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The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional
golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" ...

golf
tour Tour or Tours may refer to: Travel * Tourism, travel for pleasure * Tour of duty, a period of time spent in military service * Campus tour, a journey through a college or university's campus * Guided tour, a journey through a location, directed by ...
s in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
: the elite European Tour (currently known as the DP World Tour for sponsorships reasons), which is the principal golf tour in Europe; the
European Senior Tour The European Senior Tour is a professional tour for male golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a golf course, course in as few strokes as possible. G ...
, for players aged fifty or older; and the developmental
Challenge Tour The Challenge Tour is the second-tier men's professional golf tour in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
. Its headquarters are at
Wentworth Club Wentworth Club is a privately owned golf club A golf club is a club used to hit a golf ball A golf ball is a special ball designed to be used in the game of golf. Under the rules of golf, a golf ball has a mass no more than 1.620 oz (45.9 ...
in
Virginia Water Virginia Water is a commuter town or village in northern Surrey Surrey () is a county in South East England which borders Kent to the east, East Sussex to the southeast, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the nort ...
,
Surrey Surrey () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and R ...

Surrey
, England. The European Tour was established by the British-based Professional Golfers' Association through the 1970s, and responsibility was transferred to an independent PGA European Tour organisation in 1984. Most tournaments on the PGA European Tour's three tours are held in Europe, but starting in the 1980s an increasing number have been held in other parts of the world; in 2015 a majority of the ranking events on the European Tour were held outside Europe, though this included both Majors and World Golf Championship events that are ranking events for multiple tours. Europe-based events are nearly all played in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
, with the most lucrative of them taking place in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France and Spain. The PGA European Tour is a golfer-controlled organisation whose primary purpose is to maximise the income of tournament golfers. It is a
company limited by guarantee In British, Irish and Australian company law Corporate law (also known as business law or enterprise law or sometimes company law) is the body of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated ...
and is run by a professional staff but controlled by its playing members via a board of directors composed of 12 elected past and present tour players and a tournament committee of 14 current players. The chairman of the board is David Williams who replaced
Neil Coles Neil Chapman Coles, Member of the Order of the British Empire, MBE (born 26 September 1934) is an English professional golfer. Coles had a successful career in European golf, winning 29 important tournaments between 1956 and 1982. After reaching 5 ...
who had held the post for 38 years. The chairman of the tournament committee is
Thomas Bjørn Thomas Bjørn (born 18 February 1971) is a professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a golf course, course in as few strokes as possible. Go ...
. The PGA European Tour is the lead partner in Ryder Cup Europe, a joint venture also including the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland and PGA of Europe that operates the Ryder Cup Matches in cooperation with the
PGA of America The Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA of America) is an American organization of golf professionals that was founded in 1916. Consisting of nearly 29,000 men and women members, the PGA of America's undertaking is to establish and ...
. The PGA European Tour has a 60% interest in Ryder Cup Europe, with each of its junior partners holding 20%.


History

Professional golf began in Europe, specifically in Scotland. The first professionals were clubmakers and greenkeepers who also taught golf to the wealthy men who could afford to play the game (early handmade equipment was expensive) and played "challenge matches" against one another for purses put up by wealthy backers. The first multi-competitor
stroke play Stroke play, also known as medal play, is a scoring system in the sport of golf in which the total number of strokes is counted over one, or more rounds, of 18 holes; as opposed to match play, in which the player, or team, earns a point for each h ...
tournament was
The Open Championship The Open Championship, often referred to as The Open or the British Open, is the oldest golf tournament in the world, and one of the most prestigious. Founded in 1860, it was originally held annually at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. Later th ...
, which was introduced in 1860. Over the following decades, the number of golf tournaments offering prize money increased slowly but steadily. Most were in the United Kingdom, but there were also several "national opens" in various countries of
Continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', lite ...

