Career top earner Paul McBeth throwing a putt, Photo Courtesy of PDGA.com
It's no secret or surprise that disc golf is quickly growing in popularity, especially over the last 10-15 years. And just as the sport has grown, so has the purse amounts for tournaments sanctioned by the PDGA.
Which begs the question: How much do Pro disc golfers make?
For starters, let's take a look at the top of the career earnings chart where we find pro disc golfer Paul McBeth.
At the time of this article, in his short 15 year career (he became a member of the PDGA in 2005), McBeth has raked in an incredible:
and he's done this in 340 career events!
Average that out and it means he has earned roughly $33,725 per year and $1,500 per event, just in tournament earnings.
His single best year to date was 2015 when he played well enough to top $70,000 in prize money!
But being the top player in the world also carries some other perks: Endorsements.
And in late 2018, Paul McBeth inked a deal with Discraft that will earn him over 1 million US dollars (In Dr. Evil voice) over 4 years, plus some likely incentives based on disc sales.
UPDATE!! It's worth noting that since this article was first written, Paul McBeth has since signed a new deal with Discraft that will pay him a whopping $10 million dollars over 10 years! Not bad right?!
It's also rumored that Paige Pierce signed a similarly structured deal worth $3 million dollars.
It's fair to note that yes, Paul McBeth is currently probably the best player in the world and not all Disc Golf players earn this type of cash.
So how do other players compare?
In 2018 when the top list was released, #10 on the list was Pro player Cale Leiviska. To date, Cale has earned nearly $264,000 over 16 years and 382 events, which works out to over $16,000 per year.
While it's just half of McBeth's earnings, it's not bad for playing a sport you love.
These numbers may not seem all that impressive when compared to regular golf or any other sport.
But it's important to keep in mind that disc golf is a relatively new sport and is very new in the world of commercial sports, so expect these numbers to rapidly grow with the sport's popularity.
How do Pro disc golfers make money?
Obviously, tournament winnings is one way pro players make their money, but there are other ways as well.
When players are good enough to consistently place well at high profile events, brands and companies snag them for endorsement deals with pretty substantial price tags, as seen with McBeth and Discraft.
Disc companies such as Innova and Discraft will also often create signature discs named after their sponsored players, and these players may get a commission based on how well these discs sell.
Some players even go the route of offering clinics and lessons to earn some extra cash to bolster their disc golf related income.
How Can I Earn Money Playing Disc Golf?
Any player can potentially make some money playing disc golf with hard work and dedication, but few will make a living doing so, as these players are the best in the world.
But to start your journey, you'll first have to become a member of PDGA.
From there, you need to start playing in as many qualifying events as possible, perform well in these events, and move up the rankings until you can enter into events that earn you purse money for placing highly.
It's a long road, but it can be done!
Check out www.pdga.com/members/benefits for more information, and Good Luck!
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