Pro Reveals Huge Financial Cost Of Developmental Tour Entry Fees

Epson Tour pro Kenzie Wright spent over twice what she earned on entry fees and yardage books in 2022

Kenzie Wright at the 2019 Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A professional golfer on the official developmental tour of the LPGA Tour has revealed the huge cost of her 2022 entry fees and yardage books. Kenzie Wright, who plays on the Epson Tour, explained on Twitter that after working on her tax return, she found the cost came to a staggering $16,826.47.

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In 2022, the Epson Tour offered total prize money of $4.41m across its 21 tournaments, averaging $210,000 per event. Wright, who was in her rookie year on the Tour, played in 14 tournaments. However, her earnings of $8,015 fell considerably short of her outgoings.

The revelation brings back into focus the reality that, for many players, competing on a tour isn’t necessarily enough to pay the bills. For example, DP World Tour pro Scott Hend revealed last April that being on the tour had cost him $50,000 following nine missed cuts in his first nine starts. 

The three-time winner on the Tour also took to Twitter to write: "Some un useful info for the Golf Fans out there.... So far in 2022 I've missed 9 from 9 cuts and haven't made a cent.... I've been on the road playing since 17th Jan. I have burnt through approx $50k usd. This is Pro Golf people and I love it. Better times coming soon. #golflife"

Meanwhile, even the highest-profile players who make the cut are not immune from incurring losses, as revealed by 2017 Women’s PGA Championship winner Danielle Kang. In the build-up to last year’s Chevron Championship, she explained she’d made $6,000 in a tournament and failed to break even. She said: “I made $6,000 last week, made the cut; I didn't break even last week. That's me budgeting. I have to drive, rent a car, get a hotel room. Luckily enough for me I'm sponsored by BMW that provides for me the car. That saves like $500, $1000 etc.”

Of course, for players on developmental tours, such as Wright, there is nowhere near the opportunity to earn big money, even for a win. For example, the player who finished 2022 on top of the Epson Tour money list, Swede Linnea Strom, had one victory that banked her a relatively healthy-looking $30,000. However, to earn her $119,190 last year she needed seven top 10 finishes from her 17 tournaments, highlighting the pressure to perform consistently.

With an unprecedented amount of money pouring into the top of the game, it is sobering to note that, further down the pecking order, earning a living as a pro remains considerably less clear-cut than it might seem.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.