Continental Europe
. In 1901,
The Professional Golfers' Association The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) is the first ever Professional Golfers' Association, it is the professional body which represents the interests of teaching and club golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport Sport pertains to an ...
was founded to represent the interests of professional golfers throughout Great Britain and Ireland, and it was this body that ultimately created the European Tour. As the tournament circuit grew, in 1937 the
Harry Vardon Trophy The Harry Vardon Trophy is awarded by the European Tour The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, compet ...
was created to be awarded to the member of the PGA with the best stroke average in select major stroke play tournaments of the season. This would later become known as the Order of Merit, and at different times has been calculated using stroke average, a points system and money earned. Each year the PGA would determine which tournaments were to be included for the Order of Merit. By the post-
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
period prize money was becoming more significant, with sponsors being attracted by the introduction of
television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of technologies over wire A wire is a single usually cylindrical A cylinder (from Gre ...

television
coverage, and as such it was becoming more feasible for professional golfers to make a living by playing alone. In the United States a formal organised tour, which later became known as the
PGA Tour The PGA Tour (stylized in all capital letter Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a ...
, had been administered by the
PGA of America The Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA of America) is an American organization of golf professionals that was founded in 1916. Consisting of nearly 29,000 men and women members, the PGA of America's undertaking is to establish and ...
since the 1930s. However even into the 1960s and 1970s, the majority of tournaments in Europe were still organised separately by the host golf club or association, or a commercial promoter. In 1972 The Professional Golfers' Association created an integrated "European tour" with the inclusion of eight major tournaments in Continental Europe on their Order of Merit schedule. These tournaments were the
French Open The French Open (french: Internationaux de France de Tennis), officially known as Roland-Garros (), is a major tennis Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (Types of tennis match#Singles, sing ...
, which was first included in 1970; the
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...
,
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...
,
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...
and
Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial ...
Opens, which were included in 1971; and the Dutch Open, the Madrid Open and the
Lancia d'Oro The Lancia d'Oro was a men's professional golf tournament held in Italy from 1962 to 1976. It was hosted at Golf Club Biella every year except for 1974, which was hosted by Turin Golf Club, during the club's 50th anniversary year. Generally it was a ...
tournament, which were included for the first time. As such the 1972 season is now officially recognised as the first season of the PGA European Tour. For several years, the British PGA and continental circuits continued to run separately, each with their own Order of Merit. Following the example set in the United States, and having been threatened with a breakaway, in 1975 the PGA agreed to amend their constitution giving the tournament side more autonomy with the formation of the ''Tournament Players Division''. In 1977 the Tournament Players Division joined with the ''Continental Tournament Players Association'' to become the European Tournament Players Division, and the following year it was agreed with the
European Golf Association The European Golf Association, better known by the abbreviation EGA, is a European federation of national golf associations. The EGA is in turn a member of the International Golf Federation (IGF), the world governing body for golf, and the corre ...
that the Continental Order of Merit would be discontinued. In its early years the season ran for six months from April to October, and was based entirely in Europe, mainly in Great Britain and Ireland. Over the next three decades the tour gradually lengthened and globalised. The first event held outside Europe was the 1982 Tunisian Open. That year, there were 27 tournaments and the season stretched into November for the first time. In 1984, the PGA European Tour became independent of The Professional Golfers' Association. The following year, the tour became "all-exempt" with the end of pre-qualifying for tournaments. The European Tour has always been sensitive to the risk that its best players will leave to play on the PGA Tour for many reasons. The PGA Tour usually offers higher purses and European players want to increase their chances of glory in the three majors played in the U.S. by playing on more U.S.-style courses to acclimate themselves. In an attempt to counter this phenomenon, the European Tour introduced the "Volvo Bonus Pool" in 1988. This was extra prize money which was distributed at the end of the season to the most successful players of the year—but only golfers who had played in a high number of the European Tour's events could receive a share. This system continued until 1998, after which renewed emphasis was placed on maximising prize money in individual tournaments. In 1989, the tour visited
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the cont ...

