Measuring Their Shot

A Study of Professional Golfers’ Future Career Value

 

We are pleased to release Kroll’s inaugural report, Measuring Their Shot: A Study of Professional Golfers’ Future Career Value. Using the principles of valuation, we ranked professional male golfers according to their potential future earnings.

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Highlights

  • The top 10 professional male golfers have a combined Future Career Value of $1.9 billion. Rory McIlory earned the No. 1 spot on our leaderboard shown below with $309 million in Future Career Value. Download the report to see the remaining top 50.

Leaderboard

  • The next 50 players are cumulatively valued at $2.8 billion.
  • Early success is a strong predictor of long-term tournament winnings and significant and sustained endorsements. Players that ranked in the top 10 Official World Golf Ranking by age 22 outperformed those that reached the top 10 later in their careers.
  • U.S. golfers dominate the top 10 Future Career Value leaderboard, but geographic diversity is growing. More than half of the top 60 golfers are from 18 different nations as shown in the graphic below (excluding the U.S.). 

Aggregate future career value

  • During their careers, most leading professional male golfers will make more money from endorsements than from tournament winnings. Based on our Future Career Value projections for the top 60 players, nearly 65% of their overall value will come from endorsements.
  • Our Future Career Value ranking does not account for earnings accumulated after age 50, which may be significant for professional male golfers. For that reason, our ranking tipped more favorably toward younger players.

 

Methodology

Professional golf is often discussed by the numbers: rankings, driving distance, greens in regulation, scoring and putting stats. These numbers paint a picture of current and past performance. We, however, wanted to look ahead.

To do this, we compared the performances of professional male golfers against a database of over 1,000 players. After matching each professional to a subset of comparable players, we used statistical analysis and mathematical modeling to estimate the present value of each golfer’s potential tournament winnings and endorsement income through age 50, which we’ve called Future Career Value.

The result is a top 60 list of professional male golfers who have the greatest potential value.

While there are many ways to measure and rank golfers, this is the first study to measure golfers’ potential performance. We hope you find it fun and interesting to explore.

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