Traditionally popular with the older generations, the sport now boasts some of the world’s top athletes, who have also popularized it among the younger generations. And with great fame comes great fortune. We bring an overview of athletes who made the sport of golf famous and the 15 richest golfers of all time.
1. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods Net Worth: $1 billion
Tiger Woods is an American professional golfer who has made more than $1 billion during his career, becoming one of the highest-paid athletes in history and number one on our list of the richest golfers of all time.
Woods has won 15 major championships, and with his 82 PGA Tour wins, the world’s richest golfer is tied with Sam Snead for the most wins of all time.
He turned professional in 1996 and won his first major championship, the Masters, in 1997. Woods dominated the sport throughout the 2000s, winning multiple majors each year.
Woods has been named PGA Player of the Year 11 times and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2021.
2. Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer Net Worth: $700 million
Arnold Palmer was an American professional golfer generally regarded as one of the greatest players in the sport’s history.
Palmer won seven major championships, including the U.S. Open in 1960. He was one of the first athletes to capitalize on his celebrity status and become the richest golfer of his era.
He won 62 PGA Tour titles, including four Masters Tournament championships and two British Open titles. Palmer was also a member of “the Big Three” of golf, along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Palmer passed away in 2016, but his legacy continues to live on through his many fans and followers.
3. Greg Norman
Greg Norman Net Worth: $400 million
Greg Norman is an Australian professional golfer who spent 331 weeks as the world’s number-one ranked player in the 1980s and 1990s.
He has won more than 85 tournaments worldwide, including two major championships: The Open Championship in 1986 and 1993.
In addition to his success on the golf course, Norman is also a successful entrepreneur, with interests in various businesses ranging from course design to real estate development, helping him become one of the wealthiest golfers of all time.
He was recently named CEO of LIV Golf, which was founded in 2021 and is fast becoming the face of modern golf, notwithstanding the controversy surrounding it.
4. Jack Nicklaus
Jack Nicklaus Net Worth: $400 million
Few athletes have achieved the same level of success as Jack Nicklaus. Over the course of his career, Nicklaus has won a total of 18 major championships, more than any other player in history.
He has also been named the PGA Player of the Year five times from 1967 to 1976 and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
Besides being known as one of the top golf players of the television era, Nicklaus is also widely respected for his contributions to the game off the course. Nicklaus Design, one of the golfer’s companies, has designed 410 golf courses worldwide, helping shape the modern game.
5. Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson Net Worth: $300 million
Phil Mickelson is an American golfer who has won six major championships, including three Masters titles, ranking as strong second in the world in 2001.
In addition to his six major championships, he has also won the Players Championship once and the Tour Championship three times.
Mickelson is currently a member of the LIV Golf tour, which solidified his status as one of the richest pro golfers of all time. The player, who turned professional in 1992, is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
6. Gary Player
Gary Player Net Worth: $250 million
Gary Player was born in South Africa in 1935. In 1953, at age 18, he won his first major tournament, the Transvaal Open, and he went on to claim a total of nine major championship titles during his career.
Player, who retired as one of the world’s richest golfers, was also a three-time winner of the Masters and is one of only five golfers to have won all four modern major tournaments, achieving the Career Grand Slam.
In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Player was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974.
7. Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy Net Worth: $170 million
Rory McIlroy is a professional golfer from Northern Ireland who is currently ranked fourth in the world.
In 2011, he won his first major championship at the age of 22, making him the second-youngest player ever to win the U.S. Open. McIlroy was the second youngest player to be ranked number one at 22 years and 312 days. He has since gone on to cement his place as one of the top golfers in the world.
He won second place in the Masters in 2022 and has won four major championships, including the PGA Championship twice and the U.S. Open once.
8. Fred Couples
Fred Couples Net Worth: $120 million
Fred Couples is an American golfer from Seattle, Washington.
During his carrier, he has won 62 tournaments, including a Masters in 1992. The same year he reached the number-one rank in the official golf standings and held it for 16 weeks.
In addition to his golf earnings, Couples has also made money through real estate investments and other business ventures, which helped him become one of the richest golfers in the world, with a net worth of $120 million.
In 2009, Couples captained the US team for the Presidents Cup against the International Team led by Greg Norman. That was the US team’s sixth outright win.
9. Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth Net Worth: $110 million
A native of Dallas, Texas, Spieth began playing golf at a young age and quickly developed into a top junior player.
He turned pro in 2012 and has since won three major championships. In 2015, he became the second youngest player to win the Masters Tournament.
