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Jay Chizza

Are Golf YouTubers "Pro Golfers"?

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There are a growing number of (Golf) YouTubers who are making nice high six figure to low seven figure sums on an annual basis from essentially uploading golf videos to YouTube and IG.  Big brand equipment companies are basically "gobbling up" any creator / influencer who is on the uptick... Then there's merchandise sales, ad revenue, affiliate income, golf outing income  and ancillary sponsorships.  

One of my favorite channels features a pair who play off a 12 handicap.  They're crushing it. My question is, in the eyes of USGA or local golf association, would they be considered professional golfers?  

If so, what a time to be alive.  All you need a 12 handicap and a camera (phone) to "go pro" and make millions over the course of your lifetime playing golf.  Can anyone offer any insights on this? 

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I believe professionals are defined as players who earn money from competition, so technically YouTube personalities do not count as pros, unless they are otherwise qualified.

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34 minutes ago, Jay Chizza said:

One of my favorite channels features a pair who play off a 12 handicap.  They're crushing it.

URL please...

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38 minutes ago, Jay Chizza said:

one of my favorite channels features a pair who play off a 12 handicap.  They're crushing it. My question is, in the eyes of USGA or local golf association, would they be considered professional golfers?  

I too, am curious.
Which channel is this? 
I watch youtube sometimes... 

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53 minutes ago, Jay Chizza said:

 

If so, what a time to be alive.  All you need a 12 handicap and a camera (phone) to "go pro" and make millions over the course of your lifetime playing golf.  Can anyone offer any insights on this? 

Yes:

A person who works in a shoe shop and sold 100 pairs of golf shoes last year is not a professional golfer.

If your company gives you a car you are not a professional car driver.

A Youtuber is a Youtuber.

Some companies like to sponsor Youtubers.

Professional golfers make money from playing golf professionally.

It's really not a hard concept to grasp.

Edited by leftybutnotPM

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1 hour ago, Jay Chizza said:

If so, what a time to be alive.  All you need a 12 handicap and a camera (phone) to "go pro" and make millions over the course of your lifetime playing golf.

You need much more than that.

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8 minutes ago, leftybutnotPM said:

Yes:

A person who works in a shoe shop and sold 100 pairs of golf shoes last year is not a professional golfer.

If your company gives you a car you are not a professional car driver.

A Youtuber is a Youtuber.

Some companies like to sponsor Youtubers.

Professional golfers make money from playing golf professionally.

It's really not a hard concept to grasp.

It actually seems a bit more nuanced than that and I appreciate your chiming in because maybe you can help further contextualize this.  I copied and pasted this from the USGA Website.  

 

Golf Skill or Reputation

What does it mean to have “golf skill or reputation”?

It’s up to the Governing Body (e.g., USGA) to decide whether an amateur golfer has golf skill or reputation. Golf reputation can only be gained through golf skill. An amateur golfer is very likely to possess golf skill if the following is true:

  1. he or she has competitive success at a regional or national level, or
  2. he or she has been selected to represent a national, regional, state or county golf association, or
  3. he or she competes at an elite level (e.g., competes at national championships).


How does having golf skill or reputation affect me?

If you have golf skill or reputation, you may not leverage that skill or reputation as a golfer, through promotion or advertising, to receive a financial or other kind of benefit – see Rule 6-2. For example, you may not appear as a golfer in an advertisement for a company, including your own, even if you are not paid or compensated.

 

So I am hoping you can help me out here.  The site says "reputation can only be earned through golf skill."  I am not quite sure if they are saying that as a matter of fact, or a matter of policy.  Is it their POLICY that golf reputation can be earned only through golf skill, or is it a matter of fact?  

IF it's a matter of fact, then do you think the USGA should update it?   In 1921 it was fair to say; "golf reputation can be only earned through skill." Whereas today, golf reputation can be earned through uploading content to social media.  

Please advise.  Thanks again for your input! 

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1 hour ago, Jay Chizza said:

There are a growing number of (Golf) YouTubers who are making nice high six figure to low seven figure sums on an annual basis from essentially uploading golf videos to YouTube and IG.  

Hey Jay, please don't think I'm calling you out on this. But more than a million dollars per year seems like a lot to me, even with all the stuff you mentioned. How did you find out some of these Youtubers are making more than a million a year? 
 

And again, who are the guys playing off a 12?

I'm not calling you out, I'm just curious.

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

You need much more than that.

For sure.  It's a grind though.  But fun... I enjoy it.  

1 minute ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Hey Jay, please don't think I'm calling you out on this. But more than a million dollars per year seems like a lot to me, even with all the stuff you mentioned. How did you find out some of these Youtubers are making more than a million a year? 
 

And again, who are the guys playing off a 12?

I'm not calling you out, I'm just curious.

Here's a link to Social Blade for a Channel I love. These guys play off a 5 handicap.

SocialbladeBadge.png

View the daily YouTube analytics of Golfholics and track progress charts, view future predictions, related channels, and track realtime live sub counts.

They sell a ton of their own branded merchandise.  $1,000 golf outings. Equipment deals, etc. I'd say their channel and ventures pull in at least $500k / yr. On top of all the free green fees they get at amazing golf courses.  Great guys too. 

Just one example.  

