Becoming a qualified PGA professional

The PGA Trainee Program is ideal both male and female golfers who have a passion for a career in golf.

PGA Trainees work alongside fully qualified PGA members and receive practical work experience and on-the-job training at approved golf facilities around the country.

In addition to developing real skills for the workplace, PGA Trainees also receive nationally accredited qualifications in a variety of vocational disciplines.

Graduates of the PGA Trainee Program are eligible for the following certifications and accreditations:

  • PGA Coach Gateway Qualification (Career Oriented Participation)
  • PGA Coach Development Qualification (Career Oriented Participation)
  • Full Vocational Membership of the PGA of New Zealand


Studies in the Trainee Program are a combination of on-the-job training, block release training schools, distance and on-line education.

Key academic program areas for the 2016 program include:

  • Coaching - knowledge and skills for golf coaching, leading to the highest level of coach accreditation in golf.
  • Game Development - strategies and skills to actively grow participation and enjoyment of the sport of golf.
  • Small Business - strategic and operational skills for successfully operating business in the golf industry.
  • Management - skills and strategies relating to planning, organising and leading a golf club or golf organisation.

These areas of study are designed to provide a well rounded generalist qualification and industry specific skills for the golf professional. Further specialist study in your area of interest may be available as part of the PGA Professional Development Program.

Practical Playing Requirement

Professional tournament lay is an integral component of the PGA Trainee Program. Throughout the program, Trainees are required to complete in a number of professional events to ensure they retain a professional playing standard.

There is a wide variety of playing opportunities for Trainees such as:

  • Weekly trainee matches
  • Domestic Pro-Am events
  • Charles Tour Events
  • PGA National Trainee events
  • PGA Tour of Australasia events (subject to eligibility)

A minimum of twenty (20) rounds per year is used to calculate an adjusted playing average and successful completion of the playing requirement is contingent on achieving the required average in each of three (3) separate playing periods.

Job Outcomes
Employment opportunities for graduates of the PGA Trainee Program include

  • Head Professional
  • Director of Golf
  • Assistant Professional
  • Golf Operations Manager/Assistant
  • Teaching Professional
  • Tournament Professional
  • Development Officer
  • Company Sales/Technical Representative
  • Golf Club Manager

Some members also transition into golf management or other industry related roles and seek additional skills through the completion of continuing education programs or external content.

For more information about the PGA Trainee Program please contact the PGA Academy on (09) 4886617 or Email:

Admission Requirements
To be eligible for the 2017 PGA Trainee Program applicants must:

  • Be at least eighteen (18) years of age as at January 1 of the year they commence in the program
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident with the ability to work unrestricted for the duration of the program.
  • Have attained a minimum of Year 12 or equivalent and provide certified copies of academic transcripts. If minimum Year 12 has not been attained an Aptitude Test will need to be sat at time of interview
  • Have a handicap (exact) at the time of entry of the three (3) or better for males and six (6) or better for females
  • Attend an interview and aptitude assessment day with representatives of the Academy and provide evidence in support of their application.

Course Fees

In 2015 the yearly fee for the PGA Traineeship was $4789 Therefore, future applicants for the program can expect a yearly fee approximately the same price.

Application Process

All applications must be received by the PGA Academy at the PGA Office no later than 31 August 2016.