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Top seven richest golfers of all time

Published at :February 4, 2024 at 6:31 PM
Modified at :February 4, 2024 at 6:31 PM
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(Courtesy : PGA Tour/Golf Digest)

Manjit Verma

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are part of this lineup.

Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish golf prodigy, has not only showcased his prowess on the course but has also ventured into lucrative business partnerships with none other than the legendary Tiger Woods and media giant NBC. The golfing sensation hit the jackpot in the previous year, clinching a jaw-dropping $26 million in prize money.

Meanwhile, making waves in the golfing and business realms is Greg Norman, CEO of the controversial Saudi-backed LIV Golf league, whose fortune has soared to a remarkable $400 million. Despite the controversies surrounding his golf league, Norman is also recognized for his significant involvement in various charitable initiatives.

However, the burning question remains: who holds the top spot as the richest golfer of all time?

Top seven richest golfers of all-time

1. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods in action (Courtesy: PGA Tour)

Often hailed as the most dominant player in the history of golf, Tiger Woods continues to reign supreme not only on the greens but also in the financial arena. With an astounding net worth of US $1.1 billion, Woods stands tall with 15 major championships and 82 PGA Tour victories. Despite the setbacks from the 2009 cheating scandal, Forbes certifies him as a billionaire.

Woods has successfully diversified his wealth through ventures like the tech focused TMRW Sports, co-founded with Rory McIlroy, and real estate collaboration Nexus with Justin Timberlake and billionaire Joe Lewis. His estimated endorsement earnings, still hovering around US $60 million, showcase the enduring appeal of this golfing icon.

2. Greg Norman

Greg Norman
Greg Normal during a LIV Golf events in Arizona (Courtesy: USA Today)

At 68, Greg Norman, the seasoned Australian golf champion, secures the second spot on our list with a remarkable net worth of US $400 million. Beyond his accolades on the course, Norman serves as the CEO and face of the Saudi-backed LUV Golf league. Known for pursuing golfers through high-net contracts and lucrative winnings, Norman’s influence in the golfing world extends to charitable initiatives.

In an interview, he emphasized the power of using his brand for good, particularly in environmental causes. Norman’s commitment to both golf and philanthropy cements his legacy as a visionary figure in the sport.

3. Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson (Courtesy: Fortune)

Phil Mickelson, a golfing maverick with a penchant for high-stakes gambling, holds the third position with a net worth of US $400 million. Despite reports of gambling losses nearing US $100 million, Mickelson has remained a prominent figure in the golfing world. His controversial contract with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tournament, estimated to be around US $200 million, adds to his substantial wealth.

Open about his struggles with addiction, Mickelson acknowledges the distractions caused by his gambling endeavors, emphasizing the importance of being present for his loved ones.

4. Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus (Courtesy: Golf Magazine)

Known as “The Golden Bear,” Jack Nicklaus, an American golf legend at 83, boasts a net worth of US $400 million. Considered one of the greatest players in golf history, Nicklaus’ influence extends beyond his playing days. His design company has shaped over 400 golf courses globally, and he enjoys endorsements from brands like Terlato Wines and Arizona Beverages Company. Nicklaus’ diversified ventures, from clothing lines to golf course designs, contribute to his enduring financial success.

5. Gary Player

Gary Player
Gary Player (Courtesy: Golf Digest)

At 88, South African golf star Gary Player, known as “The Black Knight,” amasses a fortune of US $250 million. A businessman with a hectic schedule, Player has integrated golf courses into local communities in South Africa. Reflecting on his legacy, he emphasizes trying his best in life and acknowledging mistakes. Player’s commitment to both business and community projects showcases a holistic approach to his influential career.

6. Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy in action at the Dubai Invitational (Courtesy: PGA Tour)

Rory McIlroy, the Northern Irish sensation, secures the sixth spot with a net worth of US $170 million. In addition to his impressive on-course achievements, McIlroy had a significant payday, earning US $26 million in prize money in 2023. Collaborating with Tiger Woods for TMRW Sports and partnering with NBC Sports for a digital subscription service, McIlroy’s ventures extend beyond golf. His diversified portfolio reflects a forward-thinking approach to both sports and technology.

7. Fred Couples

Fred Couples
Fred Couples (Courtesy: Golf Magazine)

Fred Couples, a 15-time PGA Tour winner, claims the seventh spot with a net worth of US $120 million. The 64-year-old golf professional and former world number one has sustained his wealth through strategic endorsement deals with brands like Ashworth, Jaguar, and Bridgestone. Couples’ signature tempo on the course and influential 1988 instruction video showcasing his swing remain timeless guides for aspiring golfers, contributing to his legacy in the sport.

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