In a recent interview, European Tour's record earner, Lee Westwood stated that golf professionals earn too much money compared to nurses and teachers. Westwood became the first Briton to reach the £25 million mark in on-course earnings.
You may remember the 1990s Adam Sandler picture Happy Gilmore. Sandler’s character is trying to scrape up enough money to save his grandmother’s house. He tries to garner the money by playing golf, but he wins the prizes of $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000 just by finishing the tournament.
According to GolfLink, the average golfer who just completes a PGA Tour event can earn at least $25,000, despite their finish. Winning, on the other hand, can result in a $1.5 million payday. Golfers can also earn money through endorsements, corporate events, made-for-TV events and taking part in all of the competitions.
Well, one professional golfer thinks he and his ilk make too much money.
Former world’s No. 1 British professional golfer Lee Westwood stated in an interview with The Independent that professional golfers earn way too much for what they do – a golfer who earned £125,000 in his first year when he finished 45th on the Order of Merit.
“We play for a staggering amount of money, no doubt about it and I've always stressed we are very very fortunate,” said Westwood. “I think we are paid too much money – compared to police and teachers and nurses. But then compare it to footballers. I think the only thing you can probably justify it by is that when golfers have a bad day, we don't get paid anything, but when we have a great day we get paid a lot. It's part of the pressure involved. There isn't a wage as such.”
Westwood explained in the interview that he is not motivated by the money because as you win more tournaments, events and competitions your main drive is getting that trophy because “you know the money’s just going to come along with it.”
When asked if winning is all that matters, Westwood responded: “Careers are defined by major championships. I get constantly asked about it so they must,” explained the three-time European Tour Golfer of the Year.
“And I'd love to win a major; it's the reason why I keep practising and driving myself on. But the security of my family, my kids means more to me than that. I wouldn't sacrifice all I had for a major, no.”