It’s Time to Tee Off: Look into the Lucrative World of PGA Payouts

If you don’t understand the PGA payouts, don’t worry; neither does Adam Scott. Read on to find out why the top players want a change. 

Golf is a gentlemen’s or gentlewomen’s game; in the adapted 2023 words of Winston Churchill, “Golf is like trying to thread a needle with a sledgehammer. You’ve got this tiny ball and these clunky clubs that weren’t made for precision. It’s a hilarious sight but oddly satisfying when you finally get it right.”

It might be a strange game (what sport isn’t when you think about it), but it’s also an extremely lucrative sport. When it comes down to the wire, PGA payouts are interesting. But what is a standardized formula for PGA payout?

Percentage-wise, the distribution of the purse or prize money looks like this. The winner of the PGA usually gets 18%, while the second place wins over 10% of the total purse. From there, third place gets over 6%, right down to 10th place, which receives an average of 2.8%. 

The Famous Golfers‘ Association ensures that the best players in the world are properly rewarded for great play, which often results from a lifetime’s work.

The PGA Championship is one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments, attracting top players from around the world. As with other major golf events, such as the Masters and the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship offers significant prize money to its competitors. The payouts for the PGA Championship are distributed among the top finishers based on their performance in the tournament, with the winner typically receiving the largest share of the purse. These payouts serve as a testament to the skill and dedication of the players competing at the highest level of the sport.


PGA tour tournament

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash


Importance of understanding PGA payouts 

Golf might appear like a gentle sport, but professional players don’t mess about; they know how much cash is at stake. A PGA tour tournament purse varies from $8m to $12m (each tournament differs). With cutlines (the number of players in the cut) varying from 60-90 depending on the tournament’s popularity.

While the payouts seem generous and clear, nothing is what it seems. Each tournament has a set of different rules, and ties are very important. Golfers are tied, meaning they split their earnings – it’s complicated, but here’s an example: Two pro golfers tie in second place, and they will split their payout between second and third place.

It’s a gentle person’s way of sorting out a tie; golfers don’t do penalty shoot-outs or sudden death (although that might make for interesting viewing). Major golf tournaments and a player’s Championship payout are slightly different.

  • The Masters cuts only include the top 50 players and ties.
  • The PGA Championship goes further with the top 70 plus ties.
  • The Open Championship also goes with 70-plus ties.
  •  The U.S. Open is only the top 60 plus ties.

So, to make it in a plaid shirt and checked pants, you have to be a player: A top 15 player to get your hands on the big money. This is no different from any other sport; the top 10% reap the big bucks, and the others do it because a bad day on the green is better than a good day in the office.


Top earners in PGA 

So, who are the big winners of 2023? As expected, USA’s Scottie Scheffler is in the top spot, with Spain’s Jon Rahm coming in close behind. Viktor Hovland from Norway is looking good, while veteran Rory McIlroy is a contender in 4th place.

Where’s Tiger, we hear you ask? Tiger Woods doesn’t feature this year. Most players are American, which has always been so, at least in the last 30 years. Golf started in Scotland in the 15th century, although the jazzy outfits didn’t feature until the 1980s.

While the top players can expect to earn millions, even mediocre players earn more than most regular Joes. American Scott Harrington earned more than $200,000. Not bad for a 43-year-old player from Eugene, Oregon. Steve might not be good enough to have his own Wikipedia page, but he’s a rising star and one to watch.

PGA Championship

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Strategies for increasing payouts 

We could make this entire section a homage to the armchair golfer, who can tell the pros where they’re going wrong, but that would be patronizing and boring, so we won’t. But as we know, the smart money isn’t on a birdy or hole-in-one; it’s about sponsorship.

Sponsorship provides all players, including Liv players in the PGA Championship, the money they need to devote their lives to their sport. You don’t have to be the best in the world; you just have to be watchable. Niall Horan or Adam Scott, we are talking about you. You might never make the grade, but sponsorships can earn golfers more money over time than winning the PGA Championship

So, our PGA Championship picks aren’t necessarily the top earners but players who work the sport, play well, and take advantage of where and who they are. Golf is a life choice, much like nursing, but with better clothes and way better perks.

PGA Championship

Photo by Sydney Rae on Unsplash

Radical Ideas About the PGA Payouts System 

One of the first wave of golfers to be rewarded under the new payout system, Jon Rahm, won the Sentry Tournament of Champs back in January, earning a tidy $2.7m, the same amount as last year’s winner Scot Scheffler, but not everyone is happy.

Rahm isn’t moaning, but in 29th place, Adam Scott isn’t happy. Scott thinks the payout system is outdated and needs to be brought into the 21st century. Scott wants the purse winner to get 40%; that’s ambitious, considering 18% is the norm and rewards the other players for excellent play. 

While Rahm might have enjoyed the hefty increase, others would not be happy with Scott’s proposal. Then again, Scott also says that paying out more to the winner could have been an alternative to increasing the winnings. Scott is no doubt responding to the need for the tour to raise purses to combat players leaving for LIV Golf.

While the statement seems generous, the fact is Scott can fall back on Uniqlo, FootJoy golf Shoes, and Rolex to put the dollars in his account; others are not so fortunate.

Like most professional sports, the proof isn’t in the pudding but in the advertising. Yes, the PGA payouts seem generous, but not all is as it seems. You only have a 0.006% chance of making it big in any PGA tournament; for the rest of us, It’s just a sea of bogeys, cabbage, and greenies. To stay on top of all the latest, stay tuned to Liv golf news and keep your Saddle Oxfords off the table.

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