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Odds of Getting In

The selection process starts early. It's Darwinian. Kids start playing tournaments at age 6 or so. It is instantly obvious who the really good ones are. The really smart ones are also obvious, because they focus on using golf as a vehicle to a great career, rather than making golf the career itself. Golf unites people. A good golf game is a magnet. The Senior VP of marketing loves having a local "ringer" partner with him at the country club best ball championship—let that ringer be you.

If you have a really good game, you'll make it to the last rounds of your state championships and the colleges will find you. If you are capable of playing for the prestigious golf schools—the Arizonas, the Floridas, the Stanfords—then the coaches will find you. Free college. Awesome. And being a varsity athlete in college is beyond awesome. Does wonders for your social life, too. Ahem.

But if you're talking about the odds of turning pro and actually having a life as a golf pro who makes money from winning tournaments…then it's a different story.

First, stop reading. Go find your grandmother. (Shouldn't be hard—she’s probably exactly where you left her.) Give her a big hug and ask her, mirror, mirror, how good you are. Smile and listen for 20 minutes as she delights your eardrums by telling you you’re 10 times better than that philanderer Tiger. When you're done, come back here to Shmoop Career Ego Reality Check Center and sit back down.

You're not Tiger. Good news for your future wife—bad news for your pro golf career.