When you see a professional golfer win a tournament, they may be holding a large winners check.
Can they take this check to the bank?
Do they have to wait a while to see their earnings?
In this guide, we will help you understand all there is to know about how it works getting paid as a member of the PGA Tour.
When Do Golfers Get Paid After A Tournament?
A golf professional will get their money within a week or so of their tournament.
The winnings are distributed rather quickly.
Any PGA Professional who has struggled on tour for some time will tell you what a relief it is to see the check hit their bank account.
Playing on the PGA Tour is expensive.
You have to think about all the guys that did not make a cut and the people who are finishing in 100th place over and over again.
These guys do not make very much money; in fact, for some, it’s like having a very risky day job.
How Much Does A Club Pro Make?
A golf club professional is different than a playing professional.
These are the employees that work at a private or public country club.
Club professionals may be good at teaching or running tournaments, but they generally don’t play enough to earn money this way.
Club professionals can make anywhere from $30,000 to $200,000 or more.
Their salary will depend primarily on the golf club where they are employed.
They may also make extra money if they own the golf shop at the golf course.
Owning the golf shop gives them another source of income.
How Much Does A PGA Professional Make?
Some of the top PGA Professionals will make millions of dollars a year, and some will only make thousands.
The top of the money list is usually led by someone who has won six million or more.
Then there will be other people that will only make $40,000 in a year.
Unfortunately, $40,000 will probably not even come close to covering the expenses that they had on tour that year.
Professional golfers need to travel from one tournament to the next each week.
They will have to pay for travel expenses, flights, hotels, car rentals, and more.
The tour player is also responsible for the costs of their caddy if they are bringing a caddy along.
By the time you pay for all of that in a week, you will be several thousands of dollars in the hole.
Now, if you miss a cut, that money is gone with no way to recoup it.
When you see players leaving the course after two days because they missed a cut, they will very likely look pretty disappointed.
Many of these people are just trying to feed themselves!
Other Ways That Professional Golfers Make Money
Professional golfers can be very wealthy people.
You may look at their winnings for the year and wonder how they could have as much money as they do.
The reason behind this is that they have multiple streams of income.
Golfers do a lot of brand work.
If you see Fowler wearing a Puma hat, he may like the hat, but he likes the paycheck he gets for wearing that hat much better.
When professional golfers wear things or use equipment, amateur golfers will want that product as well.
When a new TaylorMade driver is released, and Dustin Johnson is using it, many amateurs think they need this club too.
Since companies make so much money off of the professionals using and wearing this equipment, the players get paid quite a bit to wear it.
Professional golfers also do things like write books, create instructional videos, or purchase their own restaurants or golf courses.
All of these things will lead to additional income.
You may see golfers doing a commercial or appearing at a special event, most of the time they are getting paid for this.
How Much Do Golfers On The LPGA Tour Make?
Golfers on the LPGA Tour make considerably less money than golfers on the PGA Tour.
At the end of the year, when you compare how much the women make compared to the men, it will be millions less.
The reason behind this is that the support of the LPGA tour is not quite as strong as it is on the PGA Tour.
The more people watching, supporting, and participating in PGA Tour golf helps them to have much higher purses for a win.
On the LPGA Tour, the attention is not there, so it leads to much less money for the players.
There is no question that the rookies on the LPGA Tour must play for the love of the game.
Playing to get wealthy is not going to work!
What Expenses To PGA Tour Players Have?
When you win on the PGA Tour, it is certainly not going to be pure profit.
You will have to consider all of your expenses as well.
We mentioned some travel expenses, which are a significant part, but there are other expenses as well.
Caddies get paid a small salary, and they get bonuses when players do well.
They get a higher percentage when a cut is made and then an even higher percentage for a top ten finish.
Players that have great relationships with their caddies will also pay them extra bonuses when they feel it has been earned.
Many players have a coach that will help them with their golf game.
If they start struggling with a hook or with their putting, they may fly the coach out to help them work through it.
By the time they pay for the travel and the fees of the teacher, it can get quite expensive.
Some players need an agent to help them with some of their deals and to help when they decide to write books and work on other endorsements.
An agent could cost anywhere from fifty to two hundred thousand per year, depending on the quality.
Don’t worry; the PGA Tour Players have to pay their fair share of taxes.
When you talk about getting paychecks close to a million dollars, you better believe there are some large chunks of taxes coming out.
Luckily a player can write off quite a good portion of their travel and meal expenses while on the road.
Still, there will be a large portion of their winnings headed to the government.
Most people decide to become a professional golfer because they love the sport.
It is rare that someone starts with the pure intention to make money.
The majority of players will spend years making no money at all before they earn their first paycheck.
It takes time to learn the ways on tour and get to the level needed to make a consistent paycheck.
For people that are used to getting paid every Friday, this type of work schedule, workflow, and risk from paycheck to paycheck is tough to comprehend.