In this golden age of golf, where 99 players made at least $1 million this season on the PGA Tour, there is obviously plenty of money to be made. Purses totaled $279 million this year and that doesn’t count all the unofficial money that’s out there to be grabbed.
Hard to imagine, isn’t it, that back in the early 1950s, the first endorsement contract signed by Arnold Palmer was with a soup company for $5,000?
But from then until now, as the game evolved, more and more financial opportunities have become available and, predictably, more and more of those opportunities have included ludicrous paydays for the best players in the world.
Whether they come in the form of endorsement deals or appearance fees or golf’s “silly season,” some folks in professional golf have made some outlandish cash all across the world. Four-time major champion Ernie Els says it with a wry smile when he calls golf’s postseason “wheelbarrow time,” as in pushing the wheelbarrow up to the pay window and loading up.
Here’s my list of 25 of the most ludicrous paydays.