Golf is a sport often associated with wealth. It’s expensive to play, between the equipment and greens fees. It’s quite expensive to join a golf club, and many are considered exclusive (and exclusionary).
And if you’re a professional men’s golfer, it’s quite lucrative. From tournament winnings to golf course design firms to endorsements for golf equipment, golfers have plenty of opportunities to rake in the cash.
Looking at the top 10 richest golfers, based on Celebrity Net Worth’s information, many of the top names aren’t surprising. But some of the biggest names in the sport’s history are missing. Read on to see some of the other surprises.
- Age: 58
- Major wins: 3 (1998 PGA Championship, 2000 Masters, 2004 PGA Championship)
- Total Pro Wins: 64
Singh has won 22 times since turning 40, a PGA Tour record.
- Age: 51
- Major wins: 4 (1994 U.S. Open, 1997 U.S. Open, 2002 British Open, 2012 British Open)
- Total Pro Wins: 74
Nicknamed “The Big Easy” for his smooth swing, the South African was one of the “Big Five” golfers (along with Retief Goosen, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods) to dominate golf in the mid-2000s. Now a member of the PGA Champions Tour, Els also designs golf courses all over the world.
- Age: 27
- Major wins: 3 (2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2017 British Open)
- Total Pro Wins: 15
Spieth took the golf world by storm in 2015 when he became just the sixth player to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year. He’s considered one of the great young golfers in the game, and he has a huge endorsement deal with Under Armour.
- Age: 61
- Major wins: 1 (1992 Masters)
- Total Pro Wins: 62
The easygoing golfer known as “Boom Boom” captured the golf world’s attention when he won the 1992 Masters, a victory capped when his tee shot on the 12th hole of the final round miraculously hung on the fringe instead of rolling into the water. He has plenty of endorsements for golf equipment and clothing.
- Age: 32
- Major wins: 4 (2011 U.S. Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 British Open, 2014 PGA Championship)
- Total Pro Wins: 28
The popular golfer from Northern Ireland was seen as the next Tiger Woods when he won his third and fourth majors in 2014, and he signed a huge endorsement deal with Nike. However, he has come up short in his attempts to win the Masters to complete the career Grand Slam.
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- Age: 85
- Major wins: 9 (1959 British Open, 1961 Masters, 1962 PGA Championship, 1965 U.S. Open, 1968 British Open, 1972 PGA Championship, 1974 Masters, 1974 British Open, 1978 Masters)
- Total Pro Wins: 160
Nicknamed “the Black Knight” for wearing all black while playing, the South African is one of the greatest golfers of all time. He became the third player to win the career Grand Slam and, along with Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, dominated golf in the 1960s and 1970s. Player’s company has designed more than 400 golf courses, and the 5-foot-6-inch golfer has written 36 books on golf instruction and fitness.
- Age: 50
- Major wins: 6 (2004 Masters, 2005 PGA Championship, 2006 Masters, 2010 Masters, 2013 British Open, 2021 PGA Championship)
- Total Pro Wins: 54
Mickelson is easily the second-best golfer of the current era, behind Tiger Woods, and holds the record as the oldest Grand Slam winner after claiming the 2021 PGA Championship at the age of 50. In addition to his five major wins, he has 11 runner-up finishes, including six at the U.S. Open.
- Age: 81
- Major wins: 18 (1962 U.S. Open, 1963 Masters, 1963 PGA Championship, 1965 Masters, 1966 Masters, 1966 British Open, 1967 U.S. Open, 1970 British Open, 1971 PGA Championship, 1972 Masters, 1972 U.S. Open, 1973 PGA Championship, 1975 Masters, 1975 PGA Championship, 1978 British Open, 1980 U.S. Open, 1980 PGA Championship, 1986 Masters)
- Total Pro Wins: 117
The Golden Bear sets the standard by which all other golfers are measured. With his astonishing 18 majors (and 19 runner-up finishes), Nicklaus dominated golf for more than two decades. He has gone on to have a successful career in the course-design business.
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- Age: 66
- Major wins: 2 (1986 British Open, 1993 British Open)
- Total Pro Wins: 88
The Australian golfer known as The Shark (or The Great White Shark) has an impressive playing resume, with 331 weeks as the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, plus a lucrative course-design and apparel business. Norman might be better known for his runner-up finishes, including two heartbreaking losses at the Masters.
- Age: 45
- Major wins: 15 (1997 Masters, 1999 PGA Championship, 2000 U.S. Open, 2000 British Open, 2000 PGA Championship, 2001 Masters, 2002 Masters, 2002 U.S. Open, 2005 Masters, 2005 British Open, 2006 British Open, 2006 PGA Championship, 2007 PGA Championship, 2008 U.S. Open, 2019 Masters)
- Total Pro Wins: 109
One of the biggest names in sports, Woods has put together a spectacular career and is considered either the best or second-best golfer (behind Jack Nicklaus) in history. His 15 majors are second only to Nicklaus’ tally, and he held all four major Grand Slam trophies at once when he won the 2001 Masters. That might have been the single greatest stretch of domination in golf history. Woods piled up tons of endorsements, including everything from Nike to Rolex to Gillette. Although his career was sidetracked by injuries and scandal, Woods is still considered one of the top draws in sports.