Asia
for the first time for the
Dubai Desert Classic The Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic is a European Tour The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ba ...
. By 1990, there were 38 events on the schedule, including 37 in Europe, and the start of the season had moved up to February. A first visit to
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
for the Tour occurred at the 1992
Johnnie Walker Classic The Johnnie Walker Classic was a European Tour The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf professional golf tours, tours in Europe: the elite European Tour, which is the principal golf tour ...
in Bangkok. This has since proven to be one of the most notable initiatives in the history of the tour, as East Asia is becoming almost its second home. Shortly afterwards the tour also made its debut in the former
Soviet Bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' ...
at the 1994 Czech Open, but much less has come of this development as participation in golf in the former Soviet region remains low and sponsors there are unable to compete financially with their Western European rivals for the limited number of slots available on the main tour each summer. However, the second-tier
Challenge Tour The Challenge Tour is the second-tier men's professional golf tour in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...
has visited Central and Eastern Europe somewhat more frequently. In 1995, the European Tour began a policy of co-sanctioning tournaments with other PGA Tours, by endorsing the
South African PGA Championship The South African PGA Championship is one of the most prestigious golf tournaments on the Sunshine Tour. It is generally played in February, depending on the Tour Schedule, with a prize fund of 2 million South African rand, rand, and is currently ...
on the Southern African Tour (now the
Sunshine Tour The Sunshine Tour is a men's professional :golf tour based in Southern Africa. For much of its early history it was known either as the South African Tour or Sunshine Circuit; through sponsorship deals, it has also been known as the Vodacom Tour ...
). This policy was extended to the
PGA Tour of Australasia The PGA Tour of Australasia, currently known for sponsorship reasons as the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, is a professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a ...
in 1996, and most extensively to the
Asian Tour The Asian Tour is the principal men's professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a golf course, course in as few strokes as possible. Golf ...
. In 1998, the European Tour added the three U.S. majors – the
Masters Tournament The Masters Tournament (usually referred to as simply The Masters, or the U.S. Masters outside North America) is one of the four Men's major golf championships, major championships in Professional golf tours, professional golf. Scheduled for the ...

Masters Tournament
, the
PGA Championship The PGA Championship (often referred to as the US PGA Championship or USPGA outside the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental Un ...
and the U.S. Open – to its official schedule. The leading European Tour players had all been competing in them for many years, but now their prize money counted towards the Order of Merit (a year later for the Masters Tournament), which sometimes made a great deal of difference to the end-of-season rankings. The following year, in 1999, the
World Golf Championships The World Golf Championships (WGC) are a group of four annual events for professional golfers created by the International Federation of PGA ToursProfessional golf tours are the means by which otherwise unconnected professional A professional is ...
were established with the three individual tournaments, also offering substantially more prize money than most European events, added to the European Tour schedule. Since the minimum number of events that a player must play to retain membership of the European Tour was eleven, the addition of the majors and WGCs meant that players could potentially become members, or retain membership, of the tour by playing just four other events. Players such as
Ernie Els Theodore Ernest Els (; born 17 October 1969) is a South African professional golfer. A former World No. 1, he is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing physical stature (he stands ) along with his fluid golf swing. Among his 71 career victo ...

Ernie Els
and
Retief Goosen Retief Goosen (born 3 February 1969) is a South African professional golfer. He has won two U.S. Open (golf), U.S. Opens, in 2001 and 2004, headed the European Tour Order of Merit in 2001 and 2002, and was in the List of male golfers who have been ...

Retief Goosen
have taken advantage of this to play the PGA and European Tours concurrently. For the 2009 season, the minimum number of events required for members was increased to twelve; this coincided with the elevation of the
HSBC Champions The WGC-HSBC Champions is a professional golf golf tournament, tournament, held annually in People's Republic of China, China. Inaugurated in 2005, the first seven editions were played at the Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai, then moved to the Mission ...
, previously a European Tour event co-sanctioned by three other tours, to World Golf Championships status. The minimum increased to 13 in 2011, but beginning in 2013 team events such as the
Ryder Cup The Ryder Cup is a biennial men's golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is contested every two years with the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe. The Ryder Cup is named af ...
and
Presidents Cup The Presidents Cup is a series of men's golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a golf course, course in as few strokes as possible. Golf, unlike mo ...
were allowed to count towards the minimum. In 2016 the 13-event minimum was changed to five events, not counting the four majors and four WGCs; while this change did not affect players eligible for all the majors and WGCs, it made it easier for players not eligible for these to retain European Tour membership while playing a full PGA Tour schedule. The minimum was reduced from five to four in 2018.


