How Many PGA Tour Pros Are There?

It's difficult to pinpoint an exact number of PGA Tour pros, with many golfers holding different exemptions and eligibility

Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy chat at the 2022 PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

For any golfer, becoming a PGA Tour pro is the pinnacle and their ultimate goal. It's mostly home to the biggest prizes, the best tournaments and the chance to prove yourself against the greatest players in the game.

While there are rankings and standings to qualify for events, there are no hard and fast rules to get into events and therefore the number of professional golfers who play on the PGA Tour is constantly changing - you don't officially have to have a PGA Tour card to tee it up in one of its events for instance.

The easiest way to gain status and compete on the PGA Tour is through the FedEx Cup standings. Each year, the 125 players with the most points are given a card for the next season. 

Those with a PGA Tour win in the last two years or those in the top 25 or top 50 in all-time earnings on the PGA Tour can also get year-long exemptions and access to the tour. 

As all of the top 125 do not play each week, there are opportunities for other pros to play on the PGA Tour. 

PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs written on grass during the Northern Trust tournament

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Firstly, those who finished between 126th to 150th in last season’s standings are given limited status which guarantees them starts in certain tour events. In addition, the tour adds new pros each year from its developmental tours.

From 2023, the top 30 players from the Korn Ferry Tour - the PGA’s main developmental tour - will get cards for the following season as well as the top performing college golfer who will get access to events. Other developmental tours such as PGA Tour Lationoamerica and PGA Tour Canada have similar agreements in place. 

The DP World Tour - Europe’s premier golfing tour - has a ‘strategic alliance’ with the PGA Tour which gives the ten best European players, who don’t already have cards, the ability to play on the PGA Tour. 

Another way for professional golfers to get into events can be through sponsor exemptions. These act similar to a wildcard in a tennis tournament and allow tournament sponsors and hosts to invite a few players to compete in their tournament who has not already qualified. 

Monday qualifiers offer the final route for professionals to can gain access to events. As the name suggests, these take place the Monday before a Thursday start with a select few of the lowest-scoring individuals gaining entry into Thursday’s event.

So to sum up how many PGA Tour pros there are, it's difficult to pinpoint an exact number. At present, on the FedEx cup rankings, 215 golfers are listed as having competed this year but given the various qualification routes and new emerging stars, that number is always changing.

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.