Do you need to purchase to climb up the ranks or what.
Yes you do.
In the "traditional" WGT world, rising in ranks (tiers) inevitably means to rise in tee boxes - further back. At Master tier, it becomes more difficult with primary gear, and at Legend tier, it will be "impossible" (just not for the blessed ones).
This is the purpose of the PTW part of the game - we add to the company's revenue, and this is neccessary for them to continue.
There ain't no free lunch - you have to invest in your leisure pleasure!