Status and prize money

The European Tour is considered the second most important tour in men's golf, behind the United States-based
PGA Tour The PGA Tour (stylized in all capital letter Letter case is the distinction between the letters Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a ...
, but retains significantly higher standing than other leading golf tours around the world. This status is reflected by the minimum world ranking points available in each tours respective tournaments, and prize money available. The total prize money available on the European Tour is approximately half that of the PGA Tour. However this includes the majors and
World Golf Championships The World Golf Championships (WGC) are a group of four annual events for professional golfers created by the International Federation of PGA ToursProfessional golf tours are the means by which otherwise unconnected professional A professional is ...
, which are the most lucrative on the schedule, so the difference for regular tournaments is substantially higher. There is also much more variation in prize funds between tournaments on the European Tour than on the PGA Tour. Even though the prize funds of many European Tour events have increased rapidly since the late 1990s, especially with the introduction of the ''Race to Dubai'' and the ''Rolex Series'', on occasion the European Tour has failed to attract as many leading players to its events as in the past, with even some of the top European players staying away. For many players, the European Tour is seen a stepping-stone to the PGA Tour. During the late twentieth century, the European Tour was traditionally the first overseas move for outstanding players from non-European countries, particularly in the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good Common good Common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...

Commonwealth
, long a major source for elite golfers, such as
Greg Norman Gregory John Norman AO (born 10 February 1955) is an Australian Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegia ...

Greg Norman
,
Nick Price Nicholas Raymond Leige Price (born 28 January 1957) is a Zimbabwean professional golfer A professional golfer is somebody who receives payments or financial rewards in the sport of golf that are directly related to their skill or reputation. ...

Nick Price
and
Ernie Els Theodore Ernest Els (; born 17 October 1969) is a South African professional golfer. A former World No. 1, he is known as "The Big Easy" due to his imposing physical stature (he stands ) along with his fluid golf swing. Among his 71 career victo ...

Ernie Els
. These players tended to move to the PGA Tour as a second step. When Continental Europe produced its first global golf stars in the 1970s, such as
Seve Ballesteros Severiano Ballesteros Sota (; 9 April 1957 – 7 May 2011) was a Spanish professional golfer, a World No. 1World number 1 or world no. 1 refers to the highest world ranking in several competitive sports: *List of ATP number 1 ranked single ...
, and especially when Europe began to notch wins over the United States in the
Ryder Cup The Ryder Cup is a biennial men's golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is contested every two years with the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe. The Ryder Cup is named af ...
in the mid 1980s, there was widespread optimism about the future standing of the European Tour relative to the PGA Tour. This has ebbed away as leading players continued to base themselves in the United States and several major European countries, such as Germany and Italy, have not produced high-ranked golfers on a regular basis as was formerly anticipated. Nonetheless, the number of European countries which have produced winners on the European Tour and PGA Tour has increased, with notable golfing depth developing in the
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sa ...

Scandinavia
n countries. However, since the late 1990s more young golfers from around the world are starting their careers directly in the United States, often having attended
college A college (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in rel ...

college
as amateurs, usually with golf scholarships, before turning professional. Conversely, some young American players have sought to kick-start their professional careers in Europe, having failed to qualify for either PGA Tour or its development tour. For example, former world number one amateur,
Peter Uihlein Peter Uihlein (born August 29, 1989) is an American professional golfer who currently plays on the PGA Tour and the European Tour. He was a member of the victorious U.S. team at the 2009 Walker Cup, where he compiled a 4-0 match record. Uihlein won ...
, announced in December 2011 that he would not return for his final semester at
Oklahoma State University Oklahoma () is a U.S. state, state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the United States, bordered by the state of Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New ...
and would begin professional play in Europe the following month, both through sponsor's exemptions on the main European Tour and on the developmental Challenge Tour. It is a route that has been successfully followed, most notably by multiple major winner
Brooks Koepka Brooks Koepka (, born May 3, 1990) is an American professional golfer A professional golfer is somebody who receives payment A payment is the voluntary tender of money or its equivalent or of things of value Value or values may refer to: * ...

