I would say that there are few to no professional golfers who started
in their 20s and were professional golfers by their 30s-- most people
who got a late start would probably have had more success on the
Senior Tour, after they turn 50. (It's easier to qualify for it,
although it is still quite an accomplishment to do so).
One example I found of this was Walter Morgan.
While you should follow your dreams, if you've just begun to play
golf, unless you are really a wunderkind, I don't know if I would
count on being a professional golfer as my main source of income.
There are thousands of golfers who play at an elite level but can't
qualify for the PGA Tour. Qualifying is only part of the battle, as
then you actually have to go out and win against... the world's best
golfers... in order to make a living at it!
I know a LOT of people who are really good golfers and some who even
qualified as professional. Basically, they enjoy golf, play it all
the time, and are good at it. They have other day jobs. Here are some
statistics on golf as a career:
"In golf, of the 165 men eligible for the PGA tour in 1997, their
official winnings ranged from $2,066,833 (Tiger Woods) to $10,653
(Chip Beck). The competition among these golfers is fierce. On
average, the top 100 golfers on the tour play within 2 strokes of each
other for every 18 holes, yet Tiger Woods, the tops in winnings won
over $2 million, and the 100th finisher won only $250,000. Below the
PGA tour is the Nike Tour where the next best 125 golfers compete.
Their winnings were a top of $225,201 to a low of $9,944."
The Nike Tour has been renamed, and now has the terrible moniker of
the "Buy.com Tour."
Imagine--the 125th best player in the world (if you go by winnings)
made only $700 more than the 300th best. And you could be the 300th
best player in the world and still only make $9,000 a year playing
golf for a living day in and day out-- and traveling all over the
country, which isn't good for a stable home life.
I would also recommend that you not get too caught up in golf as a
hobby. It can interfere with your life, and that of your family's if
you decide to have one. The males in my family are obsessed with
golf, especially my dad. He played golf so much when I was growing up
that I barely remember spending time with him if it wasn't on a golf
course. He wanted to skip my college graduation so he could go on a
If you really want to make it in professional golf, you should try out
for the Buy.com Tour and see where it leads!
This is just my 2 cents.