Let’s face it, not all sports stars earn the same amount of money.
NFL players sacrifice their health and don’t even get guaranteed contracts. While the MLB and NBA make incredible amounts, despite being a fraction of the size of the league as football.
But with golf, the earnings are very different from any other sport.
Because you only get paid if you play well.
Otherwise, you’re in the red from travel, hotel, and other fees. Plus, too many missed cuts leads to losing your PGA Tour card and maybe never getting it back.
But the elite players make impressive sums of money. Let’s break down Tiger, Jack, and Arnie after the “Richest Athletes” report was published.
Richest Athletes Ever
After the latest report of “Richest Athletes” went viral, people noticed something… golfers were dominating the list! Funny enough, it wasn’t from their on course earnings either.
Sure, Tiger and his inconceivable impact on the game helped purses soar but on course earnings are only a fraction of what he earns off the course.
While Michael Jordan made #1 on the list with 2.62 billion in inflation adjusted earnings, the next three names were all golfers!
That’s right, after MJ the list went:
- Tiger Woods – 2.1 billion
- Arnold Palmer – 1.5 billion
- Jack Nicklaus – 1.38 billion
Even though these are inflation adjusted earnings, it’s still incredible to see 3 of 5 golfers in the top 5. They even beat the likes of Floyd Mayweather, LeBron James, and Lionel Messi.
Also making the list was Tiger’s old rival Phil Mickelson (1.08 billion) and Greg Norman (815 million).
Why Golfers Dominated The Richest Athletes List
As I mentioned, reaching this billion dollar number didn’t come from playing golf. Sure, it was the catalyst, but the real money came from what they did off the course.
Tiger Woods has dominated endorsements his entire career. As soon as he turned pro he signed a massive deal with Nike and has been with them ever since.
Even after his “transgressions” and losing sponsors, he’s found many more lucrative endorsement deals. Plus, he has a new venture in Popstroke (the mini golf equivalent of TopGolf), course design, and other investments.
Jack Nicklaus has made a fortune (this report says he’s worth 300 million) with his course design, endorsements, and Golden Bear golf equipment. While the late Arnold Palmer amassed his wealth from 300+ course designs, helped found the golf channel, and lent his name to all kinds of products.
Apparently he still makes $40M a year, despite passing away in 2016. Needless to say, being good at golf can lead to incredible business success as well.
If you have children, it’s safe to say that getting them interested in golf isn’t a bad idea. It’s a lot easier on the body than full contact sports and has incredible earnings potential too.
Are you surprised by the rankings on this list?
Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Michael Leonard