Want to know how much do pro golfers make? We break down the earnings of golfers at different levels, from beginners to top-tier players on the PGA Tour.
Golf players’ salaries and earnings are different from most sports as they are not based on a contract system, but rather on performance and success rates. The amount earned depends on their ability to place highly in tournaments and endorsement deals.
In this article, lets get to know about how much do golfers earn and which golf tournaments offers the highest prize purses.
How much do pro golfers make?
Golfers are among the highest-paid athletes in the world. Nonetheless, with less than 3,000 professional golfers worldwide, it is an extremely competitive sport. Players can earn anywhere from $6000 to $7 million per year! This figure varies depending on where the golfer finishes. Golfers are paid through their clubs, through competitions, and through sponsorships. Moreover, a golfer need not win to get compensated because golf is such an exclusive sport, in which making the cut means the golfer still receives a portion of the prize money. In short:
- A professional golfer typically earns an average annual salary of approximately $80,000 from their club.
- The top-paying championship/tournament provides a substantial prize money of nearly $4 million to the winner golfer.
- Golfers can earn up to $1 million from sponsorships for wearing a specific branded hat. Moreover, they can earn an average of $200,000 per brand for displaying logos.
How much money does the PGA tour make?
The PGA Tour is expected to offer more than $500 million in prize money during the 2022–2023 season. There are 47 recognized PGA Tour events, each offering a unique amount of prize money. With the addition of the new authorized events, several competitions will have prize pools of at least $20 million.
Average winning of a PGA tour golfers
As per a report by PGA Tour, a typical PGA Tour pro golfer earned around $1.5 million in 2020–2021. From the year 2022-2023 PGA Tour stats, money leader Scottie Scheffler earned upto $10,486,495 to the PGA Tour’s 230th place earner Richard Johnson’s modest $8,208, that’s how much the top 230 golfers made.
What is the biggest purse and winning share for the PGA tour event?
The Players Championship offers the season’s largest prize pool, totaling $25,000,000. The prize pool for that contest has a winner’s share of $4.5 million. For the 2022–2023 PGA Tour season, there will be more than $500 million in prize money up for grabs.
To present, the PGA Tour has 47 sanctioned tournaments, each with its own unique prize pool. The Tour Championship is the final stop in the FedEx Cup playoffs, despite having the largest purse ($70 million) and winner’s share ($17 million). Instead of having a separate prize pool and winner’s share for this tournament, players will be compensated based on their overall season standing in addition to their performance this week.
PGA Tour Purses and Prize Money in 2022- 2023 Season
|$25 million||$4.5 million|
|$20 million||$3.6 million|
|$20 million||$3.6 million|
|$20 million||$3.6 million|
|$20 million||$3.6 million|
Which golf tournaments offer the highest prize purses?
Golf tournaments can yield quite lucrative pay-outs for the winners. Golf tournaments are ranked by prize money to determine which ones are the greatest and most prestigious worldwide.
1. The Players Championship
One of golf’s largest prize funds is provided during The Players Championship. According to CBS Sports reports, in 2023, a total of $25 million was up for grabs, with the victor taking home $4.5 million.
2. U.S. Open
The US Open Golf Championship is an annual golf tournament conducted in the United States. It is the second of four major championships (“majors”) in this sport, and it is on the PGA Tour and European Tour schedules. The American Golf Association hosts the tournament in mid-June. The event will be held in Los Angeles, California, from June 15 to June 18, 2023. The prize pool is worth $10 million.
3. Genesis Invitational
The Genesis Invitational at the legendary Riviera Golf Club outside Los Angeles is one of the tour’s new big-money tournaments, with an overall prize money payout of $20 million and a tour-record-tying payment of $3.6 million for the winner. Jon Rahm began the final round three strokes ahead of Max Homa and shot 69 to win by two shots. Rahm reclaims the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.
4. PGA Championship
Golf’s season ends with the PGA Championship, which boasts a humongous purse. In 2023, the jackpot was set at $25 million, and the winner (Scottie Scheffler) took home $4.5 million.
5. FedEx Cup
Rory McIlroy won the 2022 FedEx Cup and received $18 million in compensation. The FedEx Cup in 2022 had a prize pool of $75 million.
