The Golf Industry is a $84B market led by over 30,000 PGA Professionals worldwide.
In total over 80M golfers worldwide and growing, with the top 500 players making millions and with the latest developments the top 48 destined to be making more millions.
What about the over 29,500 PGA Professionals and the emerging elite players around the world? Is the Golf Industry providing enough financial support and opportunity for our Professional Players to earn a reasonable living while playing the game of golf?
The answer is quite shocking.
The majority of PGA Professionals earn less than $45,000 per annum.
In my country Australia, the majority of the top 100 players on the PGA Australia 2022 Order of Merit earned less than the average working wage in that country, playing events for limited prize money and little access to sponsorship.
At the junior and elite level, it’s not the person’s ability but the access to capital that dictates their opportunities within the game.
So how can we support this critical part of the Industry with technology that empowers elite and professional golfers to earn more to stay in the game?
I think as an industry we have to provide technology tools for the players to earn greater incomes through their digital brands rather then purely their physical time. I am truly excited by the emerging web 3 based technologies enabling player ownership like never before.
It’s Golf, so it’s a winner takes all approach. If you want to be a professional golfer then you learn this hard reality from day one – the prize money allocation rewards the winners, not the participation. Well until you are top 50 player, then it’s all about participation according to Greg.
So it’s really up to the Players, if you want a playing career then you have to find ways to support your passion. Typically today, that’s working in the Pro Shop or local golf shop, participating in ProAms to earn a few thousand dollars when there are no tournaments.
It’s a grind, to be honest the last 30 years have shown this to be too hard for most.
A new generational model is emerging, the tech enabled professional athlete approach which leverages both your physical performance and your digital brand.
This is all about the next generation of elite golfers taking control of their own destiny, in particular their digital brand off the golf course.
“The next generation of players take ownership of everything from day one including their intellectual property for life.”
It’s all about your brand, your fan engagement and learning to monetise this over your career. In the past this was your physical time, being invited to ProAms through your contacts, getting a job in the Pro Shop, running a fundraising evening at your golf club, etc. All the stuff that created the day to day grind of earning dollars to play golf at the elite level.
In the future, it’s about leveraging both your physical performance and creating your own digital brand.
The top athletes have management companies who do this for them. The majority of athletes will need to develop the skills to create and manage their digital brand for themselves.
Yes these are skills, and as an industry we can provide the tech tools and education to help.
Let’s start with the basics, the development of your own Intellectual Property.
As elite athletes you have trained over many years, ask one of the 80M golfers what they like the most about going to a golf tournament or watching on TV – it’s seeing the athletes, watching them play the game, aspiring to be like them, to see their control over the game.
It is everything you do as an athlete, the training, the routine, the swing, your pastimes. People want to consume this content, it’s your day job – own it, develop it and share it with your fans.
Like it or not, this is now part of being the next generational athlete, you have to understand the creation of your own content, sharing and building of your personal fan base is your greatest future income potential. As a professional athlete in the future, your income will depend on your digital and physical brand.
Many new ways of monetising your digital brand are emerging for this new generation of athletes.
The most exciting is in the NFT space, with the opportunity to monetise your fan base like never before. Aside from all of the traditional levels of exposure that any traditional marketing method would bring, it is a way for athletes to engage with fans in a way never before.
With an athlete NFT collection and or token, the super fans become part of a super community. I’m a big believer in the future of fan/social tokens and creating an eco-system that fans can benefit from acquiring their token; it’s a path and a journey that the fans can benefit from at the same time the athlete does, creating a win-win environment for both athlete and fan.
It’s an exciting time, a new way to support our athletes providing a real difference both financially and connecting to their audience like never before.
In the next ten years, can we create a new generation of thousands of elite and professional golfers that can enjoy the game and be rewarded appropriately for all their hard work and commitment to this great game ?
Through tech, I believe we can help players earn more to stay in the game longer than ever –
CEO Founder, Play Today.
Play Today is building a Web 3 golf experience enabling players to own their game. The next generation collection is the world’s first players NFT collection in the golf space, 100% going to support the players career development.
When the game ends, the story begins.