Thank you for signing up to Golf Monthly. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
While the men’s game offers far higher earnings than the women’s game, with an appealing average PGA Tour pro earnings figure, the devil is in the detail, and it's a similar story on the LPGA Tour.
The average LPGA Tour Pro earned $141,428 in 2021. Exactly half of the players on the money list earned above that figure, with Australian Katherine Kirk the last in that top group, earning $143.655. At the top end of the list, earnings were far higher, with each of the top 15 players earning seven figures and South Korean Jin Young Ko at the top with $3,502,161, or $184,324 for each of her 19 tournaments.
The top 111 players on the LPGA Tour earned at least $100,000 in 2021, with American Lindy Duncan marking that cut-off point with $104,311. However, the bottom 25 on the list even fell short of the US federal minimum wage (that currently stands at $7.25 an hour, equating to annual earnings of around $15,080 working 40 hours per week).
Even more alarming is the money earned by the player bottom of the list, in 188th place. American Katelyn Sisk made just $2,362 for her efforts on the LPGA Tour in 2021. Of course, you can point to the fact that Sisk only played four events, which partly accounts for those low earnings, but how about Canadian Jacelyn Lee? She earned more, taking home $3,852, but that was over 11 events, working out at an average of just $350 per tournament. This is an even starker figure when you consider the additional expenses players incur, something Danielle Kang pointed out when she revealed she’d made $6,000 in a tournament and didn’t break even.
The women’s game is starting to receive more competitive funding, particularly in the Majors. For example, the purse for the Chevron Championship increased from $3.1m to $5m in 2022, while the AIG Women's Open sees its purse boosted by $1m to $6.8m. Most impressive is the $10m purse for the 2022 US Women's Open.
Still, making a living from the LPGA Tour is considerably more precarious than the PGA Tour. Yes, big money is available, and over half of the players on the LPGA Tour earned six figures or over in 2021, but whether a player earns enough to thrive – or even break even – remains far from guaranteed.
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Tips on how to play better, latest equipment reviews, interviews with the biggest names and more.
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.
'Sore' Charley Hull Limited In Practice But Plays Down Neck Injury Scare
Charley Hull admits she has been limited in practice due to a neck injury but insisted she'll be ready to go for Friday's Solheim Cup start
By Paul Higham Published
How Rose Zhang Went From College To Solheim Cup Stardom In Four Months
The 20-year-old, already a winner on the LPGA Tour, is on quite some upward curve
By Michael Weston Published