Global Amateur Pathway, a new opportunity

To be eligible for inclusion in the Global Amateur Pathway Ranking, players must meet specific criteria

by Andrea Gussoni
Global Amateur Pathway, a new opportunity
© Luke Walker / Getty Images Sport

The joint statement, published on their respective institutional websites, announced the establishment of the Global Amateur Pathway (GAP) by the DP World Tour, R&A, and PGA Tour, marking a significant development in the landscape of top amateur golf.

Golf, news

Implemented by the World Amateur Golf Ranking, the new initiative aims to assist the top amateur players in advancing their careers. Specifically tailored for players who are not part of the college system, which is covered by the PGA Tour University circuit, the GAP offers a pathway for amateurs to progress beyond collegiate golf and into the professional ranks.

In essence, the new program serves as a complementary initiative to those overseas. Under the GAP, the top amateurs ranked within the top 20 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking at the end of the season will receive an exemption to compete on the DP World Tour for the following season.

To be eligible for inclusion in the Global Amateur Pathway Ranking, players must meet specific criteria: Not be NCAA Division-1 players;
Be at least 20 years old by the end of the reference calendar year for the Ranking;
Rank within the top 200 positions of the WAGR;
Be outside the top 200 positions at the end of the Registration Period (October 13, 2024), but within the top 100 by the end of the calendar year.

Exemptions are also provided for the Challenge Tour. The joint statement emphasizes that the GAP is another outcome of the Strategic Alliance. While I appreciate any initiative that supports young players on their journey to professionalism, once again, the perception arises that the DP World Tour is effectively considered a satellite tour or feeder tour by the PGA Tour, which is personally something I find quite disagreeable.

The PGA Tour is a professional golf organization that oversees the main professional golf tours in the United States. It is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida. Its official name is written entirely in capital letters, "PGA TOUR." The PGA Tour became a separate organization in 1968 when it split from the PGA of America, which is primarily an association of golf professionals such as golf instructors and club managers.

Tournament players initially formed their own organization, the Association of Professional Golfers (APG). Later, in 1968, the players disbanded the AP