LAKEWOOD RANCH, FLORIDA | Ask any established club professional about his or her experience with the PAT, and the response tends to be universal. First comes a slow smile; then you’ll be instructed to find two of the tallest, coldest beers on property; and finally, a request to locate two comfortable stools in the breeze. And oh, right, one point of clarity: “How much time did you say you have?”
What’s the PAT, you ask? The Playing Ability Test, its official name, is a 36-hole, frequently pressure-filled examination in which a player aspiring to get into the golf industry through the PGA of America must finish at, or below, a targeted 36-hole score taking into consideration a course’s rating, or difficulty. Basically, the question becomes this: You want to make a career in golf – can you play it?
On this piping hot, near cloudless Tuesday at Esplanade at Azario Lakewood Ranch, a three-year-old facility just emerging from the ground outside Sarasota, there are 28 players choosing to give it a go in the latest PAT. (Full discl...
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