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Winning money


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I'm brand new to golf, and have really fallen in love with it. I think its only natural to daydream about becoming good enough to be a professional and winning at least enough money at it to quit my dayjob. Out of pure curiosity, about how good does a golfer need to be to turn pro, and make say 100,000 a year? 50,000? 25,000? I'm not talking superstar, major winner, huge endorsements, multi-millionaire  type good. Good enough to tour around, get a few checks, and make a decent living type good.

Its such a great game, and there is a lot of money in it, I'm just curious and daydreaming.

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To make $100,000 you would most probably have lost money after expenses.

Do some research on money lists over the years and you will see that some very famous players didn't make that much in some years.

If you turned pro and made $100,000 in winnings 3 years in a row, you'd have to look for another job or have some very patient backers.

Unless in a previous season you had some good pay cheques.

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Originally Posted by champ

I'm brand new to golf, and have really fallen in love with it. I think its only natural to daydream about becoming good enough to be a professional and winning at least enough money at it to quit my dayjob. Out of pure curiosity, about how good does a golfer need to be to turn pro, and make say 100,000 a year? 50,000? 25,000? I'm not talking superstar, major winner, huge endorsements, multi-millionaire  type good. Good enough to tour around, get a few checks, and make a decent living type good.

Its such a great game, and there is a lot of money in it, I'm just curious and daydreaming.

Come back and ask again when you are scoring under par for almost every round at the courses us ordinary folks play.  Then travel to Florida and play the Sawgrass Stadium course from the tips.  If you're still at or under par there, then you might be ready to start thinking about it.

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Originally Posted by Shorty

To make $100,000 you would most probably have lost money after expenses.

Do some research on money lists over the years and you will see that some very famous players didn't make that much in some years.

If you turned pro and made $100,000 in winnings 3 years in a row, you'd have to look for another job or have some very patient backers.

Unless in a previous season you had some good pay cheques.

It depends. You don't have to be a touring pro to make money with golf.

If you want to place in competitions on tour, it's about as difficult as anything can be. Like someone said before, if you get to the point to where you can play around or under par from the tips on a championship course, start seeing a sports psychologist...because it's no longer just a pipe dream.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Out of 287 players on the Web.com tour in 2012, 180 earned less than $50,000. All but 57 earned less than $100,000.

Don't give up the day job.

Yeah, but they probably use their golf knowledge and talent to make money doing something else throughout the year one would think. Right?

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Yeah, but they probably use their golf knowledge and talent to make money doing something else throughout the year one would think. Right?

The point for the OP is that even world ranked players playing one of the top professional tours, don't make enough money to give up the day job.....and these guys are STUPID good.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

The point for the OP is that even world ranked players playing one of the top professional tours, don't make enough money to give up the day job.....and these guys are STUPID good.

Yeah I get you. People don't realize the difference between a scratch golfer and a top PGA pro. It's like the difference between a really good high school wide receiver and Calvin Johnson.

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Originally Posted by Slice of Life

Yeah I get you. People don't realize the difference between a scratch golfer and a top PGA pro. It's like the difference between a really good high school wide receiver and Calvin Johnson.

This is really where the heart of my question lies. Once a golfer works him or herself down to scratch level, from there, at what point are they good enough to maybe win some money?

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Originally Posted by champ

This is really where the heart of my question lies. Once a golfer works him or herself down to scratch level, from there, at what point are they good enough to maybe win some money?

Scratch level? Maybe local tournaments or just finding people to hustle. ;)

You could always teach if you got to that level and trained for it as well.

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][quote name="champ" url="/t/67797/winning-money#post_857325"] This is really where the heart of my question lies. Once a golfer works him or herself down to scratch level, from there, at what point are they good enough to maybe win some money? [/quote] Quit your job and live off of golf prize money? They're not even in the same universe.
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are there actual "tournament entry fees" for PGA tournaments?  What do these fully sponsored players actually pay for on tour?  I'm guessing their sponsors probably get some kind of return on their investment from winnings(for the smaller guys)?