Brooks Koepka
. It has been claimed that finances of the European Tour are heavily dependent on the Ryder Cup. Days before the start of the
2014 Ryder Cup The 40th Ryder Cup matches were held 26–28 September 2014 in golf, 2014 in Scotland on the PGA Centenary Course at the Gleneagles Hotel near Auchterarder in Perth & Kinross. This was the second Ryder Cup held in Scotland; it was previously at M ...
, American golf journalist Bob Harig noted,
In simple terms, the European Tour loses money in non-Ryder Cup years, makes a tidy profit in years the event is played in the United States (where the PGA of America, not the PGA Tour, owns the event and reaps the majority of the income), and then hits the lottery in years the tournament is staged in Europe. Earlier this year, ''
Golfweek ''Golfweek'' is a golf magazine and digital media outlet based in Orlando, Florida, United States. It is part of Gannett Gannett Co., Inc. () is an American mass media holding company headquartered in McLean, Virginia, in the Greater Washingt ...
'' reported that the European Tour made more than 14 million pounds in pre-tax profit in 2010, the last time the Ryder Cup was staged in Europe. A year later, when there was no Ryder Cup, it lost more than 2.2 million pounds.
Harig also added that the PGA European Tour extracts significant concessions from Ryder Cup venues. The owners of the 2006 and 2010 venues (respectively Sir
Michael Smurfit Michael Smurfit, KBE (born 7 August 1936), is an English-born Irish businessman. In the "2010 Irish Independent Rich List" he was listed at 25th with a €368 million personal fortune. Early life Smurfit, who was born in St Helens, Engla ...
and Sir
Terry Matthews Sir Terence Hedley Matthews (born 6 June 1943) is a Welsh-Canadian business magnate, serial high tech, high-tech entrepreneur, and Wales' first billionaire. He was the richest man in Wales until 2012, when he was surpassed by Sir Michael Moritz ...
) committed to hosting European Tour events at their venues for more than a decade after winning bidding, and also guaranteed the purses for those tour events.


The structure of the European Tour season


Outline of the season

Since 2000, with the exception of 2012, the season has actually started late in the previous calendar year, but the seasons are still named by calendar year, rather than for example 2005–06, which would reflect the actual span of play. All of the events up until late March take place outside Europe, with most of these being co-sanctioned with other tours. From then on, the tour plays mainly in Europe, and the events in its home continent generally have higher prize money than those held elsewhere, excluding the major championships, which were added to the tour schedule in 1998; three individual World Golf Championships events, added the following year, most of which take place in the United States; and the HSBC Champions, elevated to World Golf Championships status in 2009. There are generally only minor variations in the overall pattern from one year to the next. Occasionally tournaments change venue, and quite often change name, particularly when they get a new sponsor, but the principal events have fixed and traditional places in the schedule, and this determines the rhythm of the season.


