Tour Life

PGA Tour pro reveals his average weekly expenses, and let's just say you better be making cuts out there

October 04, 2023

Courtney Culbreath

The fact that golfers have to spend money to make money on the PGA Tour is certainly nothing new. Golf Digest's "Undercover Tour Pro" series has provided plenty of proof of that through the years. But one golfer recently gave perhaps the most-detailed account of his accounting.

In a recent TikTok video, Ben Griffin revealed how much it costs him to play each time he tees it up on tour. And let's just say, it's not cheap.

Griffin also prefaces the video by saying he's "definitely at the lower end" with his expenses, that include paying for flights, hotels, caddies, and more. Griffin also spoke with GolfWRX's Matt Vincenzi (h/t to Matt for bringing the video to our attention) to break down his breakdown of what everything costs.

"This week is everyone flying together on a private jet going over to Rome and competing. And for some players, that’s kind of how it is on a week-to-week basis," Griffin told GolfWRX. "Other players are kind of on their own and figuring things out. And I am obviously in a very privileged place to be able to play on the PGA Tour and have access to certain things. But I’m a business owner, and I’m trying to be as smart as I can with my money and try to save as much as I can, even though I can write off a whole lot of stuff being a golfer."

Even with that frugal mindset, Griffin says he spends a minimum of $6,000 per week with certain high-end locations like Hawaii and Pebble Beach obviously costing a lot more. (So you could see how missing a few cuts in a row would start to make you sweat a little.) And that number comes without him flying private or paying for a personal physio or chef, or even paying for kids to travel because he doesn't have a family yet. So how does he get to—and keep to somewhere near—that number? Have a look and listen:

@bengriffingolf Traveling ain’t cheap! How much I spend a week on tour #golf #pgatour #travel ♬ original sound - Ben Griffin

Pretty fascinating. That stuff adds up quick! Not that Griffin is complaining. He's living out his dream after walking away from golf in 2021 to briefly become a mortgage loan officer. "I was burned out on mini-tours and couldn’t see myself making it to the PGA Tour," Griffin wrote in Golf Digest earlier this year. "I’d lost my motivation and love for golf. The stress of playing with $15,000 of credit-card debt was agony, so I quit."

And he acknowledges the financial situation is much better on the PGA Tour, where he gets to play for huge purses. Also, for the first time this season, the tour guaranteed all fully exempt players who play in at least 15 tournaments a minimum of $500K, which would certainly cover Griffin's expenses this season.

If we use his math and multiply 31 starts by $6,000, you get $186,000. So even if you bump that up to $200,000, guys should still be covered. And that doesn't count sponsors and other off-the-course money.

Griffin also had a great rookie season with 20 cuts made, one top 10, and earnings of more than $2 million. Of course, that's pre-taxes, but still, he's definitely doing better than when he took that desk job. And that's before factoring in that he doesn't have to work a desk job anymore.

Anyway, thanks, Ben, for shedding some more light on what life on tour is really like. And keep racking up those Marriott points like the rest of us.