Players aren't paid for competing in the Ryder Cup, but they do receive other perks such as Tour exemptions and increased sponsorship exposure
What You Get For Being A Ryder Cup Player
The Ryder Cup is the ultimate team event in golf, and the 24 players that compete in the tournament gain a lot of attention over the course of the tournament weekend.
Generally, players are more likely to earn lucrative sponsorship deals due to the increased exposure of the Ryder Cup, because they are held in higher esteem, especially if they perform well.
For example, Ian Poulter has three wins on the PGA Tour, but the Englishman is synonymous with the match play event and gains lots of extra media attention and sponsorship deals because of his performances – not least because he has won five out of the six Ryder Cups he has been involved in.
The PGA of America, which runs the US-side of the Ryder Cup, splits the money evenly with the players between educational charities and charities of the player’s choosing.
A total of $100,000 is given to the Boys & Girls Club of America, Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship, and PGA Junior League Golf as part of the PGA of America’s choosing, while the other half is dependent on the player’s choice of charity.
European players, on the other hand, don’t receive any money, but are instead offered gifts from the captains that are paid out of the Ryder Cup pool – a tradition that Tony Jacklin began when he first captained Europe in 1983.
While players don’t get paid for competing in the Ryder Cup, they do still get money to cover out-of-pocket expenses, such as paying for partner’s clothes for the Team Welcome Dinner.
In 2016, the USA team were reportedly given $7500 each to cover these costs, plus they received personally-tailored clothing for the dinner and the opening ceremony.
Moreover, travel to and from the event is reimbursed up to a reported $30,000, with each player also getting 20 complimentary weekly tickets for their friends and family to attend the Ryder Cup.
On the playing side of things, golfers on the European Ryder Cup team gain an exemption onto the European Tour until the next tournament in two years time, under Category Nine of the exemption list.
Similarly, Category 32 of the PGA Tour exemption list states that past champions, team tournament winners, and veteran members beyond 150 on the FedEx Cup points list gain an exemption onto the tour.
However, this relies on players winning the tournament, and is eligible for both USA and European players.
Finally, the most recent Ryder Cup players earn automatic entry into the PGA Championship, provided that they are in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking one week before the start of the tournament.