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A golf pro needn't be a professional golfer.  A teaching pro is a golf professional.  We reserve the term "professional golfer" for those people who make their living playing golf.  A person who makes a golf video has not, to my knowledge, surrendered their amateur status and, therefore, is not a golf pro.  

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@Jay Chizza, they're not earning money from YouTube because of their "golf skill." They're earning money because their videos are entertaining. They're entertainers.

Tony Romo can endorse Skechers shoes in a golf commercial but he's not a professional golfer or a golf professional; he's earned his reputation as a football player and now commentator.

There are often blurry lines in pro/amateur status. This ain't one of them.

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They are Professional YouTubers who happen to love golf and feature it on their channels. Their golf skill isn’t what gets them paid. It’s their ability to cater to an audience and get views/likes/subs. A few years ago it would seem ludicrous but welcome to today’s world. 
 

Personally, I would love to be a golf vlogger if I had the time/camera etc. Looks like the worse than bogey golf demographic is in need.

Sorry @iacas I wrote basically what you did while you were writing it, lol.

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Here in NE Ohio there's a local PGA golf pro, who has, or had, a TV show. He's the pro at what was an upscale daily fee course until the membership grew to a number where it could go private. I don't know if it has done so yet. The show featured him going around the country, playing any number of famous gold courses, accompanied by a succession of young, attractive female golfers! I'm sure that added to the viewership! 

And this was not YouTube, this was cable! I'm sure he made a pretty penny off of it. He played the mini-tours back in his day, but decided it wasn't going to work for him, and took this job. 

In America, and in other places, there's a million ways to make a buck! 

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9 minutes ago, iacas said:

@Jay Chizza, they're not earning money from YouTube because of their "golf skill." They're earning money because their videos are entertaining. They're entertainers.

Tony Romo can endorse Skechers shoes in a golf commercial but he's not a professional golfer or a golf professional; he's earned his reputation as a football player and now commentator.

There are often blurry lines in pro/amateur status. This ain't one of them.

 So when the USGA says; “Golf reputation can only be gained through golf skill” - is it fair to say that’s your interpretation is they mean this as a matter of USGA policy, and not necessarily as a matter of fact?  

Also, Is a trick shot artist who earned revenue from YouTube a professional golfer?  A great deal of skill is required to execute trick shots, and the person has earned a reputation from uploading these trick shots to YouTube,  and he’s made money, and he cannot participate in any USGA event(Juniors, US Am, etc) , and he lost his NCAA scholarship because of his trick shot videos.

 Is that kid not a professional golfer? Did the USGA an NCAA get it wrong?

 There are many blurry lines indeed.  

 This would be a mighty fine rabbit hole to go into because there are so many examples. 

 

18 minutes ago, PJCdude said:

They are Professional YouTubers who happen to love golf and feature it on their channels. Their golf skill isn’t what gets them paid. It’s their ability to cater to an audience and get views/likes/subs.

 Then why did the USGA ban a teenage trick shot artist from participating in USGA events? Why was his scholarship pulled by the NCAA?  Why did they declare him a professional golfer? 

 

 Just a kid doing some trick shots that happened to go viral, thrown on ESPN, and all of a sudden his golf life is ruined.  Well not really, he loves what he does. But you get the point. 

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10 minutes ago, Jay Chizza said:

So when the USGA says; “Golf reputation can only be gained through golf skill” - is it fair to say that’s your interpretation is they mean this as a matter of USGA policy, and not necessarily as a matter of fact?

It's not my interpretation, it's the interpretation. These folks aren't winning golf tournaments and directly benefiting from the skill of having done so. They're entertainers. They produce video content, and earn money for that.

10 minutes ago, Jay Chizza said:

Also, Is a trick shot artist who earned revenue from YouTube a professional golfer?

Not in the eyes of the USGA.

10 minutes ago, Jay Chizza said:

 Is that kid not a professional golfer? Did the USGA an NCAA get it wrong?

I think that was all the NCAA. The USGA seems to have said "you're fine."

10 minutes ago, Jay Chizza said:

This would be a mighty fine rabbit hole to go into because there are so many examples.

I disagree.

10 minutes ago, Jay Chizza said:

Then why did the USGA ban a teenage trick shot artist from participating in USGA events? Why was his scholarship pulled by the NCAA?  Why did they declare him a professional golfer? 

Pretty sure the USGA didn't make that ruling. Just the NCAA.

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2 hours ago, Jay Chizza said:

 

If so, what a time to be alive.  All you need a 12 handicap and a camera (phone) to "go pro" and make millions over the course of your lifetime playing golf.  Can anyone offer any insights on this? 

Upload pretty much daily.

Keep content interesting for your subscribers.

Have a couple of million subscribers.

Work 70 hours a week shooting and editing.

Keep ahead of the pack and be better than the young upstarts trying to knock you off your perch.

Rinse and repeat the above for your lifetime.

Easy. 😐

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11 minutes ago, iacas said:

It's not my interpretation, it's the interpretation. These folks aren't winning golf tournaments and directly benefiting from the skill of having done so. They're entertainers. They produce video content, and earn money for that.

Sweet. So anyone can earn piles of cash as a golf entertainer, and still play USGA / SGA events?  This PLUS NCAA rolling back rules against athletes making money.  Heavens...  bout to be a lot of very instantly wealthy college freshman in a few years. 

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