LOOK: PGA Tour’s Major Championship Purses Have Significantly Jumped From 2012 to Now

by Dustin Schutte

How much has the PGA Tour’s popularity grown over the past decade? Just a quick glance at the increase in purse size in golf‘s four major championships paints a pretty vivid picture.

The R&A announced that the Open Championship – set for July 14-17 – will increase this year’s purse size to an all-time high. The total money at stake in the 2022 event is $14 million, a record high for the major championship. It’s also a 22 percent increase from last year’s $11.5 million purse, according to Golf Digest.

The winner will walk off the course with a record $2.5 million pay day.

But the Open Championship isn’t the only major to increase the total payout for its tournament. Each of the previous three events – The Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open – leveled up in terms of payout for this year’s events.

And, since 2012, the pool size of each major championship has nearly doubled. The breakdown, according to Golf Digest‘s Dan Rapoport:

  • The Masters: $8 million (2012) to $15 million (2022)
  • PGA Championship: $8 million (2012) to $15 million (2022)
  • U.S. Open: $8 million (2012) to $17.5 million (2022)
  • Open Championship: $8 million (2012) to $14 million (2022)

The prestige of winning one of the four major championships has always been the driving force among golfers. While tournament victories along the PGA Tour are nice, winning one of the four biggest tournaments each year creates legendary figures, such as Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Phil Mickelson and many others.

Now, the prize money in golf’s four major championships matches the prestige each tournament carries. It’s another incentive for the game’s biggest stars to capture a major.

PGA Tour Also Sees Increase in Prize Money

An increase in prize money hasn’t been restricted to the four major championships. The PGA Tour has seen a nice jump in total payouts during the 2021-22 schedule.

Golf Digest reports that there’s been a $60 million increase from last year’s total prize money to this year’s pool. During this year’s circuit, the PGA Tour will pay out $427 million. Last year, that number was $367 million.

The PGA Tour isn’t stopping there, either.

Commissioner Jay Monahan and the PGA Tour are making some tweaks to its schedule and pay size in response to LIV Golf’s early success. Eight events will see a combined payout increase of $45 million next year.

Sounds like “golf bag” is no longer a term used to describe something that stores clubs. It’s now what professional golfers are bringing home from the PGA Tour and the four major championships.