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What is the Player Impact Program on the PGA Tour?

The Player Impact Program dishes out huge amounts of money for golfers who excel off the golf course, but how do they earn this dough?

 

PGA Tour players have always earned money by finishing high up the leaderboard.

This has changed in the last few seasons.

The circuit’s biggest stars have been rewarded for things like social media interactions, brand exposure and just generally moving the needle.

Welcome to the Player Impact Program.

Its introduction was seen as a strategy to nail down the PGA Tour’s best players and most popular figures as rumours circled about a new Premier Golf League that has become LIV Golf.

Players are rewarded for their impact score, but what are the criteria and how much have players been paid until this point? We have a full guide to the Player Impact Program here:

What is the Player Impact Program and when was it introduced?

It was introduced in 2021 with the player at the top of the 10-man chart earning $8 million – the lion’s share of the $40 million bonus pool.

Its inaugural operation started on January 1st of that year. Players could build their scores through five different disciplines.

What are the criteria used to score the Player Impact Program?

Popularity in Google searches is the first point. The second one is Nielsen Brand Exposure which places value on how a player delivers coverage to their sponsors through time on broadcasts.

Q Rating refers to the appeal of the player’s brand. The MVP Index rating concerns a player’s engagement across social and digital channels.

Meltwater Mentions deal with the frequency with which a player can build coverage across a number of media platforms.

In 2023, MARC General Population Awareness and MARC Golf Fan Awareness data replaced MVP Index and Q Rating.

player impact program

Who has won the Player Impact Program in the past?

Tiger Woods won the very first PIP and claimed the $8 million prize. He beat his old rival Phil Mickelson to the post who settled for $6 million in second place.

Woods didn’t play a single round on the PGA Tour in 2021.

Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson all finished in the top 10 and subsequently left the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf.

Woods made it back-to-back victories in the PIP in 2022 and bagged the top prize of $15 million.

McIlroy was in the runner-up spot earning $12 million that time around, with Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm making up the rest of the top five.

The 15-time major champion had only played three events in 2022.

McIlroy denied Woods his hat-trick this year by winning the top prize of $15 million. Woods was in second with Rahm, Spieth and Scottie Scheffler completing the top five.

2021: Tiger Woods

2022: Tiger Woods

2023: Rory McIlroy

Has the bonus pool been the same in each year?

No. In 2021, the bonus pool was $40 million divided by the top 10 players and the top prize was $8 million.

The bonus pool increased to $100 million and was divided among the top 20 players in 2022 and 2023.

In 2024, the bonus pool will come down to $50 million paid out to the top 10 players in the rankings. The top player will earn $10 million this time.

When do players receive their PIP payments?

The top 20 players from the PIP rankings in 2023 will be paid 75% of their winnings with their Sentry Tournament of Champions purses in 2024.

The remaining 25% is distributed when a player completes their Player Impact Service Fulfillment.

NOW READ: Surely not? A host of big names have lost full PGA Tour status

What do you make of the Player Impact Program? Tell us on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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