Golf is a very lucrative but difficult and expensive sport which has been mastered and conquered by a handful of people through patience and a lot of skill. These gentlemen/women have patiently fine-tuned their skills for countless years and competed at various global tournaments in order to prove their skill in the sport of class, prestige, and dignity. They have made a lot of strides over the years and have established themselves as the richest golfers in the sports.
Some of them have also made it to the lists of the richest and highest-paid athletes in the world, thanks to lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals, licensing agreements and course design businesses off the tee. While many may be well aware of Tiger Woods‘ wealth, here are some other upstanding gentlemen who have become the biggest and richest golfers in the world right now.
Who Are The Richest Golfers In The World Right Now?
10. Ernie Els ($75 million)
Also known as ‘The Big Easy’, Theodore Ernest Els is a South African golfer who turned professional in 1989. Ernie’s nickname stems from his imposing physical stature and he is known for his seemingly effortless, fluid, elegant, glorious, and powerful golf swings. The Big Easy who became one of the worlds best players in the mid-1990’s, has so far won 19 PGA Tour tournaments and has racked up 68 wins over the course of his illustrious golf career.
The South African golfer enjoys a net worth that is currently pegged at $130 million, an amount amassed from his winnings and endorsements. Some of his sponsor brands include RBC, SAP, and Callaway. Ernie also makes money from other endeavors including his own golf-course design and wine-making businesses.
9. Jordan Spieth ($100 million)
One of the biggest young stars in the sport, Jordan Spieth became a golf phenomenon even before he turned 19. The Texan pro golfer made his debut in 2014 and has gone on to establish himself as one of the biggest names in the sport. Remarkably, Spieth is the second-youngest Masters’ winner ever and more extraordinary is the fact that he is a three-time major winner in the Masters.
As one of the richest golfers in the world right now, Jordan Spieth makes money both on and off-course. He currently enjoys a net worth that is pegged at $100 million, an amount amassed from his winnings on the golf course and also from sponsorship contracts. Spieth has lucrative endorsement deals from top brands such as Coca-Cola, Rolex, AT&T, Net Jets, Super Strokes, Under Armour, Titleist, and Perfect Sense.
8. Fred Couples ($120 million)
Dubbed ‘Boom Boom’, American golfer, Frederick Steven Couples has won several renowned golf tournaments across the globe. The former World’s No.1 who is best recognized for his impressive long drives has won 64 professional tournaments including 15 PGA Tours, 3 European Tours, and 8 Champions Tour. Some of his remarkable title wins are the 1984 and 1996 Players Championship as well as the 1992 Masters Tournament. Couples was inducted into the World Golf Hall Of Fame in 2013. He has also clinched the Byron Nelson Award no less than three times (1991, 1992, and 2010).
The American golfer who has never ended a season with playing revenue of less than $1 million since he turned pro currently enjoys a net worth that is pegged at $120 million, a revenue mostly earned from his on-course winnings, titles, and endorsement deals.
7. Rory McIlroy ($130 million)
Rory McIlroy is one of the most recognizable names in golf. The Northern Irishman is a four-time Major winner who turned professional in 2007. He has gone on to record remarkable success on the golf course.
McIlory currently enjoys a net worth that is pegged at $130 million, an amount amassed from both his on-course winnings and lucrative endorsement deals. One of the most marketable stars in sports, McIlory has sponsorship deals with top sports and non-sports brands such as Omega, Bose, EA Sports, Nike, and TaylorMade.
6. Gary Player ($250 million)
Also known as ‘Mr. Fitness’, the ‘Black Knight’, and the ‘World’s Most Traveled Athlete’, Gary Player has been playing golf since he was 14. The South African golfer turned pro in 1953 at age 17 and has built his golf career and brand through a relentless work ethic and a global focus.
Undeniably one of the greatest and richest international golfers of all time, Player’s stellar career record includes the modern Grand Slam, nine major championships, 165 tournament victories around the world-including 24 official PGA Tour victories-and nine Senior Tour majors.
In the course of his over 60-year career, the talented legendary South African has done more with less than most golfers. Gary Player currently enjoys a net worth that is estimated at $250 million, a fortune amassed from over 150 tournaments victories, as well as business ventures that include golf course design, and real estate.
5. Greg Norman ($300 million)
Dubbed ‘The Shark’ or ‘The Great White Shark’, Greg Norman is not just a sports icon but also one of the world’s richest men. The Australian professional golfer turned pro in 1975 at the age of 20.
