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Golf Gender Pay Gap: Top Men Earning 4x More Than Top Women

The $867 (per shot) gender pay gap in golf suggests one thing; men are better. The truth? It shocked us, and it’ll shock you too.

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Quick Stats
  • Male caddies J.P Fitzgerald and Austin Johnson, out earn all but the top 4 in women’s LPGA.
  • The average top 10 female golfer earns $274 per shot, but it’s $1,141 for males.
  • Male golfers earn 4.16x (or $867) more per shot, than females.
  • Rank yourself #41 in male golf earnings, and you’ll out-earn every female in the top 10; every-single-one.
  • Rank yourself #86 in male golf, and you’ll be ranked top 10 among females.
  • Women drive the ball 40 yards shorter than men and take more putts, but hit more fairways and greens.
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]We recently conducted a study to find out how much the world’s top 10 male golfers have earned, per shot, throughout their career. Spoiler alert: it was a lot.

It’s no secret that there’s a lot more money available on the men’s tour than there is on the female tour. But, as a follow up to our last study, we wanted to find out just how much more the men were making than the females every time they step up to the ball.

Here’s what we discovered:[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][rrj_line_chart title=”Earnings Per Shot 2017 (PGA vs LPGA)” labels=”#1; #2; #3; #4; #5; #6; #7; #8; #9; #10″ datasets=”%5B%7B%22title%22%3A%22PGA%22%2C%22tooltips_format%22%3A%22%7Bd%7D%3A%20%24%7By%7D%22%2C%22values%22%3A%221669%3B%201593%3B%201696%3B%201371%3B%201011%3B%201018%3B%20896%3B%20909%3B%20649%3B%20602%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22%230085ba%22%2C%22point_style%22%3A%22circle%22%2C%22line_type%22%3A%22normal%22%2C%22line_style%22%3A%22solid%22%2C%22fill%22%3A%22transparent%22%2C%22thickness%22%3A%22normal%22%2C%22linetension%22%3A%2210%22%7D%2C%7B%22title%22%3A%22LPGA%22%2C%22tooltips_format%22%3A%22%7Bd%7D%3A%20%24%7By%7D%22%2C%22values%22%3A%22396%3B%20334%3B%20343%3B%20313%3B%20243%3B%20199%3B%20249%3B%20267%3B%20197%3B%20212%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22%23dd3333%22%2C%22point_style%22%3A%22circle%22%2C%22line_type%22%3A%22normal%22%2C%22line_style%22%3A%22solid%22%2C%22fill%22%3A%22transparent%22%2C%22thickness%22%3A%22normal%22%2C%22linetension%22%3A%2210%22%7D%5D” axis_prefix=”$”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1512760948887{margin-top: 40px !important;margin-bottom: 40px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Top 10 PGA Earners (2017)

  1. Justin Thomas
  2. Jordan Spieth
  3. Dustin Johnson
  4. Hideki Matsuyama
  5. John Rahm
  6. Rickie Fowler
  7. Mark Leishman
  8. Brooks Koepka
  9. Kevin Kisner
  10. Brian Harman

*[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Top 10 LPGA Earners (2017)

  1. Sung Hyun Park
  2. So Yeon Ryu
  3. Lexi Thompson
  4. Shanshan Feng
  5. Ariya Jutanugarn
  6. Brooke M. Henderson
  7. Cristie Kerr
  8. Anna Nordqvist
  9. Moriya Jutanugarn
  10. Sei Young Kim

*[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1513027608472{margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”]Now let’s compare total earnings for 2017.[/vc_column_text][rrj_line_chart title=”Total Earnings 2017 (PGA vs LPGA)” labels=”#1; #2; #3; #4; #5; #6; #7; #8; #9; #10″ datasets=”%5B%7B%22title%22%3A%22PGA%22%2C%22tooltips_format%22%3A%22%7Bd%7D%3A%20%24%7By%7D%22%2C%22values%22%3A%229921560%3B%209433033%3B%208732193%3B%208380570%3B%206123248%3B%206083197%3B%205866391%3B%205612397%3B%204766936%3B%204396470%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22%230085ba%22%2C%22point_style%22%3A%22circle%22%2C%22line_type%22%3A%22normal%22%2C%22line_style%22%3A%22solid%22%2C%22fill%22%3A%22transparent%22%2C%22thickness%22%3A%22normal%22%2C%22linetension%22%3A%2210%22%7D%2C%7B%22title%22%3A%22LPGA%22%2C%22tooltips_format%22%3A%22%7Bd%7D%3A%20%24%7By%7D%22%2C%22values%22%3A%222335883%3B%201981593%3B%201977181%3B%201728191%3B%201549858%3B%201504869%3B%201414752%3B%201335164%3B%201320900%3B%201278166%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22%23dd3333%22%2C%22point_style%22%3A%22circle%22%2C%22line_type%22%3A%22normal%22%2C%22line_style%22%3A%22solid%22%2C%22fill%22%3A%22transparent%22%2C%22thickness%22%3A%22normal%22%2C%22linetension%22%3A%2210%22%7D%5D” axis_zero=”yes” axis_prefix=”$”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1512955245480{margin-top: 30px !important;}”]Yes, the top female golfers still earned a ton of money in 2017. But they are not even in the same ball park as the men.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1513034721718{margin-top: 40px !important;}”]

Why Do Male Golfers Earn So Much More?

