Many of the highest-earning athletes in the world are pro golfers. However, it’s an incredibly competitive sport with less than 3,000 pro golfers in the world. This begs the question: how much do golfers make?
It can be hard to pin down exactly how much golfers make since their income consists of their salary, bonuses, sponsorships, and championship earnings.
Golfers can make anywhere between $6000 and $7 million! This number varies according to how high the golfer places. On average, a PGA tour player earns around $1.5 million.
Read on to learn what factors influence a golfer’s earnings.
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How Much Do Golfers Make?
So, how much exactly do golfers make? The figure widely varies as some golfers can earn thousands, while others can become millionaires from golf.
Moreover, golfers earn money from various sources. So, here are some of the ways golfers can make money, as well as the average they can make:
Club Salary: $80k
Pro golfers have one of the highest wages in the world. The average annual club salary for a pro golfer is almost $80k. This figure doesn’t include PGA Tour earnings, sponsorships, and bonuses.
Participating in tournaments is a huge money-maker for golfers. The top-paying championship offers a hefty $4 million to the winner. Even the minimum payout is a whopping $120k. As a result, the average a golfer can expect for finishing a tournament is $200k.
Golfers who make the cut during the PGA Tour can earn millions. For each tournament the golfer wins, he earns more money. For example, the number one golfer for 2022, Scottie Scheffler, made $10 million this year alone.
Not to mention that sponsors and clubs pay the golfer an incentive bonus for winning a tournament, which can reach $100k.
So, whenever you see an athlete wearing a ridiculous amount of brands on their shirt, just know they’re getting paid an equally ridiculous amount of money.
It’s not all sunny, though. Golfers, just like us, have to pay income tax on their salaries and any prizes they earn. Furthermore, golfers need to pay an entry fee per tournament, and a cut for each: the caddie, the agent, the coach, and their personal trainer.
How Do Golfers Earn Money?
For many golfers, playing golf means paying money, not getting paid. It can be an expensive sport as you need to pay for equipment, entry to courses, and caddie fees. The average round of golf can cost about $40.
To earn money as a golfer, you need to become a professional. Professional golfers who are signed to a club are offered a hefty salary. In addition, they’re also paid by winning and participating in tournaments.
Furthermore, golfers get plenty of sponsors who are willing to pay thousands just for the golfer to sport their logo. There are also careers and business ventures golfers can break into.
1. Club Salary
Like all athletes, golfers earn their income by going pro, which means getting signed with a club. After signing the contract, the player first receives a signing bonus. Then, they earn their monthly salary.
The more highly ranked the golfer is, the more sought after he’ll be. So, he can negotiate a salary much higher than the average.
2. Participating in Tournaments
Tournaments are a huge privilege for golfers. They’re a great way to advance the golfer’s career so they’ll get higher rankings. In addition, golfers also get paid just for making the cut.
Each tournament has a ‘purse’, which is the total payout for all the winners. Winners receive a percentage of the tournament’s purse, which can amount to millions of dollars.
However, golfers don’t have to finish in the first place to get paid. Players finishing as far as the 60th place still get a percentage of the purse, though a much smaller percentage.
The taxing part is that players who don’t make the cut don’t get paid. This can be stressful for many golfers who are still trying to make it, especially since golfers pay for their own expenses, including travel and accommodation.
Golfers participating in The Masters don’t need to worry about this problem. The Masters pay their players simply for showing up!
This can be great for young golfers who are just starting out. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds since this tournament is invitational and only the best golfers can participate in it.
Other Golfing Ventures
Tournaments aren’t the only source of income for pro golfers. Once a golfer is famous enough, they can get paid through sponsorship deals.
The golfer’s hat and equipment are their money makers. While the salary and the prize cash make up a good amount of the golfer’s income, it’s the sponsorships that account for the bigger part of their income.
The sponsorship deal depends on the golfer’s popularity. The top 10 golfers can earn up to $10 million simply for promotional appearances. These sponsorships are often by sporting brands looking for a marketable pro golfer.
These endorsement deals don’t have to be golf or sports-related. For instance, Tiger Woods, who is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, is the spokesman for many brands, including luxury cars and energy drinks.
2. Sports Sponsorships
Golfers can also get sponsored, which means their training expenses, equipment, and even accommodation during the golfing season are all pre-paid by sponsors.
3. Other Golf-related Careers
Many golfers can make a living from the sidelines. They don’t have to participate in tournaments to earn an income. Instead, they can become teaching pros, golf commentators, or even design a golf course and start their own club!
Pro golfers can get a lot of deals and even break into different business ventures. Some of the best golfers in the world have poured their experiences, and sometimes snippets of their lives, into books.
Pro golfers are some of the best-paid athletes. The more skilled the golfer is, the more money they earn.
Golfers earn their money through club salaries, tournaments, and sponsorships. However, the player doesn’t need to come on top to get paid. It’s a highly exclusive sport, so being good enough to make the cut means the golfer still gets a percentage of the prize money.
What’s more, golfers can still make a good amount of money by expanding their careers into teaching and commentary!