Hey there! Have you ever wondered just how much those professional golfers make? Well, you’re not alone. It’s a question that has piqued the curiosity of many. So, let’s dive into the world of golf pros and uncover the truth about their earnings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Golf pros can make a substantial income, but it’s not an easy path to success.
  • Only a tiny fraction of people become professional golfers in the United States.
  • Professional golfers earn money through tournament winnings, sponsorships, and endorsements.
  • The earnings of golf pros can vary greatly depending on their success and popularity.
  • Becoming a professional golfer requires exceptional skill and dedication.

The Difference Between a Professional Golfer and a Golf Professional

When it comes to the world of golf, there are two distinct terms that often get intertwined: professional golfer and golf professional. While they may sound similar, they actually refer to different roles within the sport.

A professional golfer is someone who earns a living by playing golf. These individuals receive financial rewards or payments that are directly tied to their skill and reputation in the sport. They compete in tournaments and events, striving to win prize money and secure sponsorships. The earnings of professional golfers can vary greatly depending on their success and the opportunities they receive.

On the other hand, a golf professional, also known as a PGA Professional, is a member of the PGA of America. These individuals work within the golf industry, often in roles such as teaching or coaching. A golf professional may offer instruction to players of all skill levels, organize golf events and programs, or manage golf facilities. They play a crucial role in promoting and developing the sport.

The Distinction between Professional Golfers and Golf Professionals

To summarize, a professional golfer is a player who makes a living by competing in golf tournaments and securing sponsorships, while a golf professional is a member of the PGA of America who works within the golf industry, often in teaching or coaching roles. Both roles contribute to the growth and success of the sport, but their focus and responsibilities differ.

Professional GolferGolf Professional
Earns a living by playing golfWorks within the golf industry
Competes in tournaments for prize moneyOffers instruction and coaching
Relies on endorsements and sponsorshipsOrganizes golf events and programs

Where Do Professional Golfers Play?

Professional golfers have the opportunity to compete on various prestigious tours, showcasing their skills and vying for significant prize money and sponsorships. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most well-known tours where professional golfers tee off.

PGA Tour

The PGA Tour is one of the most prominent and highly regarded tours for male professional golfers. It hosts a series of tournaments throughout the year, including major championships like The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship. These events attract the best golfers from around the world, providing them with a chance to compete against each other on renowned courses and earn lucrative prize money.

Here are the top 10 earners on the PGA Tour in 2023:

  1. Scottie Scheffler – $21,014,342
  2. Jon Rahm – $16,522,608
  3. Viktor Hovland – $14,112,234
  4. Rory McIlroy – $13,921,008
  5. Max Homa – $10,761,516
  6. Wyndham Clark – $10,757,489
  7. Patrick Cantlay – $10,372,998
  8. Brian Harman – $9,175,261
  9. Keegan Bradley – $9,010,040
  10. Xander Schauffele – $8,459,066

European Tour

For international players, the European Tour, also known as the DP World Tour, is a popular choice. This tour features tournaments held across various countries in Europe, showcasing the diversity and talent of golfers from different regions. Players on the European Tour have the opportunity to earn significant prize money and secure their places in major championships, such as the Ryder Cup.


Female professional golfers have their own platform to showcase their skills and compete against the best in the world on the LPGA Tour. This tour is dedicated to women’s golf and features tournaments that provide ample opportunities for female golfers to earn significant prize money and gain recognition for their talent. The LPGA Tour is highly respected within the golfing community and offers a pathway to success for women in the sport.

TourMain Characteristics
PGA TourWidely regarded as the premier tour for male professional golfers. Features prestigious tournaments, major championships, and opportunities to earn large prize money.
European TourPopular among international players. Hosts tournaments across various countries in Europe and provides a chance to compete against diverse talent.
LPGA TourDedicated to women’s golf. Offers tournaments exclusively for female professional golfers, with ample opportunities to earn significant prize money and gain recognition.

These tours provide the stage for professional golfers to pursue their dreams and showcase their skills to a global audience. Whether it’s the PGA Tour, European Tour, or LPGA Tour, these platforms offer a pathway to success in the world of professional golf.

What Does It Take to Consider Becoming a Professional Golfer?

Embarking on the journey to become a professional golfer requires a combination of talent, hard work, and a strategic progression through various stages of the sport. It all begins with amateur success, as aspiring golfers strive to showcase their skills and stand out among their peers. Many successful professional golfers start their careers at a young age, participating in junior golf events and honing their abilities.

As these young talents progress, they often move on to playing high-level amateur events, where they can gain valuable experience and exposure. Additionally, joining major college golf programs allows them to compete at a higher level and receive coaching from experienced professionals.

To make the leap from the amateur ranks to the professional tours, such as the PGA Tour or LPGA Tour, golfers often have to go through a rigorous qualifying process known as Q-School. This series of tournaments is designed to identify the most promising golfers who are ready to compete at the highest level. Those who successfully navigate Q-School earn their membership status and have the opportunity to test their skills against the best players in the world.

Table: Amateur Success and Progression towards Professional Golf

Junior GolfParticipating in junior golf events to develop skills and gain experience.
High-Level Amateur EventsCompeting in prestigious tournaments to showcase talent and gain exposure.
College GolfJoining major college golf programs to receive coaching and compete at a higher level.
Q-SchoolNavigating the qualifying process to earn membership status on professional tours.

While the path to becoming a professional golfer requires talent and dedication, it’s important to note that the journey is different for each individual. Some golfers may achieve success at a young age and progress rapidly, while others may take longer to develop their skills before making their mark in the professional ranks. Regardless of the timeline, the pursuit of a career in professional golf demands unwavering commitment and a passion for the sport.


So, in conclusion, being a professional golfer is no easy task. It takes years of hard work, dedication, and exceptional skill to make it to the highest level. And while the journey may be tough, the rewards can be great.

When it comes to earnings, professional golfers have the opportunity to make a significant income. Top players on the PGA Tour, for example, can earn millions of dollars annually through tournament winnings and lucrative endorsement deals. Their success on the course and their marketability off it can translate into substantial financial rewards.

Female professional golfers, competing on the LPGA Tour, also have the chance to earn impressive salaries. However, it’s important to note that there is still a pay gap between male and female golfers, reflecting a broader issue in professional sports.

Ultimately, the salary of a golf pro depends on various factors, including their success, sponsorships, and prize money. But no matter the financial rewards, being a professional golfer is about more than just the money. It’s a lifelong pursuit of passion and the opportunity to compete at the highest level in a sport they love.