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remains a top earner?

STORYLYNN FARAH

Dec 12 , 2023

Greg Norman, Tiger Woods and Fred Couples are among golf’s richest players. Photos: Reuters, @tigerwoods/Instagram, AFP

They’re famous for their impressive swings and ability to keep cool during tense moments on the course. Their golfing prowess also brings in major money, as it does in other sports. These golfing sensations have all amassed an impressive wealth portfolio, and are the richest in 2023 according to their estimated net worth.

7. Fred Couples: US$120 million

Fred Couples’ 1988 video demonstrating his swing technique is still a guide for aspiring players. Photo: Getty Images

The 15-time PGA Tour winner has an estimated net worth of US$120 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. The 64-year-old professional golfer and former world number one has expanded his wealth portfolio through endorsement deals with Ashworth, Jaguar and Bridgestone over the course of his career. It is his tempo that has been his career trademark and the famous 1988 instruction video demonstrating his swing that remains a guide for today’s aspiring golfers.

 

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6. Rory McIlroy: US$170 million

Rory McIlroy earned US$26 million in prize money alone last year. Photo: @rorymcilroy/Instagram

McIlroy had his biggest course payday last year, earning a whopping US$26 million in prize money, per Forbes. He also partnered with Tiger Woods to established TMRW Sports, a tech-focused venture. In 2019 he went into business with NBC Sports to launch a digital subscription service which helps golfers improve their game. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the golf champ has an estimated net worth of US$170 million, including his on- and off-field ventures.

5. Gary Player: US$250 million

South African golf legend Gary Player says he has a hectic schedule, even at 88. Photo: @gary.player/Instagram

Known as the Black Knight, the South African golf star has amassed a US$250 million fortune, per Celebrity Net Worth. At 88, Player describes himself as a businessman with a “hectic, hectic” schedule in an interview with Forbes Africa, and spoke about his legacy. “When I die and pass away, I want people to know that I tried my best in life. And that I am sorry for all the mistakes I made. Admittedly, we all make mistakes.” In South Africa, he has spent time integrating golf courses into local communities.

 

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4. Jack Nicklaus: US$400 million

Jack Nicklaus, fondly known as The Golden Bear, has left his mark as a golfing GOAT. Photo: Getty Images

Known as “The Golden Bear”, the American golfer is widely considered to be one of the best players in the history of the game. At 83, Nicklaus has an estimated net worth of US$400 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. According to Golf Monthly, Nicklaus’s design company is behind the creation or alteration of more than 400 golf courses around the world. He also has his own clothing line and a string of endorsements including Terlato Wines and Arizona Beverages Company.

3. Phil Mickelson: US$400 million

Although Phil Mickelson is thought to have gambled away around US$100 million, his massive earnings ensured financial security for him and his family regardless. Photo: Asian Tour

Gambler – Secrets from a Life at Risk, a book written by Billy Walters, claims that Phil Mickelson’s gambling losses were close to US$100 million and that he had wagered “a total of more than US$1 billion over the past three decades”. For his part, Mickelson has been open about his addiction journey, saying “the money wasn’t ever the issue since our financial security has never been threatened, but I was so distracted I wasn’t able to be present with the ones I loved and caused a lot of harm”, per CNN.

 

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While the exact figure he gambled away has not been revealed, Mickelson still has an estimated net worth of around US$400 million, according to Sportskeeda. His controversial contract with Saudi-backed golf tournament Liv has widely been reported as sitting around the US$200 million mark, certainly adding to his hefty bank balance.

2. Greg Norman: US$400 million

Greg Norman is now the CEO and face of LIV, the Saudi-backed golf league. Photo: USA Today

At 68-years-old, seasoned golf champ Greg Norman has amassed immense wealth, amounting to an estimated US$400 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. Norman is the CEO and face of the Saudi-backed Liv golf league. The league is known to pursue golfers through high-net contracts and lucrative winnings, per Golf Magic. The Australian golfer is also known for his involvement in multiple charitable initiatives.

In an interview with Barron’s Penta magazine, Norman spoke about some of his charity work. “I find that when you put the power of your brand and your name behind a cause – and people see that – they get behind it.”

Norman also told the magazine that he has a particular interest in the environment. “Wherever we do a golf course or a real estate development, we work with environmentalists to make sure our properties work to the advantage of the venue.”

 

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1. Tiger Woods: US$1.1 billion

Tiger Woods was certified a billionaire by Forbes in 2022. Photo: Getty Images

Woods has long been considered the most dominant player in the game, with 15 major championships and 82 all-time PGA Tour victories to his name. In 2022, Forbes certified the champion golfer a billionaire. Per the publication, his estimated endorsement earnings are still around US$60 million and include the likes of Rolex, Monster Energy and Bridgestone, despite the 2009 cheating scandal that saw him lose many of his original deals.

Woods has diversified his wealth portfolio, launching a tech focused venture, TMRW Sports, with fellow golfer Rory McIlroy. The golfer also partnered up with Justin Timberlake and billionaire Joe Lewis in real-estate venture Nexus.

 

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