With his undying passion and aggressive approach to the game of golf, Norman has established himself as a golf legend. The Great White Shark who has participated in the biggest golf tournaments is one of the greatest and richest golfers of all-time. In the course of his iconic profession, Norman boasts of 88 career wins including 31 Australasia PGA Tour, 20 PGA Tours, 14 European Tours, 2 Japan Golf Tours, 2 Open Championships, and other high-caliber tournament victories.
He is a six-time PGA Tour of Australia Order of Merit winner, a three-time PGA Tour leading money winner, a European Tour Order of Merit winner, a PGA Player of the Year winner, a five-time Byron Nelson Award winner, a three-time Vardon Trophy winner, a Charlie Bartlett Award winner, and an Old Tom Morris Award winner. Greg Norman was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in the year 2001.
In addition to his achievements on the course, Greg is also an entrepreneur with a diverse and valuable portfolio of business. The Great White Shark who has built a lucrative brand currently enjoys a net worth that is pegged at $300 million, making him one of the richest golfers right now.
4. Jack Nicklaus ($320 million)
Also known as ‘The Golden Bear’, Jack Nicklaus is famed as a great golfer, businessman, and one of the greatest philanthropists in sports. The blonde-haired golfer with a burly physique turned pro in 1961 at the age of 21, joined the Senior PGA tour in 1990 and remained active until the year 2005. In the course of his over four-decade-long career, Nicklaus participated in major world golf tournaments and won tons of championships, prize money, as well as awards.
The Golden Bear holds a record for 18 major tournaments won. In addition to clinching 73 PGA tour victories, Nicklaus is an eight-time PGA Tour leading money winner, a five-time PGA Player of the Year winner, a PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award winner, a Bob Jones Award winner, a Payne Stewart Award winner, and the Congressional Gold Medal Award winner. In 1974, Nicklaus was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Also an accomplished fisherman and hunter, Jack Nicklaus currently enjoys a net worth that is pegged at $320 million, establishing him as one of the richest golfers in history. The Golden Bear earned his fortune from on-course winnings as well as lucrative endorsement deals and businesses.
3. Phil Mickelson ($375 million)
Easily one of the most recognizable names in the sport, Phil Mickelson has played second fiddle to Tiger Woods on and off the course for over two decades. Though right-handed, Phil has been dubbed ‘Lefty’ because of his unusual but fluid left-arm swing.
The golf legend turned pro in 1996 and has spent over 25 years on the PGA tour, with 195 top-10 finishes, 44 PGA Championship titles, and five major wins. An excellent player holding multiple major championships, Mickelson has established himself as one of the most highly accomplished and richest golfers. He boasts of three Masters titles out of 26 appearances.
Mickelson is also one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. He currently enjoys a staggering net worth estimated at about $365million. Like many leading golf stars, he earns a remarkable amount of his fortune from prize money from his golf winnings, and also from sponsorships and endorsements. Mickelson has lucrative deals with famous brands such as KPMG, Amgen, Callaway, Rolex, Intrepid Financial Partners, Greenbrier, Exxon Mobil, Barclays, and Grayhawk.
2. Arnold Palmer ($700 million)
Dubbed ‘The King’, Arnold Palmer had a massive impact on the world of golf. In the course of his golf career, the famous golfer became the champion in 93 professional competitions locally and across the globe. Palmer clinched 93 titles including 62 PGA Tour events, and 7 major championships: He is a four-time winner of the Masters’ tournament and a two-time winner of the British Open. He recorded several victories in the Senior Tour including the 1980 PGA Seniors Championship and the 1981 U.S. Senior Open. The King was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Despite his impact on the game of golf, Palmer’s legacy off the course is perhaps even greater. He was an accomplished businessman with investments in the aviation, automobile industries. Arnold Palmer died in 2016 at age 87. His net worth at death is estimated at $700 million.
1. Tiger Woods ($800 million)
One of golf’s all-time greats, Tiger Woods remains the highest-paid golfer in the world. Woods and Mickelson are the two oldest athletes on Forbes’ list of the 100 highest-paid athletes. Despite his years of struggles, he has remained golf’s most celebrated player and a financial force in his own right since turning professional in 1996.
Interestingly, the 80-time PGA Tour event winner didn’t make his $800 million fortune by just winning titles but earned it through endorsement deals. Since turning professional, the American golfer has made millions in on-course winnings but the majority of his earnings have come through lucrative commercial deals and endorsements with famous global brands such as Bridgestone, Monster Energy, TaylorMade, and Nike.
Woods doesn’t just rely on his golf winnings and endorsements to fund his extravagant lifestyle but also runs a golf-design business.