Ranked amongst the world’s highest paid athletes there is no question that pro golfers have the potential to earn a lot of money. However, earnings can vary greatly dependent on ability, placing highly in a tournament, and whether or not they endorse any products.
How And How Much Pro Golfers Are Paid
A pro golfer’s pay when participating in a tournament is purely performance related. Win a tournament and you will receive a large payout, come last and you will receive (relatively) little or nothing!
Each tournament in the PGA tour calendar offers a purse which is divided between those that compete and finish in the money. The US Open, for example, offers a purse of $12 million, whilst the Masters offers $11.5 million.
Prize money for a pro golfer’s finishing position is decided by the PGA who award a certain percentage of the purse to each position. A winner, for example, will receive 18% of the purse total which in the Masters Tournaments case amounts to $2,070,000.
The following nine positions receive 10.8, 6.8, 4.8, 4, 3.6, 3.35, 3.1, 2.9, and 2.7% respectively. Winnings are usually paid down to the 70th place which earns just 0.2% of the purse.
Tied Placing In Tournaments Earning Exceptions
Should positions be tied, as happened at the Masters Tournament in 2019, the total prize money is divided equally. For example, three players tied for 2nd position means the purse for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th is added together, and then divided by three.
2019 Masters Tournament Final:
1 Tiger Woods $2,070,000
T2 Dustin Johnson $858,667,00
T2 Xander Schauffele $858,667,00
T2 Brooks Koepka $858,667,00
10.8% (2nd) + 6.8% (3rd) + 4.8% (4th) = 22.4%
22.4% ÷ 3 = 7.4666666666666%
7.4666666666666% of $11,500,000 = $858,667,00 (to nearest $)
2019 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions:
- Rory McIlroy $1,745,000
- Xander Schauffele $1,095,000
- Louis Oosthuizen $602,000
- T4 Matthias Schwab $370,000
- T4 Victor Perez $370,000
- T4 Abraham Ancer $370,000
2019 Houston Open
Win: Lanto Griffin, -14, $1,350,000.00
T-2: Scott Harrington, -13, $667,500.00
T-2: Mark Hubbard, -13, $667,500.00
T-4: Harris English, -11, $286,875.00
T-4: Talor Gooch, -11, $286,875.00
T-4: Carlos Ortiz, -11, $286,875.00
T-4: Sepp Straka, -11, $286,875.00
T-4: Xinjun Zhang, -11, $286,875.00
Other Tournament Earning Exceptions
- Any pro player who does not make the 36 hole cut will receive no prize money at all.
- If there are more than 70 pros that make the cut, each placing from 71 down will receive $100 less than the previous position.
- If fewer than 70 pro golfers complete the tournament, prize money for vacant positions will not be given.
- Amateurs competing in pro golf tournaments receive no prize money and are treated as though they didn’t compete. This means that if an amateur finishes 20th in a tournament, the pro golfer below him in 21st will get the 20th position and purse.
Earnings From Endorsements
Though earnings from endorsements are not strictly tournament winnings, they are related. This is because pro golfers who are highly successful draw the biggest endorsement deals. These deals, however, are not just for golf equipment and clothing, rather they can be for absolutely any product.
Professional golfers like Tiger Woods are a fine example of someone who endorses a lot of products. As of 2020, this pro golfer was listed as earning $60 million per year, with at least eight endorsement deals which were:
- Nike Golf
- TaylorMade Golf
- Bridgestone Golf
- Full Swing
- Kowa (pharmaceutical products)
- Upper Deck (sports cards and collectibles)
- Hero motor group (Indian-based motorcycles)
Top 20 Golf Pro Earnings 2018
|Rank||Name||No of events||Earnings|
|16||Charles Howell III||17||$2,604,266.00|
Interesting Tournament Earning Facts
- The two highest purses are offered in the PGA Masters Tournament and the US Open. Their purses are $11.5 million and $12 million, respectively.
2. The top three earning professional golfers for the PGA season 2017 to 2018 were:
- Justin Rose $18,130,678
- Bryson DeChambeau $10,094,489
- Dustin Johnson $9,957,352
(Includes both official money and Fed Ex Cup Bonus money)
3. In 2017 to 2018, 114 professional golfers earned over $1 million in tournaments.
4. According to Forbes magazine in 2018, Tiger Woods is the 16th highest paid athlete in the world. However, only $1 million of the $43 million he earned in 2018 came from tournaments. The other $42 million all came from endorsements.
Conclusion: How much money do golfers make?
It has to be said that it is totally dependant on the event and how well they play. If you’re asking if they should get paid so much? Well, That’s another story and we’ll save that question for another article.
Read all about the TOP 20 HIGHEST PAID GOLFERS OF ALL TIME HERE
It’s fair to say golfers get paid a lot, but they are true athletes no matter what non-golfers say. Their dedication and commitment to the game is incredible. How they keep their focus and resist the temptation do try something silly is beyond me.
Snooker is another sport that needs total focus for long periods of time. They also earn good money but nothing in comparriosn to golfers!