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How much money do club pros make? Michael Block’s PGA Championship is a Cinderella story

The world of golf was taken aback by the California Club Pro Michael Block’s Cinderella story at the 2023 PGA Championship. He has gone from club pro to PGA professional. Let’s look at how much club pros make

May 21, 2023; Rochester, New York, USA; Michael Block anckolwedges the fans on the 18th green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron DosterUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

As lucrative as the game of golf may seem, the professionals who work in it aren’t compensated as highly as those who play it. Yet, just what is their average salary? Though the players who we watch and follow literally make millions, you might be surprised to know that golf pros, the ones who run golf clubs and courses, aren’t paid as well as you might think.

Most golfers dream of working on a golf course, but it’s not just sitting on the range helping people with their swing. Golf pros multi-task to get the job done, whether it’s giving lessons, running the pro shop, doing the accounting, handling tee-times, managing course maintenance or even carrying out marketing campaigns, like Michael Block has had to do to get the numbers up at his club:

What do club professionals make?

According to salary.com, the average salary for a head golf professional in the United States is $57,499 as of May 1, 2023, however, the range normally falls between $47,828 and $69,070. It’s important to note that salary ranges can vary widely depending on a number of critical factors such as education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years one has spent working in the profession.

A lot of club pros and assistants are paid by the hour depending on the number of lessons they do or how much they are needed around the club house.

That’s why the Michael Block story is so endeering to all of us who love the game of golf and dream of playing the best courses with the best golfers. Block is a very good golfer. He proved that to all of us at the 2023 PGA Championship. He has played in 25 PGA Tour events and seven majors, but he’s just as excited to play with Justin Rose or Rory McIlroy as any of us would be.

We all know a club pro who has taken time out to help us with our game or fit us for clubs so that’s why we’re fascinated with Block (party), the Man of the People, because he’s one of us (just a lot better at golf).

We don’t know exactly how much Michael Block was making at the Arroyo Trabuco golf course in California before the 2023 PGA Championship. We do know he’ll be making a lot more now with his earnings, exemptions and product endorsements.

What about the salaries of golf course staff?

Today, the average hourly pay for golf course staff can range anywhere between $9.38 per hour for a bartender, to $16.88 per hour for a maintenance person. If you’re wondering, minimum wage in the Unites States is currently $7.25 according to the usa.gov., while employees who receive tips come in at $2.13 per hour. To be clear, the amount of tips plus the $2.13 must reach the minimum of $7.25. As for the annual salary of golf course employees, it comes in at approximately $28,500 per year for Groundskeeper but can go as high as $73,544 per year for General Manager.

A valid point to consider, is the fact that minimum wage may differ depending on jurisdiction. Not only does that pertain to the state in which one lives and works, but also the course itself. As one can imagine, there are some courses which carry a greater level of prestige than others. It’s reasonable to assume that securing employment at Augusta’s Country Club is not the same as doing so at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, with all due respect to the archipelago.