There can be a spirited debate as to whether or not Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all-time, but there can be no debate as to the fact he is the highest paid. With an estimated net-worth north of $740 million, Woods is not only the top earning golfer of all-time, but also one of the highest paid athletes of all-time as well. So in the spirit of Woods’ triumphant return to August National and The Masters this week, today Ignitia takes a closer look at just how Woods has made and spent his vast earnings.
Off to a Roaring Start
Within one year of turning pro in 1996 at the age of 19, Woods had won three PGA Tour events, including the prestigious 1997 Masters where he won by an incredible 12 strokes and set 27 tournament records. Woods was also the youngest player to ever win the Masers, and the first non-Caucasian to win the prestigious major event as well. For his efforts, Woods was rewarded handsomely with endorsement deals. These companies included General Motors, Titleist, American Express, Accenture, and Nike, just to name a few. The General Motors deal alone was worth $10.9 million a year, and lasted for 12 years. Titleist offered $20 million over five years. Nike, the first of several lucrative deals, offered $40 million for five years. And both American Express and Accenture offered Woods undisclosed amounts.
The First Billion-Dollar Athlete
Over the past twenty years, Woods has amassed one of the most impressive runs in golf history both on and off the course. To date, Woods has won 79 PGA Tour events, 14 Majors, and earned over $110 million in prize money. This number is far-and-away the most earned by any single golfer, and stands well above Phil Mickelson’s second place $86 million. However, as impressive as this number is, it pales in comparison to what Woods has earned overall. Between 2007-2009 alone, Woods made over $100 million per year in endorsements and prizes. In 2013, he signed a new $100 million deal with Nike. And in 2009, Woods became the first athlete ever to earn over $1 billion throughout his career. To date, that number has reached over $1.4 billion. Even after missing nearly all of the 2017 season and not having won a PGA Tour event since 2013, last year Woods still managed to earn a reported $37 million.
How He Spends It
In 2010, after a well publicized scandal, Woods paid a reported $100 million in a divorce settlement. Woods has also purchased a $25 million, 155-foot mega-yacht named, ‘Privacy’ as well a building a brand new house from the ground up in Jupiter Florida for $55 million. But aside from these expenses, Woods has also gives back. From a young age, Woods always said he wanted to be, ‘professionally excellent.’ Now that he has achieved this level and made tremendous amounts of money doing so, Woods has begun to look beyond the course as well. In 1996 just as he turned pro, Woods founded, TGR – The Tiger Woods Foundation. According to Woods’ website, the foundation was created to recognize, ‘a generation of underserved students that was challenged by limited access to educational resources… focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math before STEM was broadly embraced by the global learning community.’ Along with starting the foundation, Woods donates all of his proceeds from several tournaments to this cause. To date, those donations alone are said to be worth in excess of $12 million.
Whether or not 2018 sees Tiger fully return to the championship level he once enjoyed remains to be seen, but what is known is that he will certainly be striving for excellence. To put it in Tiger’s own words, ‘No matter how good you get, you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part.’