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examines the financial realities of the average LPGA Tour player


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1 hour ago, Lobby said:

Wouldn't a good first action for the LPGA to take be to eliminate tournament entry fees?  

I was surprised those even existed at that level.

A good first step is the LPGA should find people interested in what they do. It is pretty shocking to think the LPGA does not get paid for their TV rights, but actually had to pay have events on Network TV.

 

There is literally no TV market for their product right now and the biggest network draw was under 800,000 viewers. Hopefully this new contract under the PGA umbrella will help.

 

35% of the PGA viewing audience are women, but the LPGA viewing Audience is 25% women day to day (golf Channel) but does spike to 35% when they pay to be on network television. 

 

At any rate the economic model of the LPGA mean entry fees are still needed and they have a long way to go to grow the pot of money.

 

 

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Our family has hosted Symetra Tour players when they are in town for a tournament.  There is no way to play that tour, with the hopes of making the LPGA, without losing money.  Entry fees, travel, equ

The way I see it, if you are OK with Lydia/Brooke/Nelly/etc making millions per year, Lebron/Tiger making $100 MM+ per year (or whatever it is), then you must believe in meritocracy, free markets, etc

I suppose you could call it a detour.....but if I recall, she only attended two quarters each year she was there, and played a full schedule on tour the entire time she attended Stanford. If anything

Just now, 2bGood said:

A good first step is the LPGA should find people interested in what they do. It is pretty shocking to think the LPGA does not get paid for their TV rights, but actually had to pay have events on Network TV.

 

There is literally no TV market for their product right now and the biggest network draw was under 800,000 viewers. Hopefully this new contract under the PGA umbrella will help.

 

35% of the PGA viewing audience are women, but the LPGA viewing Audience is 25% women day to day (golf Channel) but does spike to 35% when they pay to be on network television. I suspect most of the LPGA audience are golf junkies like me that watch anything golf.

 

At any rate the economic model of the LPGA mean entry fees are still needed and they have a long way to go to grow the pot of money.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Lobby said:

Isn't the solutions as simple as the PGA Tour "buying" the LPGA Tour?

 

Y'all please don't shoot the messenger, ok?  🤣

It seems they are moving in that direction with the strategic alliance. 

 

Not sure how realistic it is, but at some stage we might see a few women playing regularly on the PGA tour, but I think that would actually hurt the LPGA. 

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10 hours ago, fredogolfer said:

Agreed but it’s different when someone living the situation says you know, there’s no real way to “make a living” out here for a lot of people and someone basically replies “shut up and be thankful you even get to try” 

 

I just go back to how someone who is basically DJ, JTs, Tiger’s, Koepka’s, De Chambeau’s, punching bag gets hundreds of thousands of dollars but I guess you get that for being those names punching bags and for the right for them to have someone to beat. 
 

I wonder how the ladies would do if there was a mixed event, same course, same tees, same pin placement but you got ride of the length factor and made it more about accuracy, putting etc.

The thing is, it's not about GOLFING SKILL = $$$.  This is the first mistake people make in this comparison.

 

For what drives prize money, they are not golfers.  They are entertainers that happen to walk around on a golf course with 14 golf clubs.

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To play a complete LPGA schedule, for example 25 events, the player's annual expenses are roughly $150,000.

At year end the top 50 players on the money list have had a financially profitable year. The 75th player on the money list is at about break even.

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7 minutes ago, Fairway14 said:

 

To play a complete LPGA schedule, for example 25 events, the player's annual expenses are roughly $150,000.

At year end the top 50 players on the money list have had a financially profitable year. The 75th player on the money list is at about break even.

I'm not sure how far down the list sponsors kick in some money to help cover weekly opex.  I recall that SYR said her sponsors helped cover opex, and she was "relieved" (or something like that).  Given that she had made ~$10 MM on the course, the comment seemed a little out of place but I guess burning $150K is still burning $150K.  If I had to guess, the 50th-75th+ players aren't getting much, in which case the numbers are what you mention.

