Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

Local Knowledge

Our latest podcast explores the intersection of golf and money, from who's making a ton to who's not making enough

November 15, 2021

Kevin C. Cox

To celebrate the completion of two seasons of Local Knowledge, we’re releasing a special four-part series where we revisit some of our favorite episodes. The second installment is all about money. How do you afford pro golf when you’re just starting out? Who’s making a ton of money? Who’s making too little?

We first look at the PGA Tour, and the big purses and huge endorsement deals modern players earn. From Arnie to Tiger, we explore how the tour evolved into its current lucrative state.

From there, we look at the LPGA Tour (9:44 mark), where players’ financial situations are more precarious. While top players can make a good living, as you move down the money list, things get less comfortable. We talk to LPGA Tour players and other in the industry about the financial realities of being a female Tour player.

We next look at how expensive Tour life is, and how up-and-comers afford it (19:53 mark). One means of doing so, which the episode is based on, is players finding a single benefactor to fund them—known jokingly as "a Sugar Daddy." Often done over a handshake instead of a formal contract, these deals can get complicated.

While the first three episodes center around individual finances, some players have the ability to change an entire country’s golf economy. When Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters, the prediction was that golf in Japan had been changed forever (29:23).

Take a listen to this special episode of Local Knowledge here: