How Much Does A PGA Golfer Make?

How Much Does A PGA Golfer Make

Like any other professional sport, PGA Tour golfers make money for playing the sport that they love. One aspect that makes golf unique compared to a sport like basketball or football, however, is that golfers do not have a set salary. Rather, their earnings are based on their weekly performance. Read on to learn how much golfers make on the PGA Tour in greater detail.

Average PGA Tour Golfer Earnings

According to recent figures, the average high-ranking PGA Tour golfer makes around $500,000 to $1.6 million each year, earning their money from tournaments. However, the best golfers in the world can make far more annually. For example, Scottie Scheffler, the highest PGA earner of the 2021-2022 season, made $14,046,910 that year, with Cameron Smith, the second-highest earner, making $10,107,897.

Earnings From Major Tournaments

When it comes to the sport of golf, while there are dozens of tournaments throughout the year, four of them stand out amongst the rest. These events are known as the four majors, and they are the Masters, the U.S. Open, the Open Championships, and the PGA Championship. Majors attract the best fields and attract the most attention from the outside world. Additionally, they are what golfers' legacies are remembered for, so the players care about them more than other events.

As for the prize money, these tournaments certainly reward those who finish high in the ranks. At last year’s U.S. Open, winner Matthew Fitzpatrick took home over $3.1 million. Gary Woodland, who finished in tenth, still took home over $400,000. Even Grayson Murray, who finished in last place, still made over $36,000 for participating. This amount is typical for a major event, as all four majors have similar purses. Last year’s Masters champion, Scottie Scheffler, left the event with $2.7 million. British Open winner Cameron Smith walked away with $2.5 million. Lastly, PGA champion Justin Thomas took home $2.7 million for his victory.

Earnings From Other Tournaments

In the past, the majors had been the biggest opportunities for prize money on the PGA Tour. However, due to direct competition from the new golf tour, LIV golf, the PGA Tour has been forced to drastically increase its prize money for its other tournaments this season. For the 2022-2023 season, it was announced that a record 11 events would have purses of $20 million, and the Players Championship on March 9-12, 2023 would have a tour record $25 million purse. This was done in order to keep golfers on the PGA Tour and not have them leave for the LIV Tour, which is also offering lots of money to golfers.

With all of this money now on the tour, PGA Tour golfers are making more than ever. At the Genesis Invitational from February 16-19, Jon Rahm came out as the winner and made $3.6 million. Max Homa ($2.2 million) and Patrick Cantlay ($1.4 million) also made over $1 million for the event. At the other end of the salary spectrum, Emiliano Grillo and J.B. Holmes finished in a tie for last, but they still walked away with $42,000 each. These purse numbers will stay consistently high all season, with all of these events giving out $20 million. Overall, PGA Tour golfers are making more than ever this season, and LIV Golf is a major reason why.


How much do PGA golfers make on average?

For the 2021-2022 season, the average PGA Tour golfer made between $500,000 and $1.6 million in on-course earnings. Overall, 126 players made over $1 million, and an additional 37 made over $500,000. While these numbers seem large, they are likely to grow this season. This is due to the increase in purses at several tournaments in direct response to the competition provided by the LIV Golf Tour. The averages will certainly be over $1.6 million for the 2022-2023 season.

Do PGA golfers have a base salary?

Technically, PGA Tour golfers do not have a base salary. They earn money based on how they finish in tournaments. The higher they finish in the tournaments, the more money they earn, and vice versa is also true. A player’s “base salary,” if you want to call it that, would be how much they earn if they finish in last place in every tournament they participate in. This would still likely be hundreds of thousands of dollars, so professional golfers earn a decent living regardless of their performance, so long as they make some big tournaments.