AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
It's a well-known fact that there is serious money in professional golf, but being a golfer is a bit like being an entrepreneur. You have to perform well not just because it's your job to, but because you won't earn any money and won't be able to continue to perform at all if you don't.
But do earnings always match up to performance? Now Rory McIlroy has hit the number one spot in the rankings, can he hope to cash in on his best run of form?
It won't come as much of a surprise to know that the man in the picture - Tiger Woods - who is arguably the world's most famous golfer - is still top of the rankings, taking into account on-course and off-course earnings. This is despite a largely lacklustre performance last year, and his overall earnings are down 50 per cent from a whopping $122 million in 2009.
- 1. Tiger Woods - On course: $2,067,059 Off course: $62,000,000 Total: $64,067,059
- 2. Phil Mickelson - On course: $3,991,564 Off course: $38,000,000 Total: $41,991,564
<span style="text-align: left; ">A hugely popular player with golf fans, his popularity shows in his off-course earnings, but he didn't do too badly on the course either. </span></p>
- 3. Arnold Palmer - On course: $0 Off course: $36,000,000 Total: $36,000,000
Proof that earnings certainly aren't all about performance. At 82, Palmer made no money on the course, but is still raking it in from endorsements. </p>
- 4. Jack Nicklaus - On course: $155,000 Off course: $28,800,000 Total: $28,955,000
Another one of the old guard, he's making far more off-course than on these days.</p>
- 5. Greg Norman - On course: $75,118 Off course: $22,750,000 Total: $22,825,118
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The master of business, Norman makes far more money off-course from a clothing range amongst other things. </p>
- 6. Luke Donald - On course: $13,183,497 Off course: $8,500,000 Total: $21,683,497
Would be second of the table just on on-course earnings and had a fantastic year in 2011, topping the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic - the first player ever to do so. </p>
- 7. Ernie Els - On course: $1,409,442 Off course: $17,000,000 Total: $18,409,442
<span style="text-align: left; ">Big business interests outside golf mean he's a regular in the top 10.</span></p>
- 8. Gary Player - On course: $14,486 Off course: $16,000,000 Total: $16,014,486
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Another player who stays at the top thanks to his off-course earnings which include designing golf courses.</p>
- 9. Sergio Garcia - On course: $3,601,441 Off course: $12,250,000 Total: $15,851,441
Another hugely popular player who has yet to win a major, but earns a tidy sum from endorsements.</p>
- 10. Bill Haas - On course: $14,354,785 Off course: $1,000,000 Total: $15,354,785
Made his way into the top 10 thanks to a $10 million FedEx Cup bonus.</p>
The eagle-eyed among you will notice that Rory McIlroy doesn't make an appearance in the top ten. In fact he's at number 11 on overall earnings, but if you just take on-course earnings into account, he'd rank at number 3 - with $8,174,832. Looks like he's yet to take full advantage of that new found fame then.