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Making a Living on the LPGA Tour - Page 2

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

 

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

 

 

Exactly.

 

I travel for work, out of state, flying.  3-4 days a week, 3 weeks every month.  All in......hotel, airfare, parking, rental car, meals, I budget an average $1200 per week.  I'm not staying at the Ritz, but I'm sure not roughing it, or eating fast food......

 

If I were a struggling tour player, paying for it out of my own pocket, I'd be spending a heck of a lot less than that.  If I'm struggling to make cuts, I'm not flying off to exotic lands to miss cuts either.  I'm building my schedule around convenience, cost, and potential winnings, with an eye towards maximizing my ROI.  Just like any other business.

post #20 of 35

I wonder how many times people have to mention all their expenses are tax deductible before it's understood. Even if they didn't get it all back, they would get a majority of it back. If they made 70k and spent 45k on travel expenses... well with deductions they are back to around 70k right? Also, don't most pros on the PGA and LPGA typically get to golf for free a majority of the time? I also don't understand why it keeps being brought up about foreign players, obviously if they are coming here to play it's because there is more money to be made for them here and therefore are already doing better than they would at home otherwise they would go back.

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

 

 

Exactly.

 

I travel for work, out of state, flying.  3-4 days a week, 3 weeks every month.  All in......hotel, airfare, parking, rental car, meals, I budget an average $1200 per week.  I'm not staying at the Ritz, but I'm sure not roughing it, or eating fast food......

 

If I were a struggling tour player, paying for it out of my own pocket, I'd be spending a heck of a lot less than that.  If I'm struggling to make cuts, I'm not flying off to exotic lands to miss cuts either.  I'm building my schedule around convenience, cost, and potential winnings, with an eye towards maximizing my ROI.  Just like any other business.

 

So you spend approximately $43,200 for your 108 to 144 days of travel with no international trips?  If you look at #75 on the LPGA money list, Cindy LaCrosse.  She earned $106,762 in 21 tournaments.  This means she has already traveled about the same number of days you do all year.

 
3 of her last 4 tournaments were abroad (France, Canada & Scottland) and she also played in the Bahamas, Hawaii, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.  The next 6 tournament are in China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan Japan and Mexico.  In total, it looks like there are only 13 events in the US and it is no guarantee that a struggling player will qualify for all of them, so if you want to play a full schedule, you have to go abroad.
 
Travelling abroad can be expensive, particular if you are on the bubble for an event and have to book your airfare late.  They also may get hit with some extra bag fees for taking their golf clubs with some airlines.  Taking their regular caddy with them would jump the cost up considerably and some of these destinations don't have motel 6 near the golf course.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

 

So you spend approximately $43,200 for your 108 to 144 days of travel with no international trips?  If you look at #75 on the LPGA money list, Cindy LaCrosse.  She earned $106,762 in 21 tournaments.  This means she has already traveled about the same number of days you do all year.

 
3 of her last 4 tournaments were abroad (France, Canada & Scottland) and she also played in the Bahamas, Hawaii, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.  The next 6 tournament are in China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan Japan and Mexico.  In total, it looks like there are only 13 events in the US and it is no guarantee that a struggling player will qualify for all of them, so if you want to play a full schedule, you have to go abroad.
 
Travelling abroad can be expensive, particular if you are on the bubble for an event and have to book your airfare late.  They also may get hit with some extra bag fees for taking their golf clubs with some airlines.  Taking their regular caddy with them would jump the cost up considerably and some of these destinations don't have motel 6 near the golf course.

Yet again, those expenses are write offs as they are "business expenses".

post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

 

So you spend approximately $43,200 for your 108 to 144 days of travel with no international trips?  If you look at #75 on the LPGA money list, Cindy LaCrosse.  She earned $106,762 in 21 tournaments.  This means she has already traveled about the same number of days you do all year.

 
3 of her last 4 tournaments were abroad (France, Canada & Scottland) and she also played in the Bahamas, Hawaii, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.  The next 6 tournament are in China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan Japan and Mexico.  In total, it looks like there are only 13 events in the US and it is no guarantee that a struggling player will qualify for all of them, so if you want to play a full schedule, you have to go abroad.
 
Travelling abroad can be expensive, particular if you are on the bubble for an event and have to book your airfare late.  They also may get hit with some extra bag fees for taking their golf clubs with some airlines.  Taking their regular caddy with them would jump the cost up considerably and some of these destinations don't have motel 6 near the golf course.

