Golf has always been a luxury sport for many. Golfers spend a lot of money on their outfits alone, aside from their clubs and other golfing accessories. Grounds fees for just playing a round of golf can cost around $40, but can be much higher.
In golf, it just takes the ability to walk and hit a small ball where you want it to go; and that takes talent and practice. A few are so lucky to have paved their way to greatness. Greatness comes with big responsibility and of course, a whole lot of money. Golf is placed as the fourth highest-paid professional sport. No wonder why so many golfers are incredibly rich. Here is a list of the top ten richest golfers.
10 Vijay Singh
He is nicknamed "The Big Fijian." He is an Indo-Fijian expert golf player who is positioned number 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking around 2004 and 2005. He was inducted in 2006 into the World Golf Hall of Fame. His profession may have begun rough as he was suspended in the 1984 Malaysian PGA Championship for charges of modifying his scorecard and was restricted from the Asian PGA Tour. In 1988 he won the Nigerian Open in Africa and went on to win the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 1993, the Masters in 2000, the PGA Championship in 1998 and 2004, and the FedEx Cup in 2008.
He was the main PGA Tour cash victor in the years 2003, 2004, and 2008. Besides million worth of support, he has earned around $68 million in the PGA Tour.
9 Ernie Els
He was one of the best golfers in the ‘90s and early 2000s. His easy going personality and easy swings earned him the nickname “Big Easy.” He started his professional career in 1989 and won his first tournament in 1991. He won the South African Open, South African PGA and South African Masters. All three tournaments were won in the same year, 1992. He was then honored as the European Tour Order of Merit Winner and European Tour Scoring Average Leader in 2003 and 2004. Els was injured in 2005 when ligaments in his knee were torn, but late the following year he won the South African Open and a year after that, the World Match Play Championship; not for the first time, but for the seventh time!
8 Jordan Spieth
He is nicknamed the “golden child.” Just be sure not to say it to his face because he really hates this one but he’s earned it. He is a 25-year-old golf superstar who is already a three-time champion. He became a phenomenon before he even turned 19. He won the US Junior Amateur Championship twice, in 2009 and 2011, tying his name to Tiger Woods who has won multiple times in the same tournament. In 2015, he took home five PGA Tour Championships. He has 11 PGA Tour victories to his name. Spieth is one of the highest-paid golfers when it comes to endorsements. Forbes has estimated his endorsement income at $30 million. He bought his massive 10,000-square-foot main house on a property of about 16,000-square feet for $7.1 million in 2015. He is also a spokesperson for Rolex.
7 Fred Couples
Couples is one of the most popular golfers with a career that spans from the 1980s to the 21st century. He was nicknamed “Boom Boom” for his ability to hit long booming drives and “Freddie Cool” for his easy going personality and soft spoken nature. His first win was the 1983 Kemper Open. He was voted PGA Tour Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992. Despite developing back problems during the early part of his career, he won 4 straight World Cup of Golf titles. He was voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2012. He has 12 PGA Tour wins, 64 professional tournaments to date. Couples also earns a lot of money from sponsors. He won the Masters in 1992.
6 Rory McIlroy
It is a 14-acre property with a practice area, a massive lake with 1200 trout, a tennis court and a cinema. He owns an $8.5 million lavish mansion in Miami, Florida, which was once owned by Ernie Els and a $9.5 million pad in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
5 Gary Player
Gary Player is the world’s most traveled athlete. His earnings were made over a 60-year career. He has garnered 163 professional wins. He was the first international person to receive the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award at the Players Championship in May 2012. He raked in $36 million in revenue in 2013, which is generated mostly from his golf course design business. The remaining came from corporate sponsors, licensing deals and real estate ventures. His incredible work ethic has undoubtedly contributed to his successful career. He is now selling his 50-million rand house Karoo stud farm. This property includes a private golf course he designed, a long lap pool, a tennis court, a private chapel, two guest flats, and two guesthouses.
4 Greg Norman
Norman has 88 professional wins. He was nicknamed “The Great White Shark” for his birthplace’s native coastal animal and his play at the 1981 Masters. He is the most successful athlete-turned-businessman in the world. He never won the Masters but it opened doors to his very successful business career. His businesses include a golf course design firm, which opened its 100th course in 2015, a restaurant named Greg Norman’s Australian Grille, Greg Norman’s Golf Apparel, Greg Norman Collection, which was a label by Reebok, Great White Shark Opportunity Fund, which is a debt lending alternative, Greg Norman Eyewear, Turfgrass and many more. He has partnered with Foster’s Wines Estates and real estate financing company Medallist.
3 Jack Nicklaus
He is nicknamed “The Golden Bear.” This came from his high school mascot in Upper Arlington High School in Ohio. He holds a record of 18 major championships beating Tiger Woods who is stuck at 15. He was a dominant golf player in the ‘60s to late ‘70s and is known for having only one watch despite his millions. He has a gold Rolex President Day-Date that he received in 1967. He revealed that he uses this every day of his life. He owns the Nicklaus Companies, which has garnered prestigious recognition by golf design’s leading organizations. He has partnered with AHEAD, AriZOna Beverage Company, AQUAhydrate, The Honda Classic, Jack Nicklaus Ice Cream, The Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, The Jack Nicklaus Museum, Rolex, Sub-Zero and Terlato Wines.
2 Phil Mickelson
Mickelson is Tiger Woods’ ultimate rival. They have had multiple major championship winnings. Mickelson has won 44 PGA Tours. He has earned most of his money in appearances and with endorsement partners, which includes big names such as Callaway, Barclays, KPMG, Exxon Mobil, Rolex, Titleist, Ford, Enbrel, Grayhawk, Intrepid Financial Partners and Amgen. He has earned $88 million from his golf winnings. While being the 2nd richest golf player, he has put his money to good use by running the Phil and Amy Mickelson foundation which supports the initiatives of youth and family. To name a few of his assets, he has an Aston Martin, a $40 million private jet, and a few properties in the state of California.
1 Tiger Woods
This man needs no introduction. Even a non-golfer will recognize his name. Tiger has earned over $1.5 billion becoming the highest-earning golfer ever. He won the British Open three times, the PGA Championship four times, the US Open three times and the Masters Tournament five times. He is ranked second for all-time career victories, just one win short from Sam Snead. He earned $250 to $300 million from Nike endorsements alone. Other sponsors include Gatorade, Taylor Made, Bridgestone, Acura, Titleist, NetJets, Rolex, and Tag Heuer. He runs a golf-course design business and owns the restaurant, Wood’s Jupiter among a number of luxury homes, cars, and a private jet.