How is golf purse distribution?
A “purse” in professional golf refers to the total prize money that is available to be divided among the competitors in a tournament. In golf events, the payout is often based on the players’ official finishing positions, with the top finishers receiving a higher share of the prize money.
The purse distribution varies from one tournament to the next. Nonetheless, the following distribution breakdown is typical in golf competitions:
- Winner: 18% of total purse
- Runner-up: 10.8% of total purse
- 3rd place: 6.8% of total purse
- 4th place: 4.8% of total purse
- 5th place: 4% of total purse
- 6th place: 3.6% of total purse
- 7th place: 3.35% of total purse
- 8th place: 3.1% of total purse
- 9th place: 2.9% of total purse
- 10th place: 2.7% of total purse
Ways a (Professional) golfer makes money
Golfers can make money in numerous ways, that includes:
1. Tournament earnings
Most professional golfers derive a sizable percentage of their revenue from winning competitions. Major championships may provide prize money worth thousands of dollars to millions of dollars.
Golf tournaments offer the largest financial rewards to players, with the winner typically receiving 18 percent of the total purse. Finishing in the top-20 or top-10 also ensures a substantial payout.
Golfers with a solid reputation and brand can sign lucrative endorsement contracts with a range of businesses, including golf equipment producers, clothing retailers, financial businesses and more.
3. Appearance fees
Golfers who participate in specific competitions or events like golf outings, meeting with sponsors may receive appearance fees. These costs can be in the thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
4. Player Impact Program (PIP)
The program is designed to recognize and compensate players who have the most significant impact on the game both on and off the course. Under the PIP, the players who rank highest in several key categories, such as online search popularity, social media following, and Q-rating (a measure of player recognition and appeal), will receive a share of a $40 million bonus pool at the end of the season.
The top ten players will receive the largest payouts, with the winner receiving $8 million and the runner-up receiving $6 million.
5. Other Golf-related Careers
Golfers have various avenues to generate income beyond participating in tournaments. They can leverage their skills and knowledge to become teaching professionals, golf commentators, or even establish their own golf club.
In addition to endorsement deals, elite golfers can explore diverse business ventures.
Many renowned golfers have also authored books, sharing their personal experiences and insights.
Do PGA tour players earn a salary?
PGA Tour players earn high incomes from tournament winnings and sponsorship deals with various corporations. Scottie Scheffler topped the official money list in 2022, earning over $14 million, while 126 players earned over $1 million in prize money. However, expenses such as travel and accommodation can make it challenging for players earning $100,000 or less to break even.
For 2022-23, exempt players on the PGA Tour are guaranteed a base income of $500,000 per season, but they only begin collecting prize money once they surpass this threshold. Lower-ranked players also receive $5,000 in expenses when they miss a cut for the first time this season.
Professional golfers are often seen enjoying the good life. They lead luxurious lifestyles, drive the newest models of cars, and some even have their own aircraft. These golfers have made a career through winning major events and tournaments, which has drawn significant sponsorships. Yet, there is a sizable contingent of golfers attempting to break into the professional game who must begin as club pros and progress via the mini-tours before they can eventually support themselves by playing full-time on the circuits.
Do Pro Golfers Get Paid to Play Tournaments?
Through sponsorships and tournament winnings, professional golfers can make money. The total purse for a tournament determines the prize money, which is distributed among the top finishers, with the winner receiving the highest proportion.
Do Golf Players Earn From Endorsements Deals?
Undoubtedly, sponsorship deals can bring in a sizable sum of money for golfers. Companies that offer endorsement deals pay golfers to use or promote their goods, services, or brands. The worth of an endorsement deal is influenced by things including the player’s fame, popularity, and reputation.
How Much of Their Winnings Do Golfers Keep?
Golfers may keep varying amounts of their winnings, depending on factors such as their country of residence, tax laws, and the terms of their contracts with sponsors or endorsement deals. Taxes are typically required to be paid on winnings by professional golfers in both the country where the tournament took place and their country of residence. It can result in a significant portion of their winnings being paid out in taxes.