 

If you think about all of the commentary, its kind of funny.  People want equality (or at least more equal treatment) in sports.  Yet I'd bet that in sports people (coaches, parents, athletes) are unwilling to have a "diverse" varsity team.  I.e. instead of the X best players we are going to put a 5 foot 8 inch, 120 lb kid on the offensive line of the football team?  I.e. we still want the best but for the best we want equal?  Hahaha.

 

Just think about it.  Certain countries on the LPGA are vastly overrepresented relative to world population.  Should there be a quota or should we let the best golfers play?  If we let the best golfers play, they earn what they earn.

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6 minutes ago, Bluefan75 said:

 

 

But no one ever asks the question, why aren't women watching? 

 

If you are asking that question, the answer is that relatively few women play golf, and of that number, relatively few want to watch golf.

It's a gender thing.

KZG SP700 driver

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Srixon H65 3, 4 hybrids

Mizuno MP63 5 thru 9-iron

Cleveland RTX 48-52-56-64 wedges

Scotty Cameron Classic III putter

 

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55 minutes ago, Fairway14 said:

 

To play a complete LPGA schedule, for example 25 events, the player's annual expenses are roughly $150,000.

At year end the top 50 players on the money list have had a financially profitable year. The 75th player on the money list is at about break even.

If you look at the money winners 2019 the leader earns approx 20 times the #100 player.  It seems the top end earn a disproportionate amount over the lower tier players.  Maybe they should pay all qualifiers a small appearance fee to cover basics and lower the purse a bit. 

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On 10/20/2020 at 8:24 AM, miamistomp said:

 The LPGA is more international in make up than the PGA

   Like it or not big money US sponsors are not going to rush to support what does not sell their stuff

 

Its this, the USGA had articles about how much money each US Open brings in. The mens subsidizes everything, the US Womens Open is losing 10.4 million a year. https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/03/03/usga-reveals-us-womens-open-loses-millions-annually/

 

 

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Women’s tennis has recently tried to spread the wealth . For the event this week the winner gets 50,000 but the first round losers get around 10,000. Not sure if that tightening is COVID related but for the past few years most increases in prize money are used to help the lower ranked players.

 

I was listening to the BBC and they were talking about how there is an idea of having a European Super League of football with some of the more popular teams slugging it out in a separate league. The guest they had on opposed this measure since it would almost guarantee many of the smaller teams would go bust and talked about salary caps, tv revenues, merchandise, gate tickets and a variety of policies in place meant to protect smaller teams and players.

 

Perhaps we could examine this issue from the viewpoint of policies in place for the NBA, MLB, NFL meant to protect teams and players? I will say this most team sports cover airfare, hotel, transportation, meals etc so the player is taking home more of the actual salary. For golf in general to be healthy is it the right thing to make sure women’s pro golf is healthier rather than Should women make more money? It also make it a valid question when you have the R&A, USGA, and PGA of America with heavy involvement in 3/5 majors. 

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15 hours ago, fredogolfer said:

Women’s tennis has recently tried to spread the wealth . For the event this week the winner gets 50,000 but the first round losers get around 10,000. Not sure if that tightening is COVID related but for the past few years most increases in prize money are used to help the lower ranked players.

 

I was listening to the BBC and they were talking about how there is an idea of having a European Super League of football with some of the more popular teams slugging it out in a separate league. The guest they had on opposed this measure since it would almost guarantee many of the smaller teams would go bust and talked about salary caps, tv revenues, merchandise, gate tickets and a variety of policies in place meant to protect smaller teams and players.

 

Perhaps we could examine this issue from the viewpoint of policies in place for the NBA, MLB, NFL meant to protect teams and players? I will say this most team sports cover airfare, hotel, transportation, meals etc so the player is taking home more of the actual salary. For golf in general to be healthy is it the right thing to make sure women’s pro golf is healthier rather than Should women make more money? It also make it a valid question when you have the R&A, USGA, and PGA of America with heavy involvement in 3/5 majors. 

