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Former LPGA pro shares detailed breakdown of expenses for a year on Symetra Tour

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Earlier this week, professional golfer Hannah Gregg opened up on the harsh financial demands of a player on the Symetra Tour.

Gregg, a second-year professional and rookie on the developmental Symetra Tour, spoke to Golf Monthly about the difficulty of making ends meet even for the best players on feeder tours, with their future in the game constantly up in the air.

Included in Gregg’s takeaways was that her annual expenses cost on average $50k and that the WAPT (Women’s All Pro Tour) is the highest paying development tour, with the average winner of high-paying events earning $5-7k for a victory. With expenses for a cheap tournament generally coming in at $1.5-2k, players need to average finishing in the top-3 of each event to make a profit.

As Gregg points out in the interview: “expecting to average top-three for an entire season is not feasible. Even the best players on tour miss cuts and have bad stretches.” and that progression leads to more expenses, “when you do play well and start winning, you generally start moving up to the next level where travel and accommodation are even more expensive. Suddenly, you need to figure out how to pay a caddie.”

Former LPGA professional Anya Alvarez has since praised Gregg for speaking up on the topic and subsequently produced a very interesting breakdown of her expenses for a year of playing on the Symetra Tour.

It’s worth noting that the figures are from almost 9 years ago, and as she wrote on Twitter to accompany the breakdown, Alvarez said, “I drove to 90% of events, stayed with host families, and often didn’t have a caddie. LPGA expenses were much more.” 

It’s also worth noting that per SymetraTour.com, the highest earner on the Symetra Tour in 2013 earned $47,283 in prize money.

@anya__alvarez

Going back to Gregg’s recent interview, the Symetra pro revealed that the harsh financial demands end up making it unattainable for many talented players to continue in the sport:

“Lots of girls stop playing because they can’t afford Q-School, which is the most expensive event of the year.” she says. “if you don’t play in that, then you have no Tour status and are left with very few events to play in. You get phased out and others just lap you.”

In another eye-opening tweet from Alvarez, who is the founder of MajorLeagueGirls.com, a website that promotes women’s sports, she stated that “players who are talented beyond measure and had some success were forced to quit playing because they financially couldn’t do it anymore”, resulting in “the talent on tour being diluted.”

How can things change? In Gregg’s original interview, she shared her opinion that it begins with building up women’s sports and acknowledging that there is a quality product there – something that anyone who watches the LPGA will undoubtedly attest to.

Gregg told Golf Monthly:

“When it comes to making purses bigger and getting donations from sponsors, everyone has an excuse.

I always hear ‘well the women aren’t fun to watch’ but I’ve never understood that. The men weren’t popular to watch compared to the scale they are now. It takes years of marketing and people engaging with women’s sports for them to have a chance to succeed and grow. 

If people really want to help, we should start building up women’s sports and acknowledging that there is a quality product there. Help us raise money when you can, spread the word and find players that you like to watch and then follow their careers.

All of us love knowing that people out there are enjoying our journey and it makes even the struggles that much more enjoyable.”

Plenty of food for thought.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Pingback: Symetra pro shares eye-opening detail about financial hardships on feeder tour – GolfWRX

  2. gwelfgulfer

    Nov 23, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    And…

  3. Jacob

    Nov 22, 2021 at 11:04 am

    The standard 55 cents per mile deduction includes the cost of gasoline, so those expenses double count the 1,900.

  4. Pingback: How much each player won at the 2021 CME Group Tour Championship. – GolfWRX

  5. Brooks Cupcake

    Nov 22, 2021 at 2:45 am

    Its costly to try and climb the ladder is virtually every pro sport. At what point does all this start to look like whinging?

    “speaking up on the topic” this is ridiculous language. Its no secret things cost money and someone has to pay expense/bills. Playing pro golf is not a right or entitlement.

  6. Tyler Durden

    Nov 21, 2021 at 12:05 am

    Let’s ask Billy Ho to weigh in, his answer is “f-them”

  7. CrashTestDummy

    Nov 20, 2021 at 2:29 am

    Extremely difficult to be a pro golfer and it costs a lot. Players are losing money the majority of tournaments they tee it up in. So, it is very difficult to be a touring pro unless you have some financial backing. It is like taking 15-20 weeks of vacations per year and incurring the costs for it.

