by Jeff Skinner
Surprise, surprise…Tiger Woods once again leads the field of the top money makers in golf. Like that’s a surprise to anyone.
Ron Sirak has published the Golf Digest 50, a listing of the top fifty earners in the game. Woods leading is no surprise. Since he has found his game and the stain of his philandering scandal has faded his earnings have taken quite a boost. Woods earned 12 million on the course last season and a whopping 71 million in endorsements for a total of over 83 million dollars.
After that the list offers what can be called a few surprises to the uninformed of the game. Spots three and four are held by former players that haven’t played in decades and only play on special occasions, like the Father & Son matches. Arnold Palmer comes in third with 40 million in off course endorsements as The King shows he can still sell it. That’s a lot of ice tea. Jack Nicklaus places fourth on the list with over 26 mil in off course revenues for his course design and endorsements.
The player who earned the most on the course last season is fifth with over 18 million in on course cash. Henrik Stenson took the FedEx Cup Playoffs and The Race to Dubai to earn that and with 2.85 mil in endorsements he totals up at over 21 million. Click here for the entire top 50 ranking.
Two other non-players made the top ten with Gary Player coming in seventh (16 mil) and Greg Norman (14 mil) taking tenth place. That shark logo sells plenty of shirts and wine.
I found a few of the names quite intriguing. Twenty year old Jordan Spieth held down the eighteenth spot with 4.6 on course and 4.5 mil off the course. Over 9 million dollars in his first year…not bad for a kid who started out with no status at the beginning of the season.
The oldest player still playing with the youngsters to make the list was by far the coolest of all the entries, Miguel Angel Jimemez. The Mechanic, 49 years old, pocketed 1.6 mil on the course and 4.75 in endorsements.
The only woman to crack the top fifty was the LPGA’s Paula Creamer. PC made $831,911 on the course and 4.5 in endorsements. She has just announced her engagement so maybe there’s a pre-nup in her future.