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If golf fans want to know more about the inner workings of the game, then Michael Kim is the man.

The 30-year-old American has become a popular presence on social media for delving into the questions that punters want answered.

And the American, who won the 2018 John Deere Classic, has struck again.

Aside from the eye-watering money professionals earn on tour nowadays, they also rake it in through club deals, and Kim has revealed all.

According to Kim, agents start the process. The player will tell their agent what companies they are interested in, so the agent can reach out to them.

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He said: “Some companies probably show interest, while others say no right away.”

When it comes to the clubs themselves, drivers are a must with a ten-12 club requirement deal.

That makes a considerable change from how club deals used to work, Kim explains.

In the past, players would do a mix-and-match deal, meaning they could take woods from one company and wedges and irons from another.

However, companies are now pushing considerably harder to strike a deal for all 13 clubs (including driver) and the ball.

When an intriguing offer does come through, that is when players will be sent clubs with the appropriate specifications or partake in a full club fitting.

Once the decision has finally been made, the player’s agent will negotiate the best deal, which will most likely last between one and three years.

Kim said: “Because you need to earn your card each year on tour, in general, there are no long-term deals (unless you’re a big-name guy).

“Often, it’ll be a smaller upfront but a bigger bonus if you get within the top 70 or 50 FedEx (performance-based).

“The most expensive logo for us is the front of the hat. You can do deals without the hat logo and just the clubs like some, but the number goes way down.

The Korean-born golfer also explained the issues surrounding these lucrative deals, though.

He claimed that back in the 2000s, anyone with a PGA Tour card was guaranteed a deal.

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However, players will find it incredibly difficult to put pen to paper now unless they are in the top 75 or have potential. This has led to far more free agents in today’s game.

While the clubs may hold the key to on-course success, Kim shut down questions about why players would sign a deal in the first place.

He said: “Unless you’re a top 20 guy, club deals are the biggest sponsor money golfers get. Golfers can make a lot of on-course money, but none of that is guaranteed.

“It’s hard to turn down guaranteed money when you really might not earn much if you fall into a slump as I did in the past.”

Kim even confirmed that companies replace broken clubs for free, a tidy perk that amateurs could only dream of.


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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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