 

Tennis' issue, at least on the men's side, but likely similar on the women's side, is that it is very top heavy.  The top 50 earn something like 85-90% of all the prize money on offer.  You have to be top 100 to even think about breaking even.  Even though the money on offer is quite large.  The WTA move is likely not Covid related.  There are people pushing for the men's tour to get further along those lines. 

 

I agree with the people saying you can't have a super league.  Look at soccer in Europe.  The Champions League has really made things top heavy in domestic competitions.  There are people who want to make a super league, who no doubt are people who would stand to make more money from it, not thinking about the destruction of the domestic leagues that would ensue.  The recent proposal in the English Premiership is a good(or bad as it were)example.

 

I don't agree "the right thing" is to make women's pro golf healthy.  I would wager the number of people who are playing due to a professional game is quite small.  Females in particular are likely more influenced by the chance at scholarships, or at least their parents are.  But to do so requires viewership.  The comment was made that women's don't watch.  Finding a way to change that is the key. 

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Since we're on this topic, my thought process on this is that LPGA needs a "few more" solid personalities/great persona that also plays well or at least have game... a few of them hopefully from the rookie batch and future batches might help on attracting some $... 

 

As for networks, cable etc, I'm not well versed on these things but I really struggle to see how viewers like us would tolerate an "empty" golf channel and being forced into peacock, espn+ etc... 

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5 minutes ago, Supermilo said:

Since we're on this topic, my thought process on this is that LPGA needs a "few more" solid personalities/great persona that also plays well or at least have game... a few of them hopefully from the rookie batch and future batches might help on attracting some $... 

 

As for networks, cable etc, I'm not well versed on these things but I really struggle to see how viewers like us would tolerate an "empty" golf channel and being forced into peacock, espn+ etc... 

 

 

Agreed, LPGA needs to have its own Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

 

Michelle Wie was on her way to be one of that; unfortunately her career was derailed by her detour to Stanford University.

 

 

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21 minutes ago, BobMorris said:

I suppose you could call it a detour.....but if I recall, she only attended two quarters each year she was there, and played a full schedule on tour the entire time she attended Stanford. If anything derailed her from satisfying the media hype thrust upon her, it was the decision to have her spend her formative golfing years trying to gender bend, as opposed to learning to beat her competition.

 

There was some of that, but don't forget Leadbetter as well.  Before he ruined Lydia Ko, he ruined Wie.

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On 10/20/2020 at 5:35 PM, Fairway14 said:

 

If you are asking that question, the answer is that relatively few women play golf, and of that number, relatively few want to watch golf.

It's a gender thing.

 I don't think that is all that true - or the reason the LPGA has low numbers.

 

Far more women watch the PGA than the LPGA. PGA viewership is 35% women. Viewership for a PGA major has 3X as many women watch than all viewership for the LPGA majors. If only half of just the women that watch the PGA watched the LPGA, viewership would triple. 

 

The viewership percentage of women of the LPGA is lower than the percentage of women watching the PGA. Put another way, women who like watching golf, like watching the LPGA less than men who like to watch golf.

 

 

 

 

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They need to market themselves better plain and simple.  Even casual golf fans who play little to no golf can name Tiger, a handful of old timers and probably a few current players like Phil, Rickie, and some seniors like Freddie.  
 

ask the same people to name a LPGA player and they might say Annika, or possibly Wie, but they would be hard pressed to name a current “star”.  Honestly I have a hard time any more.  
 

On 10/20/2020 at 7:44 PM, 18majors said:

 

So Yeon Ryu.

I had no idea either. Honestly never heard of her.  I’m sure many of the current top players are famous in Asia, but not here.  The strange thing about LPGA golf is that it’s mostly an American tour dominated by Asians.  Are their any other sports that have this paradigm?  I’m surprised more of the events haven’t moved to Asia, it seems to be where the viewership is. 

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33 minutes ago, dlygrisse said:

I had no idea either. Honestly never heard of her.  

