Golf Rookie. Salary: $0
You sacrificed your last year at a good university (and the degree that would've come at the end of it) to turn pro. On your first shot on the first day of the tour, you hit the ball for a record distance. Unfortunately, that distance is also a record distance away from the hole. Maybe now's a good time to rethink finishing your degree?
Tour Regular. Salary: $50,000
You've worked on your game to the point where you can actually get on tour regularly. You also have a side gig—you're reasonably happy working at the driving range and love wheeling around on the little drivable golf ball gatherer at night. Of course, that's your main job; golfing is still just kind of a hobby.
Golfing Pro. Salary: $300,000
You're a club pro. You have good enough game to instruct others and manage the junior golf program. You get to play as much golf as you want and take time off to hit the pro circuit when you make the tour. Your clients miss you when you're gone, but they really enjoy pointing you out to their friends when you're on TV.
Money-Making Golfer. Salary: $900,000
You're a journeyman golf pro; you've made it nine seasons on the tour and one year you even finished in the top twenty. You have a nice home in the 'burbs and now you teach private lessons whenever you're not on tour. The neighbors all ask your opinion on yard maintenance—as if you had any clue about that stuff. All you know is how easy it is to hit a ball on it.
Tour Legend. Salary: $3,000,000 or more
You won a Major. You'll never forget this weekend. Everything felt like it progressed in slow motion. Suddenly you're talking to a corporate suit about an endorsement deal with millions of dollars attached. You think about how helpful your accounting degree would have been at this juncture.