Professional golf has changed a lot since 1962. Greens are faster, courses are longer, players are more athletic (well, mostly), and a guy named Tiger Woods hit the scene causing prize money to explode…in a good way. But before Tiger, there was Jack Nicklaus (not to mention countless other legends) and he had plenty to do with professional golf purses reaching new heights as well.
I mention this because today is the anniversary of Nicklaus’ first ever winnings check as a professional golfer, so he tweeted out a photo of the first profession check he earned for placing T50 in the Los Angeles Open. Come to think of it, another thing that changed since 1962 is tournaments being named after something other than a company. But back to the check! Look at this thing. You can’t even play a round of golf before 2pm on most courses for this amount of cash. Hell, I’d have an easier time listing things you can’t buy with this amount of money in 2015 than things you could.
It’s amazing that only 53 years ago, this was a decent paycheck. Today, in a second tier PGA TOUR event, the guy who finishes around 50th place gets somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000.
[H/T Jack Nicklaus]