Masters Week: What Drives the Prize Money?

It’s one of our favorite times of the year.  Masters Week!

The first of golf’s four major tournaments will tee it up on Thursday in Augusta and we’ll be posting some  factoids, data, video and Masters trivia.

We start with some  interesting data on how the winners paycheck has evolved since Horton Smith won the first Masters in 1934 taking home a paycheck of $1,500, which in today’s dollars is equivalent to $25.5K.   Stunning to think that Ben Hogan’s winnings for his 1951 victory, even after adjusting for inflation — $26.5K — was less than what a Wall Street administrative assistant takes home today as an annual bonus.   Guess the country had different priorities back in the early 1950’s, no?

Jack Nicklaus’  17 under par victory in 1965 pocketed him only $145K (2012 dollars) compared to the this year’s winner’s share of $1.5 million.   You think these guys feel they played in the wrong era?

Also take a look at the chart.  It seems to us the real growth in the Masters winning purse has taken place during equity bull markets.  This makes sense as ultimately the corporate sponsors foot the bill and feel more flush as their stocks are rising, or, should we say are flush causing their stocks to rise.

Conversely,  the data also seem to suggest inflation and bear markets have picked the pockets of those who have donned the Green Jacket.    Don’t they say inflation is the cruelest tax!

(click here if table and chart are not observable)

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1 Response to Masters Week: What Drives the Prize Money?

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