Golf is perhaps, the most lucrative sport in the world, and is popularly believed to be a sport for the elite. A common assumption that people make about the sport is that golfers earn astronomical amounts by just “swinging” golf clubs, but the reality is a lot tougher than this.
Golf is a tough game to get into and it requires a lot of financial muscle, which perhaps, only a few members of society can afford. It is also a very technical sport that demands discipline, determination and dedication from players.
The most popular golfer ever, Tiger Woods, is worth an estimated $900 million, which he earned majorly from endorsements and also from prize tournaments. The average golfer doesn’t earn as much as Woods, although they still earn enough to be considered rich.
But why is golf such a lucrative sport? This article highlights some of the reasons.
Big purse from the major tournaments
The major tournaments such as the PGA, Masters, US Open, and The Open attract the best golfers all around the world, as they are the most prestigious. These tournaments ensure that each player who makes the cut after the second day receives a portion of the winning purse. The umbrella body of professional golfers in the United States, the Professional Golfers Association, stipulates that the winning golfer receives 18% of the total purse, while the least placed golfer(s) earns around 0.2% of the purse.
Below were the amounts paid to the winners of the golf majors in 2020.
Masters – $2,070,000
PGA Championship – $1,980,000
US Open – $2,250,000
The Open – $1,935,000
The good thing about golf is that earnings from these major tournaments have compulsory deductions that are set aside as part of a retirement scheme.
The tour of the professionals
There are other tours for professional golfers apart from the PGA Tour. There is the European Tour that covers the majority of Europe, as well as selected tournaments in several Middle East countries, Africa, and Australia.
Aspiring and semi-professional golfers use these other tournaments as a springboard to playing on the PGA Tour. The major tournaments also use these other tournaments to serve as qualifying events so that more fringe golfers can earn the right to operate in the money-spinning circles of golf, as well as build up ranking points.
The energy-sapping playing tours
These tours offer golfers the chance to become accustomed to the rigours and pressure of playing several tournaments on consecutive weeks. Known as the Nationwide Tour, it enables golfers to play professional golf as well as earn a decent living.
The case of the club professional
There are some golfers referred to as club professionals. These golfers register and go through a qualifying process. These processes are undertaken by governing bodies, and they test for knowledge and capabilities on how to operate golf clubs and provide instructions. This is because only theoretical knowledge is not enough qualification to be a club professional as a practical demonstration of one’s ability to play the game is needed.
Club professionals can earn between $30,000 and $100,000 doing work such as managing a golf club, providing golf lessons, as well as organizing golf clinics.
Then there are endorsements…
The bigger the prestige of the golfer, the bigger the endorsements that come their way. Endorsements come in the form of endorsements for golf equipment and clothing apparels. Also, featuring in advertisements and exhibitions allows golfers to earn away from the course, with Tiger Woods being the most notable example.
The earning power of golfers is enormous. Apart from earning through the aforementioned, they can also earn through appearances in corporate events. They drive the latest cars, live in the biggest of houses and some even have private jets.
However, a larger number of golfers have to work their way up the ladder, earning as club pros, entering mini-tournaments until they reach the very top.
Golf is a sport for the elite, and the earnings are elite as well.