 

I don't have real numbers but I doubt there are many LPGA pro's that have zero sponsorship.  In the case of the players from Korea, China, etc they might be sponsored by their government to cover some of their travel expenses.

post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

Yet again, those expenses are write offs as they are "business expenses".

 

I never said they weren't write offs...I was responding to you and David saying that 45 K is too much to spend on travel.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

 

I don't have real numbers but I doubt there are many LPGA pro's that have zero sponsorship.  In the case of the players from Korea, China, etc they might be sponsored by their government to cover some of their travel expenses.

 

You might be right, but that doesn't really affect my point that it may be possible for them to reasonably spend 45 K/year on travel.

post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

 

I never said they weren't write offs...I was responding to you and David saying that 45 K is too much to spend on travel.

 

Quote:

You might be right, but that doesn't really affect my point that it may be possible for them to reasonably spend 45 K/year on travel.

 

I still say if someone is on the lower end of the winnings list they would find cheaper options. As said by another, they'd play more local events or places where the cost is less to get to and stay until they are making enough to justify the added travel expenses. Also, aren't the event dates and locations known a year in advance? If so you would think they'd book their flights/hotels far in advance for maximum savings. Like I said, they aren't being thrifty if they are spending 45k a year on travel and only bring in 70k in winnings. All in all, the point is moot if they get all that or a majority of it back.

post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

 

I still say if someone is on the lower end of the winnings list they would find cheaper options. As said by another, they'd play more local events or places where the cost is less to get to and stay until they are making enough to justify the added travel expenses. Also, aren't the event dates and locations known a year in advance? If so you would think they'd book their flights/hotels far in advance for maximum savings. Like I said, they aren't being thrifty if they are spending 45k a year on travel and only bring in 70k in winnings. All in all, the point is moot if they get all that or a majority of it back.

I agree most create their schedule in advance but that doesn't mean they have the cash to pay for all the flights in advance.  Also schedules change due to illness, injury, deaths in family, etc so while tickets can be reused you're still out the cash.

 

Some might also plan a set number of tournaments but at that level they might need to enter a few more to hit the minimum earnings number to avoid losing their pro card.

post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

 

I still say if someone is on the lower end of the winnings list they would find cheaper options. As said by another, they'd play more local events or places where the cost is less to get to and stay until they are making enough to justify the added travel expenses. Also, aren't the event dates and locations known a year in advance? If so you would think they'd book their flights/hotels far in advance for maximum savings. Like I said, they aren't being thrifty if they are spending 45k a year on travel and only bring in 70k in winnings. All in all, the point is moot if they get all that or a majority of it back.

 

So, if you were a borderline top 80 player you would skip half the events so that you could save on travel?  Yes, that would keep your travel expenses down, but it would also reduce your chances of retaining you Tour Card.

 
Booking in advance does save money on travel- so when do you book your return air for- Friday night, Sunday night, Monday?  If you miss the cut, do you stick around (and possibly pay for a hotel) so you don't have to pay the change fee?  Not sure how many Monday finishes they have had this year on the LPGA Tour, but I know the PGA has had a few.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

I wonder how many times people have to mention all their expenses are tax deductible before it's understood. Even if they didn't get it all back, they would get a majority of it back. If they made 70k and spent 45k on travel expenses... well with deductions they are back to around 70k right? Also, don't most pros on the PGA and LPGA typically get to golf for free a majority of the time? I also don't understand why it keeps being brought up about foreign players, obviously if they are coming here to play it's because there is more money to be made for them here and therefore are already doing better than they would at home otherwise they would go back.

 

The LPGA charges all golfers a $500 entry fee for each tournament.  To play in a qualifying event, Futures Tour members pay $200, amateurs invited by the tournament sponsor pay $230, and non-LPGA players pay $500.  Pros typically don't pay to play single rounds of golf but do have to pay for golf club memberships.

post #29 of 35
Thanks for the info Mike
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

I wonder how many times people have to mention all their expenses are tax deductible before it's understood. Even if they didn't get it all back, they would get a majority of it back. If they made 70k and spent 45k on travel expenses... well with deductions they are back to around 70k right? 

No, at least not in the U.S.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post
 

 

Like I said, they aren't being thrifty if they are spending 45k a year on travel and only bring in 70k in winnings. All in all, the point is moot if they get all that or a majority of it back.

