How Much Does the Worst Pro Golfer Make?

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The worst player on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour for 2022 earned just $4,660 from four events, cutting once. While on the PGA Tour, Mike Balliet, who finished lowest in the Schwab Cup money list, earned just $736.

 

Determining the earnings of the worst golfers on the PGA and DP World Tours depends on various factors, including limited tour status for some players, leading to pressure and potential low earnings.

 

If you focus on the pro golfer’s earnings on the PGA Tour player’s statistics page, you may not grab the complete picture because it reflects the total official money earned by a player on the PGA Tour for his career—not the career money.

 

This article will examine how much earnings professional golfers who don’t play well each week make. You will also learn how much money lower-ranked players earn despite their poor play.

 

Let’s start by referencing previous seasons to see how the worst players on the main tours pulled for that year.

 

Case Study on How Much Worst Pro Golfers Make

 

If you recall the 2019 season, statistics of the seasons showed that $5,910 was the lowest money made on Tour, which Jonathan Kaye pulled.

 

He only made one cut on the PGA Tour in the 2018–2019 season in an alternate event and finished tied for last.

 

To stay in the game for the next season, golfers need to be in the top 125 money-earners. In 2018–2019, this meant earning at least $878,000.

 

Interestingly, even if a player like Kaye didn’t win any tournaments, only made about ten cuts, and had just one top-10 finish, he still made the cut for the next season and earned $878,000.

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This highlights the financial stability within the professional golf scene, where even the lowest earners can secure their spot for the following season.

 

Famous Tournaments and Earnings Worst Pro Golfers Make From Them

Here are some famous tournaments and how much they have to offer the worst pro golfers.

 

Year in view: 2022

 

Tournament Earnings of the lowest-ranking golfer
PGA tour $30,000 as prize money for completing the session
U.S. Open Tournament $19,000 to $25,000
The European Tour €50,000 (approximately $58,000)
FedEx Cup around $40,000 to $50,000.
Web.com tour $12,000 for the entire season.
The Challenge Tour €8,000 (around $9,300) for a whole season.
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour $4,660 from four events

 

When you look at the earnings alone, it may seem like a decent amount to make as a low-ranking pro golfer. However, it is insufficient when considering overall expenses such as travel, accommodation, caddies, and other related costs.

 

Also, these earnings fluctuate and vary by year, depending on the budget of the event or tour.

 

Pro Tip:

 

  • If you’re looking to start your pro golf career as a beginner, the Web.com tour is widely considered a stepping stone in America for professional golfers.
  • It offers aspiring players a pathway to the PGA Tour by providing a competitive developmental platform.

Do the worst PGA players make much money?

 

The amount of money a low-performing PGA pro golfer makes depends on several things. If they’re new to golf or not as skilled as others, they might earn less because they haven’t built up a fan following or won many prizes.

 

To stay on the PGA Tour for the next year, golfers need to be in the top 125. In 2023, the 125th player, Nico Echavarria, earned $951,627. The worst golfer in 2023, Richard Johnson, finished 240th and earned $8,208 after playing in only five events and making the cut in just one.

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Caddies carry the golfers’ bags and usually get $1,500 to $3,000 per week. They also get about 5% of what the golfer wins if they don’t finish in the top ten.

 

After winning, golfers have to pay taxes, and the winner gets less money than the second-place finisher. The tax rate is 37%.

 

The top 50 golfers are guaranteed at least $500,000 per year, and they can get it as soon as they sign up. Lower-ranked players can earn $5,000 for travel if they don’t do well in a tournament.

Do PGA players make money if they miss the cut?

 

On the PGA Tour, if a player doesn’t cut a regular tournament, they usually don’t get paid for that week. There are exceptions, like significant tournaments, where players may still receive some money even if they miss the cut.

 

The general rule is no cut, no paycheck.

 

However, there’s an exciting twist with specific tournaments known as “no-cut events.” In these exceptional cases, all the players get to play all four rounds, regardless of their performance.

 

And the best part? They all get paid, ensuring that every golfer in those events walks away with some earnings. So, in other words, most weeks, if a player doesn’t cut, they don’t earn money unless it’s a major.

 

But in some tournaments with no cut, everyone gets to play the complete four rounds and leaves with a paycheck.

 

This adds complexity to how professional golfers earn their keep, with different rules and formats influencing their financial outcomes in various tournaments.

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How Much Does the Average Male Golfer Make?

 

According to PGA Tour stats, the average player on the PGA Tour in the 2021 season earned nearly $1.5 million for his work. However, as of January 2024, the average golf player in the US makes $44,778 a year for annual pay.

 

According to ZipRecruiter, a global platform that provides salary estimates, histograms, trends, and comparisons from employer job postings and third-party data sources.

 

Credit: ZipRecruiter

 

Is the PGA Tour the best tour for aspiring golfers?

 

Becoming a professional golfer through the PGA Tour appears more realistic.

 

The tour offers even the least successful players a chance to earn a decent amount of money, typically around $19,000 for the last-place finisher in a championship, as per the PGA Tour website.

 

This financial incentive motivates aspiring golfers to work hard. However, the amount can vary based on individual performance.

 

Remember the lowest-ranked player in the 2013 PGA Championship, David Muttitt, who only earned $3,000? Exactly.

 

Nevertheless, the competitive nature of the tour means there’s always a chance to rise through the ranks and achieve success.

Before You Go

We’ve seen the different earnings of the worst pro golfers. I have known several players who didn’t make that much, too, but they were happy just being out there on the tour.

 

Now that you know the earnings of low-ranking golf players in some of the famous tournaments, which of these do you think is best for beginners to start their professional golfing career?

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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Fredrick

Hello, I'm Fredrick, and I have a genuine passion for golf. With over 15 years of immersion in the golfing industry, I've not only played the game extensively but also honed my skills in crafting informational guides on golf. Golf is not just a sport to me; it's a way of life, and I'm thrilled to share my expertise with fellow enthusiasts.