Golf is a game of precision, patience and concentration and few have the skill to perfect it.
Though equipment, practice and the price to play at high quality courses can cost a pretty penny and the better you are, the more promotion and endorsement deals you land. Those that fall in love with the fourth richest sport in the world, have an opportunity to make millions.
Check out the top 10 richest golfers in the world.
10 Ernie Els – $85 Million
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The South African pro golfer is known as “The Big Easy” due to his size (he’s 6 ft 3 in) and ease of his swing. Els has won the U.S. Open and Open Championship several times and won 71 tournaments in total. While not golfing, Els runs a charitable foundation supporting underprivileged youth in South Africa who have an interest in the game. He also owns a successful wine making business and has written a popular golf instructional column in Golf Digest for several years.
9 Jordan Spieth – $100 Million
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Spieth has a history of breaking records and has been on the heels of some of golf greats for the past decade. He won the 2009 and 2011 US Junior Amateur tournament, a feat only previously achieved by Tiger Woods. Spieth broke a 36-hole record at The Masters in 2015, becoming the third youngest player to ever win multiple events in PGA Tour history.
8 Fred Couples – $120 Million
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Nicknamed “Boom Boom” for his ability to hit long drives, Couples can boast more than 50 tournament wins and he’s a three-time recipient of the Byron Nelson Award for his golf skills. Though back issues have plagued his career, he continued to win four straight World Cup Golf titles. Like many of his golfing peers, Couples is involved in golf course design. He also hosts an annual benefit in Seattle and is a strong ally to the Millie Medlin Violet Sobich Couples Fund, in memory of his mother. Fun fact: Couples is one of very few golfers who does not use a golf glove.
7 Rory Mcilroy – $130 Million
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When Mcilroy was just 18 months old, his father began exposing young Rory to the game of golf. He went on to turn pro in 2007 and became the youngest person in history to win the British Open. He’s also one of only four golfers to win three majors before the age of 25. McIlroy calls Northern Ireland home and can be seen representing top brands like Nike, Bose, EA Sports and more.
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6 Gary Player – $250 Million
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The South-African professional golfer is by far the best golfer Johannesburg has every produced and the pro has earned the title of third most winning golfer in PGA history. Player also has one of the largest fan bases in the sport due to his friendly personality and incredible skill according to Wealthy Gorilla. He’s won 160 tournaments, nine Majors and nine Senior Championships. Player is now retired but recently celebrated 62 years of marriage with wife Vivienne with their six children.
5 Greg Norman – $300 Million
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At the age of 21, the Australian golfer turned pro and can boast more than 90 professional wins. He won the British Open Championship and once ranked No. 1 in the world for a consecutive 331 weeks. According to Owogram, Norman has expanded his interests in both golf and business by opening a golf course design company, clothing line and his own wine business.
4 Jack Nicklaus – $320 Million
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The retired professional golfer is known as one of the world’s greatest, with 115 wins, including 73 PGA Tours, and 18 Majors. In 1974, Nicklaus was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He’s received the Bob Jones Award, Payne Stewart Award, Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom. Though Nicklaus is retired, the 80-year-old still plays golf, aiming to shoot his age on the course. He and wife, Barbara also work within their Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, raising funds and attending speaking opportunities.
3 Phil Mickelson – $400 Million
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Getting his start in college, Mickelson won three Haskins Awards for the Most Outstanding College Golfer of the year in the early 90’s and since, has earned more than $87 million in tournament winnings. He’s won 44 PGA Tours and 10 European Tours in addition to endorsements with Rolex, Intrepid and Workday to name a few. Unique to Mickelson is his nickname, “Lefty” for the left-handed swing he’s developed in spite of being right-handed, according to Golf.com.
2 Arnold Palmer – $700 Million
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Known as the “king” of golf, the winner of 62 PGA Tours, seven Majors and a total of 95 professional tournaments according to Players Bio. Palmer was a charismatic player and quickly earned a following of fans when he made his debut in 1954. The famous golfer’s popularity led to endorsements with Rolex, Cadillac, MasterCard, Sears and many more. He retired in 2006 at the age of 77 and passed away 10 years later, at the age of 87.
1 Tiger Woods – $800 Million
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Perhaps the most well-known golfer in recent history, Woods has earned over $1.5 billion over a decades-long career. He’s won 81 PGA Tours, 41 European Tours and five Masters. The child prodigy was introduced to the game at the age of two by his father, Earl Woods. By the time he was 12, he broke 70 on a regulation golf course and the rest is history. After a decade of scandal, divorce and a recent car accident, Woods is still considered number one in the game and working to rehabilitate and get back on the course.
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Sources: Wealthy Gorilla, Owogram, Golf.com, Players Bio
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