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Making a Living on the LPGA Tour

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


Top 80 or so made more than $100k last year. Throw in some endorsement money, appearance fees, etc....and it's not a bad way to scrape by.

Unfortunately, the purses won't grow unless viewership grows. Viewership will only grow if the LPGA becomes more entertaining to the predominantly male golf audience.

 

I read an article that you need to make at least $300000 in LPGA pursue to break even.   Unlike PGA where rookies are getting minimum $300k sponsor endorsements, many LPGA don't have lucrative sponsors.   Classic example, Park Inbee didn't have major sponsors until recently.   Although she played well over the years, her looks and other things didn't attract major sponsors until now.

post #2 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

 

Not sure I totally agree that only the top 40-50 make a decent living. The 100th on money this year is over 60k... Playing golf. If I could make 60k playing golf full time yeah, I'd do it. I would say that's a "good living" playing golf.

 

They need to travel, train, pay caddies/managers, taxes, interpreters/English instructors (for foreign players), ....   Some foreign players bring their family members while they are playing in US.  They can burn through $300k easily.

post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post

I read an article that you need to make at least $300000 in LPGA pursue to break even.   Unlike PGA where rookies are getting minimum $300k sponsor endorsements, many LPGA don't have lucrative sponsors.   Classic example, Park Inbee didn't have major sponsors until recently.   Although she played well over the years, her looks and other things didn't attract major sponsors until now.

If someone plays 20 events, they're incurring $15k in expenses per event?! I'm not buying it. If someone chooses to bring family along, or otherwise try to live extravagantly, that's their choice. But that doesn't mean that that's what anyone else needs to earn to "break even"....

No argument though. It's not the same world as any of the men's tours!
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


If someone plays 20 events, they're incurring $15k in expenses per event?! I'm not buying it.....

No argument though. It's not the same world as any of the men's tours!

 

 

$300000 after tax will be about $160000.

Manager/coach/caddie's cut will significantly reduce it further.

Housing, food, car payments can cut it down even more.  

Subtract traveling, and other cost associated with entering tournaments.

---- for foreign players, add the following potential extra  ----

English instructor.

Family member supporting the player in US.

 

And you can see how $300000 can disappear in a hurry.   So, if you don't have a major sponsor and is not a top 50 players, breaking even can be a challenge.

post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
 

$300000 after tax will be about $160000.

 

No it won't.

 

This thread is not about the economics of playing on the LPGA Tour. Players survive on the Futures Tour (Symetra?). Or mini tours. Etc. Clearly you can get by traveling 40 weeks a year or so on less than $300k.

post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
 

 

 

$300000 after tax will be about $160000.

 

You need a better accountant if you believe this is accurate.

 

I do agree that $300,000 without any expenses being covered or endorsement deals isn't a grand lifestyle if you have to pay;

  • Management fees
  • Travel expenses (airfare, rental car, hotel, food) for at least yourself and caddie.
  • Swing Coach, Sports psychologist, personal trainer
  • Golf Equipment
  • Club membership  Green fees / range balls
  • Regular expenses (rent/mortgage, health insurance, food, car, etc)

 

I'd think you do better than break even but it's not the same as having a regular job that pays you $300,000.

post #7 of 35

If $300k was required, CADDIES could not caddie on the LPGA Tour.

 

But seriously, again, the finances of playing on the LPGA Tour are a different topic. If you want to keep talking about it, please start a new thread.

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
$300000 after tax will be about $160000.

Manager/coach/caddie's cut will significantly reduce it further.

Housing, food, car payments can cut it down even more.  

Subtract traveling, and other cost associated with entering tournaments.

---- for foreign players, add the following potential extra  ----

English instructor.

Family member supporting the player in US.

 

And you can see how $300000 can disappear in a hurry.   So, if you don't have a major sponsor and is not a top 50 players, breaking even can be a challenge.

I love hypotheticals:

 

$300,000 in winnings

Caddie (5%-7%, assuming some top tens, but no wins): $18,000

Coach: Let's say $10,000 a year

Housing:  Lots, if not most places, players stay in private homes for free. But let's say hotel @ $1000 per week: $20,000

Food: Generally provided at tournament site, but dinners/drinks out @$50 per night x 20 events x 5 nights: $5000

Cars: Aren't they provided by each tournament?

Airfare: 20 events x $1000 (very high assumption, but maybe they want to play in Asian events): $20,000

English instructor? Seriously? OK, Rosetta Stone: $500

Clothing, equipment, etc. provided by others.

