required steps to become a professional golfer with the PGA, you might find that a job as a head professional at a golf club in your state is perfectly suited to you.