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PDGA Tour Event Levels & Tiers

There are several levels of sanctioned PDGA events and each level or tier has its own set of requirements and regulations based on the PDGA Tour Standards. The top levels of events, which include World Championships, PDGA Majors, National Tour events, and A-Tier events require current PDGA membership in order to participate. PDGA Majors and National Tour events also require that the competitors have passed the PDGA Certified Official Rules Exam. For B-Tier and C-Tier events, any player who is not a current PDGA member may participate by paying a per-event fee of $10 (unless playing in a Junior division in which case there is no such fee).

Event Descriptions

PDGA Major

PDGA Major events include World and National Championships with the competitors based on invitations and qualification. Qualification to World Championships and Majors are awarded according to previous year Tour Points and other qualifying criteria. Current members who do not earn an invitation to the World Championships may still gain entry if there is still room after the registration tiers for invitees.

  • Current PDGA membership required to compete.
  • Current status of Certified Rules Official required through the dates of the event to register and compete.
  • Length, purse, number of holes, and many other elements of these prestigious events are handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Minimum payout of 125% of Net Entry Fees 

National Tour (NT)

The National Tour Elite Series is an event series for the Open and Open Women's divisions developed by the PDGA and its marketing partners. The National Tour events showcase the sport, its leading events, and its top players, with the goal of increasing sponsorship and media coverage.

  • Current PDGA membership required to compete.
  • Current status of Certified Rules Official required through the dates of the event to register and compete.
  • Length: 2-4 days
  • Holes: minimum of 54
  • Cash Added to Pro Purse: minimum of $4000 (across both divisions)

A-Tier

A-Tier events are regional events with strict requirements for the overall purse and payouts. These events typically bring in some of the best competitors in the sport, lasting between 2-3 days with a minimum of 54 holes to be completed.

Each fall, after the full Major and National Tour schedule is known for the following year, the A-Tiers are then scheduled by the PDGA Office for the entire following year. In late September, an online A-Tier Request Form is made available through both a story posted on pdga.com, as well as an email sent to the TDs of the A-Tiers from the past two years. The form is typically available for two weeks and TDs must provide at least three possible dates for their events in order for a conflict-free schedule to be produced.

Note that In order to even be considered for A-Tier status, an event must have been run for at least several years as a successful B-Tier event that both met all Tour Standards and was also absent of player complaints. Because of their greater mileage restrictions, only a limited number of events can be A-Tiers. Therefore, not all requests for A-Tier status will be approved. Once the A-Tier schedule has been set, it is released on pdga.com (typically on or about November 1st) so that PDGA State/Provisional Coordinators can begin approving TD’s date requests for B-Tier and C-Tier events. At that time, the online event sanctioning form for the following year is also made available.

  • Current PDGA membership required to compete.
  • Length: 2-3 days
  • Holes: minimum of 54
  • 100% payout of Net Entry Fees plus min. of $2000 Cash Added to Pro Purse (across all Pro divs)
  • 110% payout of Net Entry Fees to Amateur purse (prizes + player packs)

B-Tier

B-Tier events are considered state-level, often taking place over an entire weekend with the Tournament Director(s) providing a minimum of 100% payout to the professional and amateur divisions alike.

  • Current PDGA membership NOT required to compete. Non-current members or non-members pay a $10 per-event fee when registering (except in Junior divisions).
  • Length: 1-3 days
  • Holes: minimum of 36
  • 100% payout of Net Entry Fees plus min. of $500 Cash Added to Pro Purse (across all Pro divs)
  • 100% payout of Net Entry Fees to Amateur purse (prizes + player packs)

C-Tier

These are local events that can easily be run in one day, on one course, with a minimal amount of staff and volunteers, but they certainly do not have to be small and/or simple. There are many large C-Tier events around the world each year that bring in hundreds of players and provide very large payouts for both the professional and amateur divisions.  

  • Current PDGA membership NOT required to compete. Non-current members or non-members pay a $10 per-event fee when registering (except in Junior divisions).
  • Length: 1-2 days
  • Holes: minimum of 18 (36 preferred)
  • Cash Added to Pro Purse: optional
  • Minimum of 85% of Net Entry Fees to both Pro and Amateur payout

X-Tier

The "X" in X-Tier stands for experimental. These can be doubles events, ratings-based events, team events, and experimental events with formats approved by the PDGA Tour Manager. An X-Tier event can be sanctioned at the A-Tier, B-Tier, or C-Tier level for the purposes of points allocation, depending on purse and field size.

PDGA Leagues

PDGA Sanctioned Leagues are local events that run once a week for a duration of 6-10 weeks. With many local clubs already offering leagues in their respective areas that meet that criteria, the PDGA wanted to give these clubs the opportunity to sanction their league in similar way to how many tournaments are currently sanctioned. The most appealing benefit of a PDGA League, arguably, is that PDGA members that compete receive PDGA Player Ratings from each round just as they would at a typical PDGA event.

  • Current PDGA membership NOT required to compete.
  • Leagues run once a week on the same day for a duration of 6-10 weeks.
  • PDGA members receive an official rating from each league round attended.
  • PDGA members will receive PDGA points, which is the primary criterion for earning an invitation to World Championship events.
  • There are numerous formats available for play, which can be decided at the Tournament Director’s discretion. 

Download the PDGA Events Guide PDF »