  8. CrashTestDummy

    Nov 19, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    So hard to make money at pro golf. For pro golfers, every week competing at a tournament is like taking a week long vacation in costs. So, playing 15-20 tournaments a year is like taking 15-20 vacations a year and incurring the costs associated with it.

    Personally, I think the prize money payouts on all the tours are too exponential. The top players make a lot, but players down the line make very little. There is not much difference in the top placers of a tournament and those placing further down. This is why I think more money and more tournaments is good for pro golf. Talent is deep in pro golf now.

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19th Hole

Bryson DeChambeau reveals his distance goals for 2022

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Three weeks ago, a high-profile Cobra testing session involving both world number 8 Bryson DeChambeau and two-time World Long Drive champion Kyle Berkshire took place.

Whilst Berkshire clocked a record ball speed of 233.4, the ten-time winner wasn’t exactly disappointed with his own personal best of 221mph, and he believes this is coming to the PGA tour.

Promoting the upcoming Saudi International, the 2020 U.S Open winner commented,

“This year I’ll hit it even further. Once I get into some lower lofted heads that I’ll be getting this week or next week, you’ll be seeing some much longer drives.”

Clear leader in the driving distance stats on tour, many pundits question the pursuit of length to the possible detriment of the rest of his game, but Bryson isn’t to be tamed. He added:

“We’re getting close to having something that we can get working at 200mph ball speed that will work on tour. I’m super excited and happy with Cobra. We came to a bit of a sticking point last year but we’ve worked together and burst through that wall.”

Only 25th at the season opener, the Tournament of Champions, he withdrew from this week’s Sony Open with an injury to his left wrist, which had been ‘bothering me for about three or four weeks now.’

Bryson continued, ”All the speed training has definitely taken a toll on my muscular structure. Now, it’s got to a point where I’m putting so much speed and force into my wrist.”

With some driver-friendly events coming up, Bryson is going to see plenty more interest in his long game to begin 2022.

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19th Hole

‘Too invasive for me’ – Bryson snubs Netflix docuseries

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As reported yesterday, Netflix is currently filming a docuseries profiling some of the biggest names on the PGA TOUR.

However, Bryson DeChambeau will not be one of those big names.

In a virtual news conference on Thursday to promote the Saudi International, Bryson explained why he didn’t want to be a part of the series:

“There’s a lot of factors going on in that. One, there wasn’t a deal that was struck that was very well for my side of it. I love Netflix. I watch it. I have a great time with it. But just for me, it wasn’t right at the present moment.”

DeChambeau has been busy with his own content, releasing videos showing his insane ball and clubhead speeds and is approaching 900,000 followers on Instagram, and added to reporters on Thursday:

“They’re getting a pretty dang good look inside my life [from YouTube]. And to have more people come in and go even further, which is almost impossible for what I’m giving out, is just too invasive for me.

There’s a lot of great people on there. If I was to go on there, yeah, it would be cool to see, but I feel like there’s a lot more interesting stories. You’ve got Harry Higgs. You’ve got numerous others.” 

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19th Hole

Tour pro withdraws from Australian PGA after slicing hand mid-round

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After being postponed twice because of Covid, you would think the dominant story at the Australian PGA might be the first-round lead, held by world number 1387 Louis Dobbelaar.

However, in a bizarre incident Damien Jordan grabbed the headlines with a withdrawal, according to Australian Associated Press, due to ”slicing his hand trying to move a stake on the course.”

Full details are not clear as yet but Golf Australia’s editor, Jimmy Emanuel, first reported on the accident on Twitter, posting that Jordan “went to move a stake on course and sliced his hand the entire width from top to bottom. Quite heavy bleeding so off to see a doctor.”

At the event itself, Dobbelaar leads at 7-under and by one from Aaron Pike and Jediah Morgan with short-priced pre-event favourite, Min Woo Lee, just four behind.

Over at the accompanying WPGA event, Su Oh has a clear lead after the first round, being three shots clear at 5-under the card.

They all may ask their caddies to move boundary markers for the rest of the event.

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