Race to Dubai

In 2009, the Order of Merit was replaced by The Race To Dubai, with a bonus pool of $7.5 million (originally $10 million) distributed among the top 15 players at the end of the season, with the winner taking $1.5 million (originally $2 million). The new name reflected the addition of a new season ending tournament, the
Dubai World Championship The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai is a golf tournament on the European Tour The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf professional golf tours, tours in Europe: the elite European Tour, w ...
, held at the end of November in Dubai. The tournament also had a $7.5 million prize fund (originally $10 million), and was contested by the leading 60 players in the race following the season's penultimate event, the Hong Kong Open. The winner of the Race To Dubai also receives a ten-year European Tour exemption, while the winner of the Dubai World Championship tournament receives a five-year European Tour exemption. The reduction in prize money, announced in September 2009, was due to the global economic downturn. In 2012, the bonus pool was reduced to $3.75 million with the winner getting $1.0 million and only the top 10 golfers getting a bonus. The bonus pool was increased to $5.0 million in 2014 with the top 15 players earning part of the pool. In 2019 further changes were made, in 2018 the top 10 finishers on the Race to Dubai shared the bonus pool of $5m, but as of 2019 that sum will be split between only the leading five finishers. Whoever tops the standings received an additional $2m compared with the $1.25m won by Molinari in 2018. In addition, the
Dubai World Championship The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai is a golf tournament on the European Tour The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf professional golf tours, tours in Europe: the elite European Tour, w ...
was cut to the top 50 golfers on the Race to Dubai list, the prize pool was kept at $8m but the winner's share was increased to $3m. This was designed to increase interest and player participation in the event.


Rolex Series

For the 2017 season, the European Tour launched the Rolex Series, a series of events with higher prize funds than regular tour events. The series began with eight events, each with a minimum prize fund of US$7 million. The initial Rolex Series events were: *
BMW PGA Championship The BMW PGA Championship, as it is currently known for sponsorship reasons, is an annual men's professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the ...
*
Open de France The Open de France is a European Tour golf tournament. Inaugurated in 1906 it is the oldest national open in Continental Europe and has been part of the European Tour's schedule since the tour's inception in 1972. The 100th edition of the even ...
* Irish Open * Scottish Open * Italian Open * The three limited-field no-cut events at the end of the season, which had previously been collectively known as the Final Series: **
Turkish Airlines Open The Turkish Airlines Open is a European Tour The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf professional golf tours, tours in Europe: the elite European Tour, which is the principal golf tour in ...
**
Nedbank Golf Challenge The Nedbank Golf Challenge, previously known as the Million Dollar Challenge, is an annual men's professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a ...
**
DP World Tour Championship, Dubai The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai is a golf tournament on the European Tour The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf professional golf tours, tours in Europe: the elite European Tour, w ...
From the 2019 season onwards, the
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is a European Tour golf tournament held at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. When founded in 2006, it was one of three European Tour events to be staged in the Arabian Peninsula, but is currently ...
became a designated Rolex Series event and the Open de France was relegated to a regular tour event. In 2020, the season was severely impacted by the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple or worldwide, affecting a substantial numbe ...

COVID-19 pandemic
; as a result, the Turkish Airlines Open and the Nedbank Golf Challenge were cancelled, and the Irish and Italian opens were downgraded to regular events. In 2021, the Rolex Series was reduced to four tournaments; the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the Scottish Open, the BMW PGA Championship and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The four events did have increased prize funds up to $8 million however. The
Dubai Desert Classic The Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic is a European Tour The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ba ...
was added to the series for the 2022 season.


Order of Merit winners

The European Tour's money list was known as the "Order of Merit" until 2009, when it was replaced by the
Race to Dubai The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two ...
. It is calculated in
euro The euro (currency symbol, symbol: euro sign, €; ISO 4217, code: EUR) is the official currency of 19 of the Member state of the European Union, member states of the European Union. This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area ...

euro
, although around half of the events have prize funds which are fixed in other currencies, mainly
pounds sterling The pound sterling (symbol: £; ISO code: GBP), known in some contexts simply as the pound or sterling, is the official currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the ...
or U.S. dollars. In these instances, the amounts are converted into euro at the exchange rate for the week that the tournament is played. The winner of the Order of Merit receives the Harry Vardon Trophy, not to be confused with the
Vardon Trophy The Vardon Trophy is awarded by the PGA of America to the PGA Tour's leader in scoring average. When the award was first given in 1937, it was awarded on the basis of a points system. No award was given from 1942–1946 due to World War II. In ...
awarded by the
PGA of America The Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA of America) is an American organization of golf professionals that was founded in 1916. Consisting of nearly 29,000 men and women members, the PGA of America's undertaking is to establish and ...
.


