Golf professionals make a lot of money based on how good they are, whether he plays on the PGA Tour and whether he endorses any products.

Despite being at the top, the income of a golf pro isn’t always stable or long-term. If golfers on the PGA Tour get hurt or have a bad year and lose their cards, they will make less money next year. Club professionals make more money each year but at a much lower rate. So, let’s discuss how much do golf pros make?

U.S. Pro Major Tours

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For each year and for each golfer on the PGA Tour, the prize money changes. During the PGA Tour in 2011, there were 261 golfers who earned money. Jose Maria Olazabal earned $6,330 and Luke Donald earned $6,683,214. $628,079. He came in 131st on the money list.

Every player on the Nationwide Tour made money in 2011, with the top earner being J.J. Killeen, who made $414,273 in 2011. It took Joe Ida $1,265.

In mid-August, Steven Alker earned more money than anyone else, making him the winner of the most money.

Earned $16,904 out of 153 points. Tour regulars have to pay for a lot of things, like travel, lodging, and food, with their money while they go from event to event.

Non-U.S. Pro Tours

The European Tour is the most profitable professional golf tour outside of the United States, even though a lot of American golfers play there.

During the European Tour’s money race in 2011, Donald was the winner with $5,323,400 euros (about $6.9 million), making him the top money winner. There were 116,924 euros (about $151,746) in the middle, and Jack Doherty came in last with 891 euros (about $1,156).

Juvic Pagunsan earned $788,298 on the 2011 Asian Tour, while Nicholas Pua earned only $565, which made him the last player on the money list. During the first half of the race, Chris Rodgers earned $47,701.


There is a lot of “mini-tours” in the United States. The most well-known is the National Golf Association (NGA) Pro Golf Tour and the eGolf Professional Tour.

More than 150,864 people from the NGA won money in 2011, but Austin Bowen only won $600. Justin Ahasic came in 175th with $5,027.

Off-Course Earnings

Some of the best golfers in the world make more money off the course than they do on it. When “Sports Illustrated” made a list of the highest-paid American athletes in 2011, two golfers were at the top. An estimated $63.3 million was earned by Tiger Woods last year. The magazine says that $60 million of that was from endorsements, which made up the rest.

Club Pros

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Even though club professionals may make money by competing in local or regional tournaments, they usually get their main income from regular paychecks and sales of lessons and pro shop goods. There were PGA head pros who earned a median salary of $68,600 in 2010, according to the PGA of America’s 2010 compensation survey. The range of salaries was from $40 to $140,000.

If you’re an assistant pro who is an official member of the PGA and earns a median salary of $37,000, you make between $22,000 and $59,000 per year. They made an average of $28,000 a year, but apprentice assistants made between $18,000 and $43,000 each year, too.

Club Pro

A club pro is a PGA professional who is in charge of running the golf operations of a course on behalf of its owners or operators.

They may get paid both for their time on the practice range and for the golf lessons and clinics they give on the course. It was found in the June 2011 issue of “PGA Magazine” that the median total compensation for the general manager/head professional job in 2010 was $70,000, with salaries ranging from $55,000 to $90,000.

There was a wide range of pay for teachers: $30,000 to $55,000.

In public or private institutions that have a lot of educational programs, there may be a job called “director of instruction.” Most people in this job made about $60,000 a year, with a range of $40,000 to $75,000.

Professional Tour Player

Professional golfers get paid based on a percentage of the purse for each tournament in which they play and finish in the money. This is how they get paid. Take a look at the United States. People who finish in 60th place win the Open. When Rory McIlroy won the US Open for $1.4 million in 2011, he did it for the first time in his life. A little more than $17,000 was given to the player who came in 60th.

He earned $6.6 million on the PGA Tour in 2011. Yani Tseng earned more than $3 million on the LPGA Tour in 2011 and led the way. If you look at Tiger Woods’ career, you can see that he has earned almost $95 million so far. There is a tour called the Nationwide Tour for golfers who haven’t made it to the PGA Tour yet.

J. J. Killeen was the top money winner on the Nationwide Tour in 2011. He won two events and earned about $400,000. The last place went to a man who made only $1,265. He went to a single event. A golfer has to pay for travel and a caddy, as well as fees for his agent, before taking home any money from a competition.

Other Sources of Income for Pro Golfers

As with other athletes, well-known professional golfers get paid to promote things other than golf equipment or clothing. Phil Mickelson, for example, has said he likes the arthritis medicine he took.

Arnold Palmer has endorsed a lot of things during his careers, like motor oil and his own soft drinks.

Tiger Woods has also been a spokesperson for a lot of different things, like luxury cars and a video game called Tiger Woods. People who write books and make instructional videos also make money. They make money when people pay to play in games that aren’t official, and they make money when they speak at events that aren’t official, too. Many professional golfers, like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, own and run their own golf course design businesses with clients all over the world.

Highest Paid Golfers

They are some of the best-paid athletes in the world when all sources of income are taken into account. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson made the most money on Sports Illustrated’s list of the “Fortunate 50” in 2011.

To put it another way, Woods made $62 million last year, with endorsements making up $60 million of that total. With endorsements, Mickelson earned a total of $61 million, which was more than the $57 million that he earned.

Final thoughts

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Golf is an athletic competition that requires skill, physical fitness, and mental toughness. There is money to be made playing golf at the professional level, but most of the top earners are well-known for other reasons, too. They make money from endorsements and other activities away from the course.

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