Money talks, and it’s how sponsors bring the best professional golfers to the events.
Prior to the pandemic, appearance fees were important to build competitive tournament fields. Now, with no fans and golfers wary of traveling the globe during a pandemic, those fees are even more crucial.
Tournaments and sponsors are willing to pay up to prevent a potentially vicious cycle:
- Without top players, viewership struggles
- Fewer viewers leads to a drop in sponsorship ROI
- With fewer top-ranked players, Official World Golf Ranking points values drop – making tournament play less appealing for other players
Fees can also help players cover travel, accommodation and caddies’ base rates.
Top-tier golfers can earn more than $500,000 for just showing up at an event. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson has received $1 million to play an event, for example.
Tiger Woods received $3 million just to enter the 2013 Turkish Airlines Open — more than double that of the winner’s prize. He finished fourth in the event.
“When you’re trying to sell sponsorships, you need to have the best field possible,” golf agent Nick Biesecker told the New York Times. “If you have to load some pockets up to have that field, that’s what you do.”