Golf and business: Pros’ diverse money-making ways off the course

Golfers on the PGA Tour don’t have to take club professional jobs and give lessons to duffers anymore to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for ways to merge golf and business.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus are the gold standard for golfers parlaying their on-course success into off-course ventures. Palmer, who passed away last year, earned more than $40 million thanks to his portfolio of business interests in 2016. Jack Nicklaus took in an estimated $20 million from his far-reaching empire of products and course design, which includes everything from direct-to-consumer golf balls to ice cream, just in the past year.

While Tiger Woods has amassed a reported net worth in excess of $1 billion, he has only recently gotten into the world of business with his course design and restaurant ventures. Previously, he had dedicated his limited free time to developing the Tiger Woods Learning Center.

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This is in no way an exhaustive list. It’s limited to golfers who are currently playing at the highest level, and it doesn’t include endorsements or foundations as business ventures. For example, Jordan Spieth’s “Spieth One” golf shoe isn’t a business venture for Jordan Spieth, it’s simply his sponsor, Under Armour, utilizing him for their ends (not that Spieth minds, certainly).

Ultimately, this list is a look at some of the interesting ways pro golfers are profiting outside the ropes, with an emphasis on legitimate business concepts, not, you know, appearance fees.

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