Professional Golfers’ Future Career Value Driven by Younger, More Global Field, Duff & Phelps Study Finds

– Rory McIlroy ranked No. 1; Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson among top 10

– Top 10 players have aggregate Future Career Value of  $1.9 billion

– Future of the game is international, with 63% of top ranked players under 30 coming from outside the U.S.

New York – Duff & Phelps, the world’s premier provider of governance, risk and transparency solutions, today released the inaugural report, Measuring Their Shot: A Study of Professional Golfers’ Future Career Value, a first-of-its-kind ranking of male professional golfers by their expected future earnings. The study evaluated over 1,000 professional golfers and ranked the top 60 current players based on their Future Career Value (FCV). The golfers’ FCV reflects the present value of their projected tour winnings and endorsement income over their remaining professional golf careers through the age of 50. 

On top of the FCV leaderboard is Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy at $309 million, followed by U.S. golfers Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods assuming the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively. Of the top 10 FCV player rankings, eight players represent the U.S., with an aggregate FCV of $1.4 billion. Duff & Phelps’ top 10 FCV ranking is closely aligned with the top 10 Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) as of September 27, 2020. Six of the top 10 FCV leaderboard are currently in the OWGR top 10. One exception to this is Tiger Woods who ranked higher on the FCV leaderboard as compared to his OWGR because of his leading endorsement level and social media following. 

The total value of the ranked players is approximately $4.7 billion. The game is becoming more international, with 19 countries included in the ranking and 57% of the golfers representing countries outside of the U.S. Of the top 60, U.S. players account for 43% with a total FCV of $2.5 billion.

“While each professional golfer’s career will inevitably follow a unique path, this study sheds light on the key indicators of success and future earnings,” said Mark Mondello, Managing Director and Global Sports and Entertainment Leader at Duff & Phelps. “Our analysis uncovered that success at a young age is one of the most important predictors of a player’s likelihood of having a long and lucrative career. Golfers that achieved tour success at a later age could still achieve a high FCV particularly through endorsements, which accounted for nearly 65% of the overall value for the golfers in our study. We look forward to seeing how these golfers’ careers continue to take shape in the coming years.”

The study found that the average age of the top 10 FCV ranked golfers is 30, highlighting those who have recently risen in the ranks and have the potential to generate decades of winnings and endorsements over the remaining years of their professional golf careers through the age of 50.

Notes to Editors
Duff & Phelps conducted this research in Q3 2020. The valuation metrics and analysis are based on information on player rankings from 1996 through Q3 2020, endorsement data from 2015 through Q2 2020, and social media followers as of Q3 2020, as well as other sources regarding player endorsements to calculate professional golfer Future Career Values. In addition, the current OWGRs noted within the report are as of November 2, 2020.

About Duff & Phelps
Duff & Phelps is the world’s premier provider of governance, risk and transparency solutions. We work with clients across diverse sectors in the areas of valuation, corporate finance, disputes and investigations, cyber security, claims administration and regulatory compliance. With Kroll, the leading global provider of risk solutions, and Prime Clerk, the leader in complex business services and claims administration, our firm has nearly 4,000 professionals in 25 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.duffandphelps.com.

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