Leading career money winners

The table below shows the top 10 career money leaders on the European Tour. Due to increases in prize money over the years, it is dominated by current players. The figures are not the players' complete career earnings as most of them have earned millions more on other tours (especially the PGA Tour) or from non-tour events. In addition, elite golfers often earn several times as much from endorsements and golf-related business interests as they do from prize money. ''As of 21 November 2021.''


Awards

The European Tour Golfer of the Year, since 2009 official known as ''The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year'' is an award handed by a panel comprising members of the Association of Golf Writers and commentators from television and radio. The European Tour's Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award is named after the English three-time Open Champion Sir Henry Cotton. Originally chosen by Henry Cotton himself, the winner was later selected by a panel comprising the PGA European Tour,
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is one of the oldest golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engagi ...
and the Association of Golf Writers. It is currently given to the rookie who places highest in the Race to Dubai. The award was first presented in 1960, and thus predates the official start of the tour in 1972. There have been five years when no award was made. The European Tour Players' Player of the Year was inaugurated in 2008, with the winner being determined by a vote of tour members. In 2017 the award was renamed as The Seve Ballesteros Award in honour of the legendary Spanish golfer.


Multiple winners – Golfer of the Year


Television

* France: Canal+ Sport (France), Canal+ Sport * Germany:
Sky Deutschland Sky Deutschland GmbH, branded as Sky, is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also Germa ...

Sky Deutschland
* Italy:
Sky Italia Sky Italia S.r.l. is a British satellite television platform operating in Italy by Sky The sky is the panorama obtained from observing the universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, includin ...
* Portugal:
Sport TV#REDIRECT Sport TV Sport TV is a Portuguese sports-oriented premium cable and satellite television Satellite television is a service that delivers television programming to viewers by relaying it from a communications satellite orbiting the Earth ...
* Spain: * United Kingdom and Ireland:
Sky Sports Sky Sports is a group of British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity ...

Sky Sports
* Americas:
Golf Channel Golf Channel (also verbally referred to as simply Golf) is an American sports television The broadcasting of sports events (also known as a sportscast) is the live coverage of sports as a television program, on radio, and other broadcasting media ...
* Middle East and North Africa:
OSN Orbit Showtime Network (OSN HD), stylized as osn, is a Middle-Eastern multinational direct-broadcast satellite Satellite television is a service that delivers television programming to viewers by relaying it from a communications satellite A ...

OSN
* Sub-Saharan Africa: SuperSport * China:
CCTV Closed-circuit television (CCTV), also known as video surveillance, is the use of video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place, on a limited set of monitors. It differs from broadcast television in that the signal is not openly tra ...
* India:
Sony TEN Sony Ten is an Indian pay TV sports network owned by Sony Pictures Sports Networks. It broadcasts cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the cent ...
* Scandinavia: Viasat Golf * Vietnam: VTVCab 23-Golf TV


Innovation Hub

In September 2019,
Tata Communications Tata Communications Limited is an Indian telecommunications company. The company is part of the Tata Group Tata Group () is an Indian multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay , List of re ...
and the European Tour launched the Innovation Hub. This contest that offers the opportunity for start-ups from across the globe to convert concepts into reality. * Winner 2020: Alugha


See also

*
List of golfers with most European Tour wins This is a list of golfers who have won eight or more events on the European Tour since it was established in 1972. There are some complications in preparing such a list, and different publications have produced different numbers. This list is bas ...
*
Ladies European Tour The Ladies European Tour is a professional golf tour for women which was founded in 1978. It is based at Buckinghamshire Golf Club near London in England. Like many UK-based sports organisations it is a company limited by guarantee, a legal struc ...
: the top European women's professional tour.


References


External links

* {{Golf
European Tour The PGA European Tour is an organisation which operates the three leading men's professional golf Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various Golf club, clubs to hit Golf ball, balls into a series of holes on a golf course, c ...