BTW, I play a few times with a guy who is basically a touring amateur but not a pro..and the difference between him and me at a 9 handicap(he MIGHT be a + but I think he's still not quite scratch) is astronomical.  His drives very rarely miss, his iron shots don't miss by much IF they miss...its just insane to see.  Swing looks so smooth but he can still hit it 310-320 when he ramps it up.  His "misses" were flying my total distances, lmao!

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Originally Posted by champ

This is really where the heart of my question lies. Once a golfer works him or herself down to scratch level, from there, at what point are they good enough to maybe win some money?

When they are good enough to place in the money in a tournament. There's not a magic handicap number that says someone is good enough to win on a tour except to have a realistic shot (even on a mini-tour) they would be better than scratch and have something that sets them apart from all of the rest of the better than scratch golfers trying to do the same thing.

Most come home broke and with their tail between their legs but at least they gave it a shot. Two local guys here gave it a shot for a long time. One wasn't quite good enough to win much on the mini-tours and the other wasn't quite good enough to stay on the Nationwide Tour for very long at a time, and by most of our standards both are fabulous golfers that appear to be able to do all of the things we see the top players doing on TV. There is obviously some aspect of the game where they couldn't cross the line and stay out there.

Usually putting and the mental game separates the ones that can play for a living from the ones that only look like they could.

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Originally Posted by champ

This is really where the heart of my question lies. Once a golfer works him or herself down to scratch level, from there, at what point are they good enough to maybe win some money?

Scratch?  LOL  Getting to scratch doesn't put you in the same time zone as making a living by playing.  IMO it is harder to get from scratch to making $100,000 a year net playing on a tour level than it is to get from 15 to scratch.  A LOT harder.

My wife and I went to regional qualifying for the US Open.  These guys were VERY good, virtually every one of them scratch or pus handicaps.  And other than the established pros, almost none of them have a prayer of ever making money on a tour.

The question itself reveals a degree of ignorance and naivete that is hard to fathom.  It is like someone saying "I like to do multiplication.  How smart would someone have to be to do original level research in math at the post-doctoral level?"

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Originally Posted by Slice of Life

Scratch level? Maybe local tournaments or just finding people to hustle. ;)

If you want to talk about making money, talk about shooting par or better from the back tees, not being a "scratch" player.

I only bring it up because a lot of beginning players seem to think that a "scratch" player plays par golf most of the time.

Danny Lee was the youngest player to win the U.S. Amateur. I saw him play when his handicap was +6.

He won $90,000 on the web.com tour last year and has won 60 odd thousand this year on that tour. (But he did win $112,000 at the Sony Open on the PGA tour)

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Originally Posted by Shorty

If you want to talk about making money, talk about shooting par or better from the back tees, not being a "scratch" player.

I only bring it up because a lot of beginning players seem to think that a "scratch" player plays par golf most of the time.

Danny Lee was the youngest player to win the U.S. Amateur. I saw him play when his handicap was +6.

He won $90,000 on the web.com tour last year and has won 60 odd thousand this year on that tour. (But he did win $112,000 at the Sony Open on the PGA tour)

Yeah, when I say scratch, that's what I'm talking about. Not even par from the easy tees on a crap muni course. Haha.

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I had a friend back in the 80s who was scratch and when he was even younger he had his tour card for a short while.  I asked him why he gave it up and elected to do something else for a living.  This was a guy who could shoot pretty much even par on the golf course he played most of the time with his eyes closed.  He was just flat good.  He told me that shooting even par on tour wouldn't enable you to eat at McDonalds every night, let alone feed a family and travel.  Now, he did do quite well playing on the BBQ circuit in Texas and gambling with others looking for a "game".

I know a guy today who is a +3 handicap and he works in the golf business but will tell you in a heartbeat that he is not good enough to play on any of the tours.

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