Re SYR; she is also a student of Cameron McCormick.  He made her swing flatter, which allowed her to move the ball both ways a bit easier and she picked up some distance.  Worked great for ~2 years (~2016-2018), possibly due to practice/efforts vs. the swing itself, and then driving accuracy fell off a cliff.

 

Sound familiar?  Not to derail this thread but I'm 90% convinced the beginning of Jordan Spieth's troubles can be traced back to her.  She's more famous than you thought...

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11 minutes ago, agolf1 said:

Re SYR; she is also a student of Cameron McCormick.  He made her swing flatter, which allowed her to move the ball both ways a bit easier and she picked up some distance.  Worked great for ~2 years (~2016-2018), possibly due to practice/efforts vs. the swing itself, and then driving accuracy fell off a cliff.

 

Sound familiar?  Not to derail this thread but I'm 90% convinced the beginning of Jordan Spieth's troubles can be traced back to her.  She's more famous than you thought...

......yeah no.  Not saying she wasn’t good, just saying except for die hard LPGA fans she is unknown. That’s my point.  They need a better marketing strategy.  

I pick 14 of the following:
Ping G400
Ping G410 3, 5 and 7 wood
Ping G 400 4 hybrid
Ping G 4-U
Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 54, 58 SS
Grips NDMC +4
Odyssey Pro #1 black
Hoofer
ProV1x-mostly
ECCO Biom Hybrid 3

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On 10/20/2020 at 7:30 PM, dlygrisse said:

I’ve got a relative (male) who tried to make it as a professional bowler, PBA.  He would have loved to make what the LPGA players make.  This argument goes both ways when you talk different sports.  It’s a free market economy still, kinda sorta, and different jobs pay different wages.  
if we are talking entertainment, which is what pro golf is, Sofia Vergara earned 43 million this year.  2020 earnings would put her 17th on the ALL TIME PGA Tour money list.  One spot ahead of David Toms.  
 

Compared to most professions, PGA and LPGA. Players have huge earning potential, but compared to other major entertainment industries neither are near the top.  
 

in the end I don’t care how much, or little they make, you earn what you earn.  Ben Hogan struggled to have money to put food in his belly for years.  If you can’t make it find a new profession.  

 

Agree.... not all PBA players can be Jason Belmonte, EJ Tackett, Earl Anthony, Mark Roth, Johnny Petraglia, Anthony Simonsen, Sean Rash, etc... heck, lets go PWBA  - not all of them are Liz Johnson, Kelly Kulick, Leanne Barrett, Stephanie Johnson, etc... there's some toiling through the ranks and not as good but still make a living...

 

On golf, there's some who make the most of their opportunities, there's some who don't for whatever reason (love, endorsement, whatever), and I respect that, just don't come whining about a "lack of opportunities for all" when one herself/himself had it, and in my eyes, blew it... 

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1 hour ago, dlygrisse said:

The strange thing about LPGA golf is that it’s mostly an American tour dominated by Asians.  Are their any other sports that have this paradigm?

 

NHL

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1 hour ago, dlygrisse said:

The strange thing about LPGA golf is that it’s mostly an American tour dominated by Asians.  Are their any other sports that have this paradigm?  I’m surprised more of the events haven’t moved to Asia, it seems to be where the viewership is. 


I would describe the LPGA as a worldwide tour. The original 2020 schedule (before derailed by Covid) consisted of 19 events in the US and 14 events around the world- 7 of which were in Asia.  I would compare it to the WTA which plays around the world and is dominated by Eastern Europeans to a fairly similar extent as the LPGA and Asians.

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21 hours ago, Yellow Jacket said:

Golf purses are a product of viewership, and when you're competing against better golf on the PGA Tour every week, I'm not sure how you draw more viewers.

I have a friend who plays on the LPGA Tour, and earns a nice living. I watch the LPGA Tour whenever it is on TV, but is the disparity in money simply due to lack of demand for the LPGA "product" versus the PGA "product"?

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