What is European Tour Q School?

Find out how to qualify for the European Tour.

european tour q school
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In order to secure a spot in the world of professional golf, you must pass Q school. This term was coined in the 1970s after the birth of the first school for the European Tour.

What is European Tour Q School?

By Kylie Winkler

In order to secure a spot on the European Tour, you must first pass qualifying school. This term was coined in the 1970s after the birth of the first school for the European Tour.

The school determines whether or not players are eligible to make it to the tour. It is arguably one of the toughest golf examinations and has been faced by tens of thousands of players.

Related: How to become a PGA Professional

The European Tour Q school consists of three stages, each of which is made up of various tournaments. Over the years the school has expanded from a 72-hole test to a 252-hole examination.

LUMINE WILL HOST THE 2017 Q SCHOOL - Check out what the players think of the course below


The first qualifying stage is held in different countries around Europe. There are eight tournaments that are each played over four rounds.

The second stage of the European Tour qualifying school is only four tournaments, each of four rounds. This stage of the school takes place at different courses in Spain.

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For the school’s third stage, a single tournament is played over six rounds. Referred to as the Final stage, it takes place this year at Lumine GC for the first time after nine years at TPC Catalunya.

After all stages have concluded, the leading 25 players, and those who are tied, are granted category 17 membership to the European Tour and category 5 membership of the Challenge Tour.

Even after completing the difficult school, they do not have immediate access to the more prestigious stops on the tour.

tour q school

England's Nathan Kimsey won the 2016 European Tour Q school final stage at PGA Catalunya. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Unless several players in higher categories are unable to make it, the European Tour Q school grads can’t attend. They instead are given access to other number of events on the European Tour.

Those who make the cut after the 72-hole course are given a category 7 status while those who don’t make it are granted category 12. If a player does not make it past the final stage, there still is the possibility to gain a membership with limited tournament access.

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Will Medlock graduated from UEA with a degree in Film and Television before completing a Masters in Sports Journalism at St Mary's in London. Will has had work published by The Independent and the Rugby Paper.