What is the pinnacle of achievement for a golf course? Most would say having the honor of hosting a professional golf tournament.
Hosting a PGA Tour event is a massive accomplishment for a golf course. Hosting an event not only shows that the course is deemed suitable for the best players in the game, but it also puts the course on the map.
For example, take TPC Sawgrass, or TPC San Antonio, both well-known course because of the tournaments they have hosted.
Golfers and golf fans from all over know those two courses because they host annual PGA Tour events.
Interested in learning more? Check out the article below for an in-depth view on how PGA Tour events are funded to how much a golf course can make by hosting a tournament.
We have a lot to cover so let’s get started!
How Are PGA Tour Events Funded?
There’s lots of money in golf, with prize pots running into the millions even in regular PGA Tour events. So where does the money come from? Golf is unlike other sports, such as the NFL or the MLB.
These sports draw draw large crowds and depend on ticket sales as primary revenue generated. In golf, the number of spectators for a regular PGA Tour events is low by comparison.
Ticket sales do play a part in revenue generation but sponsorship are the big money maker.
Apart from the majors, almost every PGA Tour event features a sponsor who funds the event. For example, who largely funds the Barbasol Open? You guessed it, Barabsol.
TV deals also plays a part in funding the event. As the PGA Tour grows, it has begun to air tournaments not just in the US but across the globe.
What Makes A Golf Course Worthy Of A PGA Tour Event?
There are several factors that go into course selection on the PGA Tour. The biggest of those factors is the sponsor.
PGA events are sponsored by a main sponsor, who usually gets their name in the title of the event. It is the main sponsor who gets a huge say in where the event is hosted.
What sort of other things will the sponsor and those making the decision look at? A big one is the area. Is the course in an area populated by enough people to pack out the course in terms of spectators.
Can the course accommodate a sizable crowd? There are some fantastic courses out there that could easily be used in terms of course quality, but they can’t host PGA Tour events because they’re not in the right location, or they are not spectator friendly.
Are you heading to your first PGA Tour Event? Check out are article on Golf Spectator Etiquette for a must know guide on what is appropriate and what to avoid when attending a PGA Tour event.
How Long Does It Take A Course To Prepare For Hosting A PGA Tour Event?
Again, this is not an exact science. It takes some courses longer to prepare for hosting PGA Tour events than others.
For example, if a course is hosting a PGA Tour event for the first time, there won’t be a template in place, and things will likely take a long time.
In this instance, the course will start to prepare for their first PGA Tour event at least a year in advance, perhaps longer.
However, if we’re talking about a course such as TPC Sawgrass, which hosts the Players year in, year out, it’s different.
They have prior knowledge to work from and can incorporate any changes simply into the day-to-day operations. Therefore, preparation, though intense and far from entirely straightforward, will take less time.
When preparing a course for tournament golf, the highly skilled greenkeepers can do this easily over a period of time.
In fact, it’s not the set up of the course itself that is the most arduous part of preparing to host a tournament. It’s all of the other things that come with being the host course for a PGA Tour event.
The course will need to prepare for lots of spectators, and for example, will need to ensure that these spectators can move freely and easily around the venue.
Depending on the course and how experienced it is at hosting big events, it will need to be off limits to the public and its members for a certain length of time prior to the event starting. This could be a month, it could be three months.
Is There A Green Fee For Players During PGA Tournaments?
Depending on how you look at it, the notion of pros paying a green fee is both stupid and entirely plausible.
On the one hand, these are pros competing at the highest level, so they shouldn’t pay to do their job. Just like you and I don’t have to pay to go to work.
That being said, on the other hand, they’re top pros earning an awful lot of money, so why shouldn’t they have to pay just like you and I?
The reality is that on the PGA Tour, some players do have to pay fees, but they pay these directly to the PGA Tour. There are no green fees.
The best players on tour tend to get their fees covered by sponsors, as it’s in the sponsors best interests that their flagship players are in attendance.
Do Golf Courses Profit From Hosting PGA Tour Events?
Before we look at how much courses make from hosting professional golf tournaments, we need to see if they profit at all.
So, the first question is do golf courses profit from hosting professional tournaments? If the answer to that question is yes, how much do they make?
Do golf courses profit from hosting a professional golf event? The simple answer is courses do make a profit hosting PGA Tour events, but the profit margins are slim.
While the PGA Tour does have to pay a fee, which remains confidential, courses really don’t host tour events for profit reasons. There is little profit to be made, at least not from the initial hosting of a tournament.
Increased revenues may come as a consequence of the course being in the spotlight as a PGA Tour host.
How Much Do Courses Make From Hosting A Professional Golf Tournament?
Courses can profit financially from hosting a PGA Tour event, but the profit margins are relatively slim. Having said that, they’re not the same across the board.
The amount of money made varies from tournament to tournament. Why? Not all courses are the same, or perhaps not all courses are held in the same regard. In other words, some courses are more prestigious than others.
For example, TPC Sawgrass can command more for hosting THE PLAYERS, than Detroit Golf Club can for hosting the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
How much a course makes depends largely on how both the course and tournament are regarded.
Golf is big business, especially at the top of the game. Most of the players playing regular PGA Tour golf are earning a fortune, and those lucky enough to be attached to the big golfing brands through sponsorship may as well have been printing money!
The PGA Tour itself has plenty in reserve financially, and in general, there’s huge amounts of money in the sport.
However, we shouldn’t just assume that golf courses hosting professional events are raking it in, because they’re not.
While each of the courses used, for example, on the PGA Tour, tend to be quite prestigious and thus aren’t short of a few dollars, the revenue they’re generating doesn’t come directly from hosting tournaments.
In reality, rich as some may be, courses don’t make a great deal from hosting professional golf tournaments.
Hopefully you liked this article and found it informative. Check out our other blog posts if you liked this one!