PGA Tour jobs available at Q School
So, you want to be a professional golfer, huh? Not one of those guys who gives lessons to neophyte septuagenarians and checks pro shop inventories. That's no fun. You want to hit the big time -- private jet, trophy wife, millions in your Cayman bank account.
Well, we've got good news for you. The PGA Tour is hosting its annual job fair in La Quinta, Calif., this week. After some exhaustive research, ESPN.com obtained the Monster.com profile for the 30 available positions of "PGA Tour member" at stake during the Qualifying Tournament:
The PGA Tour is the world's leading major golf tour. Featuring 46 events for the 2007 season, it's where the top professional golfers ply their craft each week, from January through November. Our organization is continuing to grow and excel. In 2007, we will commence a new lucrative TV contract, and a brand new FedEx Cup format, and ... you know what? We're just going to stop there. Do we really have to sell you on this position? Seriously, what's better than playing golf year-round as your profession? Most people need to take vacations or knock off work early to play this game, but the PGA Tour is offering opportunities to make a career out of playing golf. You're the one who should be selling us, bud.
Job includes travel on a week-to-week basis, but employees in this position may be based in any part of the country. PGA Tour members must observe strict tournament-round and pro-am tee times, but can otherwise forge their own hours. Want to toil until dusk on the practice range like Vijay Singh? Be our guest. Would you rather take the Carlos Franco approach, eschewing the dress rehearsal and simply show up for main act? No problem.
Requirements: Excellent short game required to compete with the world's best professional golfers. Candidate must also hit the ball a long way off the tee, as average tour member driving distance was 289.3 yards in 2006. Better hit it pretty straight, too. And that iron game should be in solid shape. Let's put it this way: "These Guys Are Good" is less a motto than a warning.
Expectations: Those who qualify for the position by finishing in the top 30 (and ties) at Q School automatically retain full PGA Tour status for the entire 2007 season. Players can secure additional extended contracts in various forms. Victories at any of the four major championships or The Players Championship result in a supplementary five-year contract with our organization and a victory at any other PGA Tour event brings a two-year contract. Those who finish in the top 125 on the money list also will retain an additional full one-year contract for the 2008 season, and those who finish 126-150 will receive partial PGA Tour status. We know, it sounds next to impossible to lose your playing privileges once hired to the PGA Tour member position, but it does happen to some players. No worries, though. We hold our Q School after each season, so if you relinquish status, just show up next year and try again.
In addition, all PGA Tour members should be drug-free, especially where performance-enhancing drugs are concerned. Not that any of our players would ever do such a thing. Of course, we don't test for drugs, but we might someday. So, uh, you probably have a few years to get them out of your system.
Salary: None guaranteed, as PGA Tour members work on a pay-per-performance basis. Our top earner commanded a salary of $9,941,563 in 2006, but his name is Tiger Woods and, well, he's really good at this job. You won't make that much. But hey, even a guy named Craig Barlow became a millionaire and he ranked 93rd on our money list, so potential PGA Tour members should hold out plenty of hope.
Benefits: Inclusion into what's been called "the most lucrative pension plan in professional sports." Health insurance. Life insurance. Groupies. (Just kidding, you'll have to find them on your own.) Vacation time is unpaid, but encouraged. We even had a couple of guys this year who earned so much during the season that they didn't bother showing up for our year-end Tour Championship, where even the last-place competitor earns a six-figure paycheck by simply showing up for work. That's right: It's the PGA Tour, where sometimes we can't even give money away!
Expenses: PGA Tour members are required to finance their own travel expenses to and from tournament sites. The company will not pay for your jet fuel, or that of your backup jet, or the six nannies you'll inevitably employ to care for your two children. The tour will, however, provide courtesy cars for its members at each venue, some of which are actually pretty sweet (read: they're not all mundane Buicks). Employees will not be reimbursed for meals, but food is provided in tournament clubhouses, including Cajun cuisine at the New Orleans stop and the best milkshakes you'll ever have at The International. And, really, if it's a free meal you're seeking, just find any equipment rep or PR type on tour; they'll be more than happy to buy you a steak while peddling their wares.
If interested in this position, please be one of the top 30 (and ties) at this week's Qualifying Tournament. In lieu of résumés and references, the PGA Tour requires only a scorecard as evidentiary proof of competence.
Jason Sobel is ESPN.com's golf editor. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn3.com