Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickleson all make the top-six as star golfers dominate Forbes's recent 25 Highest-Paid Athletes of All Time List.

TAGS:

Golfers Head Up Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes List

Golfers sit atop of Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes List with four of our game’s legends coming in the top-six of the rankings.

The highest ranked of the four players was predictably Tiger Woods, making hay with an eye-watering $1.7 billion in both on-and-off-course earnings throughout his career.

The sum is big enough to place Tiger 2nd on the list overall, coming in just short of basketball’s Michael Jordan who came top with $1.85 billion.

Related: See how much golfers make from endorsements

Key sponsors which helped Woods to second on the list include Accenture, EA Sports and, most importantly, Nike, with whom he famously signed a record-breaking $100 million five-year contract on the back of his history-making majors sweep in 2000/01.

A little way behind Woods in 3rd place overall is Arnold Palmer.

Arnold Palmer

Arnold Palmer is the 3rd highest-paid sportman of all time

Though the champion sadly passed away in 2016, his estate has continued to flourish financially, banking over $40 million during the last 12 months.

Related: Arnold Palmer leaves $875m estate

His career earnings are similarly impressive, $1.4 billion from his first year as a professional to 2017, most of which comes courtesy of ‘The King’s’ global business empire which boasts over 400 dedicated outlets worldwide.

The international range of Arnie’s company is a fitting tribute to a player who is held by many to have been the first great personality of professional golf.

Though the Golden Bear often got the better of his old buddy Arnold on the golf course, Jack Nicklaus comes a cropper to his rival on the Forbes list.

Jack Nicklaus Criticises Modern Day Withdrawals

Nicklaus’ lifetime earnings top $1.2bn

With a cool $1.2 billion in lifetime earnings, however, Jack is unlikely to be too cut up about it.

Nicklaus beat off stiff competition from the likes of David Beckham and Floyd Mayweather to come 4th on the list overall.

Continues below

Despite just missing out on the top-five, Phil Mickleson still puts in a good showing on the Highest-Paid table.

With career on-course earnings of almost $85 million, Lefty has the 2nd highest prize winnings of any golfer of all time, and has also pocketed a pretty penny from endorsements.

Phil Mickleson

Mickelson is the sixth-richest sportsman of all time

ExxonMobil, KPMG and Rolex are the best known among the corporate giants whom Mickleson has been sponsored by over the years.

His $815 million career earnings see him come 6th on the list overall.

Greg Norman also made it, coming in 13th from banking over $705 million across his career.

That means five of the 13 highest paid athletes of ALL TIME are golfers.

The full Forbes list of the highest paid athletes of all time:

(1) Michael Jordan – $1.85 billion

(2) Tiger Woods – $1.7 billion

(3) Arnold Palmer – $1.4 billion

(4) Jack Nicklaus – $1.2 billion

(5) Michael Schumacher – $1 billion

(6) Phil Mickleson – $815 million

(=7) Kobe Bryant & David Beckham – $800 million

(9) Floyd Mayweather – $785 million

(10) Shaquille O’Neal – $735 million

(11) LeBron James – $730 million

(12) Cristiano Ronaldo – $725 million

(13) Greg Norman – $705 million

(14) Mike Tyson – $700 million

(15) Roger Federer – $675 million

(16) Lionel Messi – $600 million

(17) Alex Rodriguez – $575 million

(18) Jeff Gordon – $525 million

(19) Oscar De La Hoya – $520 million

(20) Manny Pacquiao – $510 million

(21) Derek Jeter – $490 million

(=22) Peyton Manning & Kevin Garnett – $480 million

(24) Evander Holyfield – $475 million

(25) Andre Agassi – $470 million

Stay in touch with Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram