Four-time Major winning Ernie Els embarrassingly described this time of the season as ‘wheelbarrow time’.
It’s when golf’s leading stars begin cashing-in big time and scooping up hefty appearances fees to compete around the world.
Heading those chasing the millions being forked out by tournament sponsors is the game’s two best players – World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and World No. 2 Tiger Woods.
The wheelbarrow was dusted down last week when McIlroy and Woods joined six others in competing in the $7m Turkish Airlines World Golf Final at Antalya in Turkey.
It’s understood between them, McIlroy and Woods commanded $4m in appearance fees, and in an event where Justin Rose scooped the $1.5m first prize cheque and Lee Westwood was handed a cool $1m for finishing runner-up
There’s a $1m prize to be divided among those contesting today’s concluding (Sun) World Celebrity Pro-Am at Haikou on Hainan Island in China.
Organisers paid millions to entice Ryder Cup stars Matt Kuchar, Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley along with former winning captains, Tony Jacklin and Ian Woosnam to tee-up.
As well, Olympic swim legend, Michael Phelps plus footballing legend Ronaldo along with a host of other A-list celebs were paid to tee-up on the Chinese holiday island.
Scotland’s Richie Ramsay and Sweden-born Ryder Cup star Peter Hanson will also wind-up competing today (SUN) in the Asian Tour’s Hero India Open in Bangalore.
Ramsay takes a one shot lead into the last day as he seeks to win a third event in his pro career.
Also winding-up today (SUN) is the Perth International in Australia where no doubt appearance fees had been handed out to 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel and losing Ryder Cup star Jason Dufner to compete in Western Australia.
However the wheelbarrow will be flowing in coming weeks starting with this coming week’s $7m BMW Masters in Shanghai and the PGA Tour’s $6.1m CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur.
McIlroy will defend his title in China whereas you can be assured Woods has been paid his customary $3m appearance fee to compete in the Malaysian capital for a first time since 1999.
Joining Woods in the elite 48-player field event, and the chance of a $1.3 first prize pay out, is Ryder Cup colleague Dufner along with former Masters champion Trevor Immelman and Scotland’s Martin Laird.
McIlroy will have 10 winning Medinah colleagues and another 10 Major Champions fighting in the limited field Shanghai event for the $1m first prize.
McIlroy and Woods will then go head-to-head on Monday 29th October in the ‘Duel at Lake Jinsha’ in Zhengzhou, China.
Three days later reigning Major Champions Bubba Watson and Els will head the billing in the $7m WGC – HSBC Champions event at Mission Hills in Shenzhen.
Joining the pair will be fellow Major winners in Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Graeme McDowell and Louis Oosthuizen.
By now the wheelbarrow will be overflowing and it’s just the tip of the appearance money iceberg.
Here’s other events in the run-up to Christmas where the stars are sure to be paid appearance fees to tee up, and if not, then the guarantee of first class airfares and a plush hotel room for them and their caddies.
PGA Grand Slam of Golf, Bermuda (October 23rd to 24th) $1.35m
Bubba Waston, Webb Simpson, Padriag Harrington, Keegan Bradley. (US PGA winner Rory McIlroy has declined to compete & Ernie Els has withdrawn through injury).
Barclays Singapore Open (November 8th to 11th) – $6m
Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Louis Oosthuizen and Padraig Harrington.
UBS Hong Kong Open (November 15th to 18th) – $2m
Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar and Paul Lawrie
Australian Masters, Melbourne (November 15th to 18th) $AUD 2m
Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott
Thailand Golf Championship, Bangkok (December 6th to 9th) – $1m
Lee Westwood, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Darren Clarke, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen.
Nedbank Challenge, South Africa (November 29th to Dec 2nd) $5m
Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, Nicloas Colsaerts, Francesco Molinari, Bill Haas, Justin Rose, Carl Petterson, Peter Hanson, Paul Lawrie
Australian Open, Sydney (December 6th to 9th) $AUD 1.5m
Justin Rose, Tom Watson
Australian PGA Championship, Queensland (December 13th to 16th)