Putting Green Profits: The Top Earning PGA Tour Players of All Time

Golf, as a multi-billion dollar industry, has created some of the wealthiest athletes in the world. As spectators and fans are drawn to the sport’s elegance, precision, and athleticism, professional golfers have been able to earn millions – if not billions – of dollars in their careers. 

How much do you, for instance, know about how John Daly career earnings have increased over time?

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the top earning PGA Tour players of all time and explore their sources of income both on and off the green. So grab your clubs and get ready to tee off with us!

An Introduction to PGA Tour Prize Money

Since beginning in 1929, the PGA Tour has seen many changes. Prior to 1970, there was no prize money on the PGA Tour. Players were only able to win trophies and bragging rights. However, with the introduction of prize money, players began to compete for more than just trophies. They could now win large sums of money and become very wealthy individuals.

As the richest sports organization in the world, the PGA is paying out in excess of $350 million in prize money to players per annum. The top earner on the PGA Tour over the years has been Tiger Woods. As of 2019, he has earned over $120 million in prize money. Other top earners include Phil Mickelson ($91 million), Vijay Singh ($70 million), and Jim Furyk ($66 million).

The PGA Tour is the richest professional golf tour in the world, with total prize money exceeding $1 billion annually. The sums of money paid to winners are something players in many other sports can only dream of receiving. Tiger Woods, as the top earner on the PGA Tour, has raked in over $110 million in prize money during his career. Other top earners include Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, and Ernie Els.

So how is all of this prize money distributed? The breakdown varies from tournament to tournament, but generally speaking, the winner of a PGA Tour event will take home around 10% of the total purse. If a tournament has a total fund of $10 million, the winner receives $1 million. The rest of the prize money is distributed among the other players who make the cut and finish within the top 20 or so positions.

While it may seem like a lot of money, it’s important to remember that these top golfers are also some of the biggest draws for fans and sponsors alike.

The Top 5 Highest Earning PGA Tour Players of All Time

1. Tiger Woods – $1.4 billion

2. Phil Mickelson – $765 million

3. Arnold Palmer – $700 million

4. Jack Nicklaus – $565 million

5. Gary Player – $505 million

What is the Average Prize Money for a PGA Tour Player?

In 2018, the world saw the average PGA Tour player earn $1.9 million in prize money. This was up from $1.8 million the previous year, according to a report from Golf Digest. The players’ median income was $897,000, while the top 10 percent of earners averaged $6.4 million. The top earner on the list, Tiger Woods, made $43.3 million in prize money last year.

Ways to Maximize Earnings on the PGA Tour

There are a number of ways that PGA Tour players can maximize their earnings. One way is to win more tournaments. Another way to maximize earnings is to finish in the top 10 of major championships. Players who consistently finish in the top 10 of majors will earn more money from sponsorships and endorsement deals. Players can maximize their earnings by signing lucrative endorsement deals with companies that are willing to pay top dollar for their services.

Exploring Sponsorship Deals and Endorsement Opportunities

Sponsorships and endorsements relate to deals in relation to a golfer’s name being used on sports attire and golfing accessories to endorse them as of good quality and to be recommended. 

The most successful players on the Tour are usually the ones who have the biggest sponsorship deals. Tiger Woods’ endorsement deals with Nike, Gatorade, and other companies, have made him extremely wealthy.

However, for many players, their earnings come primarily from winnings on the golf course. But even then, the top earners on the Tour still bring in a hefty sum each year from sponsorships and endorsements.


It’s no surprise that the top earning PGA Tour players of all time have made their mark in history. While these giants of golf have earned millions from their wins, each one has put in a lot of hard work and dedication to reach ultimate success. Whether it’s Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, or Phil Mickelson, they are proof that with determination and consistent practice, anyone can achieve great things on the golf course and beyond.

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