Everyone knows that golf is an expensive game in which heaps of money are flowing from one hand to another.
That being said, the following question may pop up in your head: How much do golf professionals earn?
In this article, we will tell you exactly how much golf professionals earn including golfers, caddies, & rules officials.
How Much Do Golf Professionals Earn?
PGA Tour Golfers
On average, PGA Tour professional golfers earn between 1.1M$ and 1.5M$ per year, excluding sponsorships. This average is highly inflated by the top earners, who earn significantly more than the PGA Tour players outside of the Top 100.
Throughout the last few years, PGA Tour golfers have earned, on average, somewhere between 1.1M$ and 1.5M$ per year.
40 years ago, PGA Tour players only made a bit over 10,000$ per year, on average. The growing average salary is due to inflation and the growing popularity of golf.
In modern day golf, the highest earner in the PGA Tour after a full season typically makes between 5M$ and 12M$ during that season.
However, outside of the Top 200 earners in the PGA Tour, the salary conditions are a lot bleaker. For example, if you are the Top 200 ranked player in PGA Tour earnings, you might barely make over 10,000$ in a single year.
A PGA Tour’s salary can greatly increase outside of earnings thanks to sponsorship deals with some of the top brands in the world. Brands will pay hefty sums to the best golf players to have them wear their logo on their hats, equipment and attire.
Simply wearing a hat with a Callaway logo on your hat could net you multiple hundreds of thousands of extra dollars in revenue per year if you are an influential golf player.
For example, someone as famous and influential as Tiger Woods earns multiple millions of dollars a year in sponsorship deals.
As part of the PGA Impact Program, PGA Tour players can also make some extra money by being active on social media. At the end of a season, the Top 10 most active and influential PGA Tour golfers on social media will earn millions of dollars in bonus for promoting the PGA.
Players like Tiger Woods and Bryson Dechambeau are likely candidates to finish Top 10, as they did in 2021, earnings millions of extra dollars for themselves.
In 2022, the PGA Impact Program will increase the prize pool for the Top 10 most influential social media golfers to 50M$. This is a very smart move by the PGA to further grow and popularize golf as a sport through the internet and social media.
LPGA Tour Golfers
On average, LPGA Tour golfers earn around 150,000$ per year, excluding sponsorships. This average is highly inflated by the top earners, who earn significantly more than the LPGA Tour players outside of the Top 150.
LPGA Tour golfers make, on average, around 150,000$ per season, excluding sponsorships.
At the end of an LPGA season, the leader typically ends up with around 3M$ in earnings.
However, if you are an LPGA Tour player outside of the Top 150, the salary conditions are looking a lot bleaker, as your salary will be small.
Making ends meet in the LPGA is not an easy task, and being able to perform at your best is a requirement for survival, assuming you are not sitting on a fat stack of cash.
PGA Tour Caddies
On average, PGA Tour golf caddies make between 50,000$ & 150,000$ a year. A PGA Tour golf caddy’s salary is split between a weekly salary (1000$-3000$), and a percentage (5%-10%) of the winnings earned by the professional golfer he serves.
Golf caddies who caddy for PGA Tour golfers earn, on average, between 50,000$ and 150,000$ a year.
A PGA Tour golf caddy’s salary is split between a weekly salary and a percentage of the winnings his employer (the professional golfer) earns.
The weekly salary of a PGA Tour golf caddy typically lies between 1000$ and 3000$ a week. However, these numbers can vary greatly from one caddy to the other, as there are no conventions as to how much a professional golfer should pay his caddy.
A PGA Tour caddy will also receive a percentage of his employer’s earnings from tournaments, which usually lies between 5% and 10%.
If the professional golfer wins a tournament, the caddy will receive 10% of the golfer’s earnings for that PGA Tour event.
If the professional golfer finishes top 10 in a tournament, but does not win, the caddy will receive 7% of the golfer’s earnings for that PGA Tour event.
If the professional golfer finishes outside of the top 10 in a tournament, the caddy will receive 5% of the golfer’s earnings for that PGA Tour event.
If the professional golfer gets cut from the tournament, he will receive no earnings. In this case, the caddy will only receive his weekly base salary.
Golf caddies need to pay for their own travel and lodging expenses, which lowers how profitable of a job it can be.
LPGA Tour Caddies
On average, LPGA Tour golf caddies make between 50,000$ & 75,000$ a year. An LPGA Tour golf caddy’s salary is split between a weekly salary (1000$-1500$), and a percentage of the winnings earned by the professional golfer she serves.
On the women’s side, LPGA caddies make around 1000$ to 1500$ per week.
LPGA caddies also get a small percentage of winnings from the professional golfer who employs them. The percentage of earnings can be higher than in the PGA Tour, as prize pools are smaller.
Just like in the PGA, LPGA golf caddies also need to pay for their own travel and lodging expenses, after which there may not be much salary left (after taxes).
On average, a rules official earns 52,000$ a year. The salary of a rules official in the United States can vary anywhere between 26,000$ and 105,000$ a year, depending on experience.
You may not be aware of it, but high-level golf tournament have a referee. These referees are actually called rules officials, and they passively deal with litigations if an issue is brought up to them.
Rules officials in the United States of America typically make between 26,000$ and 105,000$ a year, with an average of 52,000$ per year.
Tour Commissioner (PGA & LPGA)
The commissioner of the PGA Tour is estimated to have a yearly salary in the 4M$ to 5M$ range. The commissioner of the LPGA Tour is estimated to earn around 500,000$ to 1M$ per year.
The role of the PGA and LPGA Tour commissioners is to be responsible for the players’ working conditions, opportunities, sponsorships, public relations, and so much more.
Being a Tour commissioner is a tough, multifaceted job that requires knowledge about golf, business, diplomacy, and more.
For their work, PGA commissioners can earn multiple millions of dollars a year, and LPGA commissioners can make half a million to a million dollars a year.
There you go! After reading this article, you have learned how much money the different types of golf professionals typically earn.
Do some of the golf professionals get paid too much? Too little? Let us know in the comments down below!