When you think of PGA Tour Professionals, you think of the top golfers in the world. These players are the best of the best who seem to have the game of golf all figured out. However, lots of work goes into playing golf at a high level.
It may be surprising but even golf’s greatest golfers need help staying at the top. PGA Tour players rely heavily on their coaches for keeping their swing and mental acuity it their best.
In the article below, we are going to cover all you need to know about PGA Tour coaches, why players need them, and how they get compensated for their time.
Why Do PGA Pros Need Coaches?
Golf may seem like a solo sport, but that is anything but the case. Top golfers rely on a wide network to succeed on the course. Number one of that network has to be the golf coach.
Coaches have been a staple on the PGA Tour for decades. Pro golfers rely on coaches to keep them playing at the highest level. Playing at such an elite level requires input from the experts. Coaches help players in all aspects of their game, from putting to driving, mental acuity to the proper nutrition. Today’s PGA Tour coaches are a one stop shop for everything golf.
Golf coaches are instrumental in everything a pro golfer practices. They are a key part of building the swing of the golfer’s they train. Building the proper fundamentals, from swing to putting stroke, allows for pro players to perform under pressure. Coaches are a must have for any serious pro.
How Do PGA Tour Golfers Compensate Their Coaches?
When you think about it, professional golfers have plenty of expenses when on the PGA Tour. They have travel expenses, lodging expenses, caddie payments, personal trainer, medical expenses, and paying for a golf coach if they have one.
This brings up the question, how do these golf coaches get paid? For us amateur golfers, usually the monetary exchange between golf coach and player is an agreed upon amount for the lesson. Most golf coaches will accept cash or check from the player and then the lesson begins.
Do professional golfers compensate their coaches in a different way than amateur golfers? Let’s discuss.
How Do PGA Tour Golfers Pay Their Coaches?
PGA Tour golfers compensate their golf coaches in a number of ways with either an upfront salary, a percentage of a golfer’s winnings, or a monetary exchange on a case-by-case basis.
According to an article from Golf Digest, the undercover tour pro paid his golf instructor forty thousand dollars for the entire golf season. The golf coach was responsible for his own travel expenses when applicable.
This is probably the most common form of compensation for golf coaches who coach professional golfers. An upfront fee or salary for each golf season where the player employs the golf coach for an agreed upon sum of money.
Another more lucrative form of compensation for golf coaches would include a percentage of a golfer’s winnings for the season or commissions. In the article mentioned above, there can be added bonuses for when a golfer finishes in the top ten of a tournament for reference.
For example, so far through the 2022 PGA Tour golf season world number one golfer Scottie Scheffler has earned almost 13 million dollars this season, which is the most on course earnings in a single season in PGA Tour history (Source).
A potential contract for his golf instructor could be 5% of his on course earnings for the season which would earn the coach $650,000. That is a huge amount of money.
Another way that golf coaches get paid could be on a case by case basis. There are plenty of PGA Tour golfers that don’t have a permanent coach, Bubba Watson is one example who does not have a golf coach. This could be a form of compensation where a player pays a golf coach whenever they work together, just like us regular people do it.
There is not much information on how golfers pay their coaches but it is safe to assume that most sign a contract with potential incentives based on player performance.
Why Do PGA Tour Golfers Pay Their Golf Coaches?
PGA Tour golfers pay their golf coaches because they provide a service and expertise for their clients to improve their golf swing and shoot lower scores.
One thing to mention about PGA Tour swing coaches is that most of them work with more than one player. Coaches like Butch Harmon, Sean Foley, George Gankas, and Hank Haney have worked with multiple touring professional golfers throughout their careers at the same time.
Butch Harmon is one of the most well-known golf coaches due to his work with Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, and Rickie Fowler.
As you can imagine, aligning yourself with multiple players on the PGA Tour allows for the coach to sign lucrative contracts and get paid handsomely by their clients.
Being a golf coach on the PGA Tour can be a lucrative job with many incentives and PGA Tour golfers will always have the need for swing coaches to help support them.
PGA Tour Professionals rely heavily on their golf coaches to succeed on tour. They are essential in the preparation process and build the foundation for the greatest in the game. Being a coach on tour comes with perks along with challenges. They are at the mercy of their golf student for their reputation as well as their income.
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