So, when it comes to winning big, which of these elite players has the most valuable swing – or the ‘Golden Swing’?
We took the top 15 ranked players on the PGA Tour and broke down their career earnings per year. To add an extra bit of spice, we also added stats from the GOAT – Tiger Woods – into the mix.
This figure was then divided by their performances on the fairways and greens, to find the actual value of each stroke they played.
We’ve even calculated which years were most profitable for each of the players too.
According to our research, Rory McIlroy is the top earner per swish of the club. In fact, the four-time Major winner is estimated to have racked up a massive $1,920 of winnings with every stroke.
When combining each of the players’ income per swing and splitting them by year, 2020 was the most financially rewarding for players to date.
In 2020, the average amount of money per-hit was $1,578 – by far the most of all the years across the previous decade.
Now, let’s look at which year was the most successful for each of golf’s heavy hitters.
Hovland is the first Norwegian winner of a PGA Tour event – his first of two wins in 2020 coming at the Puerto Rico Open.
Wolff netted $1.15 million with his victory at the 3M Open in July 2019, squeezing out Collin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau on the final green.
Reed’s 2016 takings were boosted by winning the first of two titles at The Barclays/The Northern Trust, and pocketing $1.7 million for his troubles.
Berger triumphed in the 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge, and recently won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2021.
Morikawa earned $1,067.40 per swing in his first two years as a pro. That’s more than double what Rory Mcilory ($522) did early in his career.
A successful 2019 for Cantlay saw him finish T3 at the US PGA Championship and finishing inside the top-10 at the Masters.
“The Scientist” soared to number five in the world rankings thanks to a $1.3 million payday at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in November 2018.
Hatton won the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational by a single stroke, pocketing the lion’s share of a $9.3 million purse.
Two top-10 finishes at majors, and two wins on the PGA Tour, made 2020 Simpson’s most successful year to date.
Schauffele’s successful 2019 included tying for second at The Masters and finishing as runner-up in the FedEx Cup standings.
Rahm topped the pro rankings in 2020 – becoming only the second Spanish player after the legendary Seve Ballesteros to reach the summit.
Koepka successfully defended his US PGA Championship title in 2019 – the first golfer to do so since Tiger Woods in 2007 – and won just shy of $2 million in the process.
Thomas earned entry to a very prestigious group in 2017, winning five tournaments in one season before his 25th birthday – adding a FedEx Cup that same year.
McIlroy scooped golf’s largest cash prize - $15 million – for his second FedEx Cup victory at the Tour Championship.
Woods won seven times on the PGA Tour in 2007 and also added the US PGA Championship, landing him a whopping $10.9 million.
As the defending champion at this year’s Masters, Johnson had the most valuable swing of 2020, worth over six thousand dollars a time.
$ PER STROKE
Among our selection of golf’s elite players, only three have claimed victory at previous editions of The Masters.
Masters results since 2015 have proven to be the most lucrative years in the tournament for each of our players.
Rory McIlroy pocketed $1739.13 for each swing of a club in the 2015 Masters, finishing in fourth place on 12 under and scooping a share of the $9 million purse.
Daniel Berger took home $795.85 per swing when he tied for 10th place, with a score of one over par.
Whilst the 2017 Masters had a hefty prize pot of $11 million, 2017 didn’t see any of our golfers achieve their tournament high in terms of earnings per stroke.
Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters’ title in 2019. Claiming the top prize of $2.07 million meant he earned $7,527.27 with each hit.
The contrasting fortunes of our highly-ranked players is thrown into sharp focus when we judge their performance at the Masters – the highest-profile event on the golfing calendar.
Who will add their name to the prestigious winners’ list this year?