There’s a huge amount of money to be made in the PGA Tour, let alone from a famed major tournament such as this week’s US Open.
It’s never too late to see if you can really hang with the pros. But be warned: there’s more to it than just being good at golf if you want want to join the Tour’s biggest names. As such, let’s find out below how you could legitimately throw your hat into the field of the US Open not this very instant, but possbly in next year’s run of the tournament at Shinnecock Hills.
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How to Qualify for the US Open
It Starts With An Application
The United States Golf Association (USGA) governs the proceedings of the US Open itself. To apply for this annual major tournament, simply fill out some forms (found here) and comply with a few other of the USGA’s requirements and you should be all set to put your skills to the test against a great number of other hopefuls. But before that, here are a few things to take note of before applying:
- There’s an entry fee of $175 for the US Open’s local qualifiers
- The deadline for the submission of applications is sometime within in the final week of April
- A 1.4 handicap index or below is required of each entrant
Now the Real Trials Begin
Let’s say you’ve done all the paperwork and passed through all of the USGA’s mandatory hoops. It’s now time to hit the greens and fairways of the qualifying stages for the US Open.
There are two tiers of qualifiers before you can officially be placed in the field of the major itself:
- Local qualifiers
- Sectional qualifiers
Local qualifiers are held in over 100 locations across America, so you should know beforehand which venue is most convenient for you. These local qualifiers are 18 holes long played under stroke play rules. The number of golfers that will advance from each local qualifier is determined by the size of the field from a particular venue.
Should you manage to advance from the locals, it’s now on to the sectional qualifiers. Here, you’ll be going up against not just against those who’ve advanced from the other local qualifiers, but also a good number of amateurs along with former and current PGA Tour professionals who didn’t meet the criteria for an automatic berth into the US Open. In other words, this is where you’ll have to put your money where your nine-iron’s power really is.
The sectional qualifier is a one-day event of 36-hole stroke play, so be sure that you’re in tip-top shape for a challenging afternoon against some of the best borderline-professional competition from the entire country.
While the step-by-step procedures above seem easy enough on paper, the competition during the actual qualifiying stages is indeed daunting, considering the number of aspiring golfers looking to make a name for themselves just like you. We’re not undermining your capability to actually excel in these qualifiers whatsoever. But the reality is, it takes years of practice and experience before you can consider your golfing craft as competent enough to be near the same level as those who enter numerous golf tournaments and qualifiers for a living.
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