If Mom and Dad want to come along, they pay their own way. After all, they could afford to cart their little princess around to every Junior tournament for years.

 

So, assuming the highest expenses, I get $73,500. All tax deductible, I believe.

Federal taxes, then, are on an adjusted gross income of $300,000 - $73,500 = $226,500. Assuming she is single, tax is $58,000.  There will be state taxes as well, depending on where she made her money. Let's add another $10,000 in taxes.

 

Net for the year: $226,500 - $68,000 = $158,500.

 

I could be off on some of my assumptions, but I think they would balance out. At least to the extent that I would guess that anyone making $300,000 on the LPGA is doing alright financially.

 

Edit: It took so long to do my figuring, I didn't realize how off-topic this was.

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 

$300k after tax is about $160k, less in CA.

After manager, coach, caddy are paid, it will be significantly reduced.

There there is traveling cost, housing, and others that can reduce it even further.

For foreign players, they sometimes a bring a family member to support her stay in US.   Personal English instructor accompanies some players.   If you add these up, I can see how $300k is a break even point if you don't have a major sponsor.  

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
 

 

 

$300000 after tax will be about $160000.

Manager/coach/caddie's cut will significantly reduce it further.

Housing, food, car payments can cut it down even more.  

Subtract traveling, and other cost associated with entering tournaments.

---- for foreign players, add the following potential extra  ----

English instructor.

Family member supporting the player in US.

 

And you can see how $300000 can disappear in a hurry.   So, if you don't have a major sponsor and is not a top 50 players, breaking even can be a challenge.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
 

$300k after tax is about $160k, less in CA.

After manager, coach, caddy are paid, it will be significantly reduced.

There there is traveling cost, housing, and others that can reduce it even further.

For foreign players, they sometimes a bring a family member to support her stay in US.   Personal English instructor accompanies some players.   If you add these up, I can see how $300k is a break even point if you don't have a major sponsor.  

Reposting the same thing doesn't make it any more correct. I already showed you that $300K minus expenses (my estimates, to be sure) would not be anywhere near $140K, even for California. Hope you're not a CPA or tax attorney. You would have trouble finding clients.:-)

post #11 of 35

read somewhere that it cost the average lpga player around 45,000 for travel and suck. so making say 70.000 only leaves you with 25,000

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
 

 

I read an article that you need to make at least $300000 in LPGA pursue to break even.   Unlike PGA where rookies are getting minimum $300k sponsor endorsements, many LPGA don't have lucrative sponsors.   Classic example, Park Inbee didn't have major sponsors until recently.   Although she played well over the years, her looks and other things didn't attract major sponsors until now.

 

They may have not had "major" sponsors but they had sponsors.  Someone was paying her to wear SK on her hat, shirt and bag in this pic from 2008.  

 

post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

Reposting the same thing doesn't make it any more correct. I already showed you that $300K minus expenses (my estimates, to be sure) would not be anywhere near $140K, even for California. Hope you're not a CPA or tax attorney. You would have trouble finding clients.:-)

 

To be fair, he posted that (again) in the original thread. I think he missed out on the fact that they were moved here.

post #14 of 35

I think the break even point is under 300 K, but it certainly is not as lucrative playing on the PGA Tour.  I know of one player who finished top 100 this year and played on the Solheim Cup a few years back.  Her career LPGA earnings are under half a mil with less than 100 K this season.  I think she is still living in a spare bedroom of a guy who I played Jr golf with.

post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post

$300k after tax is about $160k, less in CA.
After manager, coach, caddy are paid, it will be significantly reduced.
There there is traveling cost, housing, and others that can reduce it even further.
For foreign players, they sometimes a bring a family member to support her stay in US.   Personal English instructor accompanies some players.   If you add these up, I can see how $300k is a break even point if you don't have a major sponsor.  

I'm going to bed, so I won't take a lot of time to refute all that is sooooo wrong here, except to say that ALL expenses are going to be deemed business expenses and thus tax deductible.....

....you can start your "math" over from that point.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post
 

read somewhere that it cost the average lpga player around 45,000 for travel and suck. so making say 70.000 only leaves you with 25,000

 

... 45k for travel and such? They aren't the thriftiest of travelers if so.

post #17 of 35

just telling you what I read somewhere. its not a lot really when you factor in travel ,entry fee, caddie fee, meals,  only the top players have endorsements. several of the events are outside the USA too

post #18 of 35
There was a statistic on PGA vs LPGA on short game and putting. LPGA fell way short, there wasn't any clear explanation for this.
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