Your understanding of how business deductions work is far different than mine.  If a player has 70 K in winnings and 45 K total in deductible expenses, then I would assume that they pay tax on their net of 25 K.  So their tax bill would be low, but I don't understand how they would get back to 70 K to live on??

 

Do you live in a tax free country where the government reimburses business expenses?  To my knowledge, it doesn't work that way in the U.S,  

post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post
 

No, at least not in the U.S.

 

Your understanding of how business deductions work is far different than mine.  If a player has 70 K in winnings and 45 K total in deductible expenses, then I would assume that they pay tax on their net of 25 K.  So their tax bill would be low, but I don't understand how they would get back to 70 K to live on??

 

Do you live in a tax free country where the government reimburses business expenses?  To my knowledge, it doesn't work that way in the U.S,  

I understand where my logic was flawed, sorry about that, I defaulted back to reimbursement thought process for business expenses instead of just tax write offs. However, at 25k net earnings they wouldn't be paying too much in taxes. For much of my life I've made less than 25k and live comfortably, so I don't have the ability to view having that much income as "barely making it". Perhaps I don't have a valid viewpoint based on my experience with income.

post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

So you spend approximately $43,200 for your 108 to 144 days of travel with no international trips?  If you look at #75 on the LPGA money list, Cindy LaCrosse.  She earned $106,762 in 21 tournaments.  This means she has already traveled about the same number of days you do all year.
 
3 of her last 4 tournaments were abroad (France, Canada & Scottland) and she also played in the Bahamas, Hawaii, Thailand, Singapore and Australia.  The next 6 tournament are in China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan Japan and Mexico.  In total, it looks like there are only 13 events in the US and it is no guarantee that a struggling player will qualify for all of them, so if you want to play a full schedule, you have to go abroad.
 
Travelling abroad can be expensive, particular if you are on the bubble for an event and have to book your airfare late.  They also may get hit with some extra bag fees for taking their golf clubs with some airlines.  Taking their regular caddy with them would jump the cost up considerably and some of these destinations don't have motel 6 near the golf course.

If she's spending more to travel to far flung international tournaments, than she's reasonably likely to earn, she's an idiot, unless she has some kind of sponsorship helping.

Question.... What do they call something that you do that you don't get paid for?

Answer.... A hobby. a2_wink.gif
post #32 of 35

Does anyone know whether appearance money is paid to entice LPGA players to go to Asia to play? Why else would a journey-level player go there?

post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

Does anyone know whether appearance money is paid to entice LPGA players to go to Asia to play? Why else would a journey-level player go there?

I don't know about appearance money, but doubt much would be paid by the tournament organizer to journey-level players.  Sponsors contracts might give you something, but that is speculation.

 

The top 80 on the LPGA Tour retain their cards for the following season.  So lets say your are currently #75 Cindy LaCrosse with 106 K in earnings for the season.  The next 5 tournaments are in Asia followed by an Invitational in Mexico then the season ending CME Group Titleholders in Florida.  If you skip going to Asia, you will almost certainly fall out of the top 80 and lose your card.  So do you make the trip to China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan or skip them and hope you can get your card back through Q School?

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
 

Does anyone know whether appearance money is paid to entice LPGA players to go to Asia to play? Why else would a journey-level player go there?

 

Typically appearance fees are against tour rules on U.S.-based tours.  So for the LPGA sanctioned event in Asia I would probably say no.  There are loopholes for name players to pick up de facto appearance fees.  

Example: Tournament X wants to make sure that the four biggest stars in women's golf all show up for LPGA Event Y. But it can't offer an outright appearance fee. It can, however, stage a skins game or a pro-am on the Monday of tournament week, and pay those players large sums to show up for that.

Or a tournament sponsor might offer a big star money for a "personal services contract" that requires the golfer to appear for a corporate outing - and, oh by the way, wink wink, the golfer decides to show up for that sponsor's tour event, too.

For non-LPGA sanctioned event in Asia, yes I would say players get appearance money, at least the top players.

post #35 of 35

I know Michelle Wie has received appearance fees as documented in her wiki;

 

"May 2006 saw her play the Asian Tour SK Telecom Open, becoming the second woman (after Se Ri Pak) to make the cut at a men's tournament in South Korea. Wie reportedly received US$700,000 in appearance fees at an event that offered only US$600,000 in total prize money."

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