Let’s address the elephant in the room. The answer is obvious.

Male golfers earn much more than female golfers because there is a lot more money in the game. Both in terms of sponsorships, and TV money.

The more important question is why is that the case?

And to put this all into perspective, here are 3 stats that might surprise you.

1. Top Male Caddies Earn More Than Top Female Golfers

J.P. Fitzgerald, and Austin Johnson earned more from the tour in 2017 than all but the top 4 female golfers.

Haven’t heard of them before?

Well that’s because they are not golfers, they are caddies on the male tour.

Fitzgerald earned $1.65 million caddying for Rory McIlroy, while Johnson earned $1.6 million caddying for his brother Dustin (forbes).

Those earnings would put them straight in at positions 4 and 5 on the LPGA money list.[/vc_column_text][rrj_bar_chart title=”” orientation=”horz” labels=”#1 Sung Hyun Park; #2 So Yeon Ryu; #3 Lexi Thompson; #4 Shanshan Feng; Caddy: J.P. Fitzgerald; Caddy: Austin Johnson; #5 Ariya Jutanugarn” datasets=”%5B%7B%22title%22%3A%22%23%20%3D%20position%20on%20LPGA%20money%20list%202017%22%2C%22tooltips_format%22%3A%22%7By%7D%3A%20%24%7Bx%7D%22%2C%22values%22%3A%222335883%3B%201981593%3B%201977181%3B%201728191%3B%201650000%3B%201600000%3B%201549858%22%2C%22color%22%3A%22%230085ba%22%2C%22bar_bg%22%3A%22transparent%22%7D%5D” axis_zero=”yes” axis_prefix=”$” jsoptions=”dmFyIG9wdGlvbnMgPSB7CiAgICBhbmltYXRpb246IGZhbHNlLAogICAgc2NhbGVMYWJlbDoKICAgIGZ1bmN0aW9uKGxhYmVsKXtyZXR1cm4gICckJyArIGxhYmVsLnZhbHVlLnRvU3RyaW5nKCkucmVwbGFjZSgvXEIoPz0oXGR7M30pKyg/IVxkKSkvZywgIiwiKTt9Cn07″ css=”.vc_custom_1512958229322{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;}”][vc_column_text]

2. Rank #41 On The PGA Moneylist And You’ll Make More Than ANY Female Golfer

Canadian Mac Hughes had a pretty good year, winning his first PGA tournament at The RSM Classic.

The win bagged him a cool $1,080,000, which made up almost half of his 2017 earnings ($2,355,553).

mac hughes

That figure was only enough to rank him at #41 on the PGA money list. But it would shoot him straight to the top of the LPGA rankings.


3. Rank #86 On The PGA Money List, And You’ll Break Into The LPGA Top 10

American Morgan Hoffmann earned a total of $1,278,568 in 2017, placing him at #86 on the PGA money list.

morgan hoffman

But if he was teeing it up on the LPGA, those same earnings would see him break into the top 10.

top 10[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1513037361387{margin-top: 40px !important;}”]

Are Male Golfers Better Than Female Golfers?

Firstly, there’s no getting round it: the top male golfers hit the ball a lot further than the top females off the tee.

We found that on average the top 10 men drove the ball 41.77 yards further than the top 10 females (2017).

Tip: get accurate stats on how far you hit the ball with a golf GPS.

driving distance

But if we take strength out of the equation (which is really what that distance comes down to), there’s not really much in it. In fact, the top females beat the men for fairways hit and greens in regulation – 2 of golf’s most important stats.

driving greens

Men took less putts than women, but that’s probably due to the fact they are having to get up and down more to save par when missing greens.

putts per round

And when it comes down to scoring, it’s pretty close (although the men are slightly ahead).


So in terms of skill, the women are right up there with the men. They just can’t drive as far.

But is 40 extra yards really worth 4x the money?

We certainly don’t think so. But let us know in the comments if you disagree.

Note: Female golfers are allowed to play in PGA events. Michelle Wie has entered several throughout her career, and while she is yet to make a cut on the PGA tour, she did make it through to final stages of an event on the Asian tour.

There Are More Crazy Golf Stats Out There, And We’re Going To Find Them.

We’ve already covered Golf’s crazy money, with Tiger Wood’s $1,282 per shot career earnings.

And now, the ridiculous 400%+ pay gap between genders.

Ready for more?

Come and join us on Facebook, and we’ll let you know as soon as we hit publish.


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