Spieth has won numerous other prestigious tournaments, including the Tournament Players Championship and the FedEx Cup.
In 2015, Spieth had one of the most successful seasons in golf history, becoming one of the highest-paid golfers and winning five tournaments, including two majors. He was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year and the FedEx Cup champion.
With his combination of talent and experience, Jordan Spieth is poised to become one of the greatest golfers of all time.
10. Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson Net Worth: $100 million.
Dustin Johnson is an American professional golfer who now plays on the LIV Golf tour.
He has won two majors, including the 2016 U.S. Open, and currently holds a spot among the top 10 richest golfers of all time.
Johnson began his professional career in 2007, and he quickly established himself as one of the top players on the PGA Tour. In 2010, he defended the title at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Since then, he has won two major championships, the U.S. Open in 2016 and the 2020 Masters Tournament.
11. Ernie Els
Ernie Els Net Worth: $85 million
Ernie Els is a South African professional golfer. He has been one of the sport’s leading figures since his early 20s and has won four major championships: the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open Championship in 2002 and 2012.
Els, one of the richest pro golfers of all time, was named European Tours’ Golfer of the Year two times in a row, in 2002 and 2003, as well as in 1994.
Els also has numerous other wins on both the PGA Tour and European Tour, including two FedEx Cup titles. In 2011, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
12. Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia Net Worth: $70 million
Sergio Garcia is a Spanish professional golfer who played on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour.
Currently, he is a member of the LIV tour, which helped him become one of the highest-paid golfers in 2022.
He has won 31 international tournaments, including two major tournaments: the Masters in 2017 and the Players Championship in 2008.
He has been ranked No. 2 in the world, and he has held the title of European Tour Golfer of the year for 2017.
13. Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter Net Worth: $60 million
A native of England, Poulter turned professional in 1995 and has since built an impressive resume, including 17 professional wins and nearly $33 million in prize money alone.
Poulter is known for his flashy style, both on and off the course. He is currently playing on the LIV Golf tour, which has helped him become one of the best and richest golf players today.
Poulter’s major success started in team competitions when he scored the winning points for his team in the Ryder Cup in 2004. In 2010, he won his first U.S. tournament in Arizona at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
14. Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh Net Worth: $75 million
Vijay Singh is a professional golfer from Fiji.
He was one of the top golf players in the world during the first decade of the 2000s, when he was ranked No. 1 for 32 consecutive weeks.
He was the PGA Tour leading money winner in 2003, 2004, and 2008.
With 34 PGA Tour wins, he is in the 14th spot on the all-time richest list and the highest ranked non-American on that list.
“The Big Fijian” was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006.
15. Nick Faldo
Nick Faldo Net Worth: $60 million
Nick Faldo is a retired English professional golfer and commentator.
He has won six major championships and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1997.
In 1987, he won his first major championship, the Open Championship, followed by victory at the Masters Tournament in 1989.
Faldo became one of the top pro golfers of the 1990s, winning the Masters in 1990 with par on second extra hole and then again in 1996 against Greg Norman by a five-stroke margin.
In addition to his individual successes, Nick Faldo also holds the record for representing the European team at the Ryder Cup 11 times.
Ever since the television era, golf has been among the most profitable sports in America, including for those who actually play it. The golfers with the highest net worth of all time include both legends who have long since left the sport and new champions making their mark.
With the emergence of LIV Golf, current players have a chance to make the most out of the money-making opportunities. Tiger Woods seems to be unreachable at the top, but with more players joining LIV Golf, it seems that there will be a lot more shuffling along the highest-paid list.
And as advertising is bringing in more money to golf than ever before, there are also more and more punters interested in learning how to bet on golf. So take a chance – you never know what might happen.
Who is currently the highest-paid golfer?
Phil Mickelson. In the last 12 months, Mickelson reportedly earned $138 million, mostly from his contract with LIV Golf, where he made $102 million on course. He is ahead of Dustin Johnson, who made $97 million. Tiger Woods is fifth on the list for 2022 with $68 million.
Who is the richest golfer in the world?
Tiger Woods has reportedly passed the $1 billion mark, making him one of three athletes, alongside Michael Jordan and LeBron James, to do so.
Although Woods declined the lucrative offer to join LIV Golf, he still tops the list of the richest golfers of all time.
Who is the wealthiest female golfer?
Annika Sorenstam is not just one of the best female golfers of all time – she is also the richest female golfer with more than $22 million in career earnings.