Becoming a Fully Qualified Professional

Positions Available 
Wainui Golf Club are seeks to employ a PGA Trainee
Royal Auckland and the Grange Golf Club are seeks to employ a PGA Trainee 
For more information or if you are thinking about becoming a trainee contact
The PGA Academy exists to provide a pathway for individuals that wish to become a fully qualified PGA Professional. 

 Joining the PGA Academy

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.

 Applications for the 2020 programme are now open, click on the link to download the application form - PGA Trainee Application Form 2020


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)
  • New Zealand Apprenticeship Scheme
  • NZQA Level 3 National Certificate in Recreation & Sport - Coaching and Instruction
  • NZQA Level 4 National Certificate in Sport and Recreation
  • NZQA Level 4 National Diploma in Small Business 
  • Full Vocational Membership of the PGA of New Zealand
Let your Passion become your Career Becoming a Fully Qualified PGA Professional

"My time spent as a Trainee Professional and the journey that I have been on through the PGA Academy has been a truly unique experience.

Throughout the three years I spent in the programme I've learnt more than I could have ever imagined, I've reached goals that seemed like dreams and met some of the most amazing and interesting people that I have ever had the pleasure to spend time with and learn from.

I feel privileged and honoured to have been able to take part and complete the traineeship and incredibly proud to call myself a full member of the PGA, the traineeship has given me the skills and qualification to launch my career in golf and I'm excited to see what the future has in store.

Sam Abela AA Member, PGA Academy

Applications for the 2020 programme are now open, click on the link to download the application form - PGA Trainee Application Form pdf
For more information or if you are thinking about becoming a trainee contact 

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

Academic Content
Key academic program areas for the 2019 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.
Two training schools are held during each year of training covering theoretical assignments and practical examinations to assess the progress of the trainee.
Prior to graduation the Trainee is also required to gain areas of competence from these external bodies:
  • Comprehensive Workplace First Aid Certificate - a two day course - delivered by Red Cross or St. Johns.
  • Class A or B Rules Badge from the New Zealand Golf Association. Seminars and examinations are conducted by District Golf Associations.
Job Outcomes
Potential 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.

Practical Playing Requirement
Professional tournament play 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.
Admission Requirements
To be eligible for the 2020 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 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 2019 the yearly fee for the PGA Traineeship was $5060. Therefore, future applicants for the program can expect a yearly fee approximately the same price, normally adjusted for the CPI (Consumer Price Index)
"Regular coaching and advice from a PGA Professional - whether on their game or equipment - is one of the most beneficial things any golfer can do to improve not only their game, but also their enjoyment of golf"
Padraig Harrington - Honorary PGA Professional 


2018 PGA Trainee Awards and Graduation
The 2018 awards dinner took place at Jacks Point in Queenstown to celebrate the close of a fantastic year.
Attended by PGA trainee family and friends, this year we had 11 outstanding trainees graduate into full membership of the PGA.

Supreme award winner
 Thomas Hardy
 Titleist Footjoy Excellence in Education Awards 
Stage 1 : Sean Blomquist
Stage 2 : Cameron Jones
Stage 3 : David Feeney  
AA class members 
Jenna Gainford
A class members 
Andrew Jones
David Feeney
Jared Pender
Jesse Goffeney
Jordan Canning 
Moonhak Lee
Ray Jiang
Scott Curtis
Scott Riordan
Thomas Hardy
PGA Values Awards
Matt Tiplody - Auckland
Rhys Watkins - Manawatu