The PGA tour offers competitive tournaments throughout the calendar year. All of these tournaments offer prize money to those who are competitive enough to make the cut. Each tournament will cut the playing field after two rounds and those who have played well enough through 36 holes will get to play the final 36 holes. No matter where they finish, they will get paid. Finishing a tournament will likely result in a payday of at least $25,000, while winning a PGA tournament can result in a payday of $1.5 million.
If you develop enough of a reputation that you have a strong public following--golfers like Kevin Kisner, Brandt Snedeker, Kevin Na, Russel Knox and Phil Mickelson quickly come to mind--you may be invited to a made-for-TV event called the Skins game. In an event like this, the pro golfer will be paid for showing up and then can also win money determined by how many holes (called skins) that he wins in the competition.
This is where superstar golfers can make huge amounts of money. Golfers often endorse golf equipment (clubs, balls, shoes) and many other related items. The endorsement can range from a printed or television ad, to badges of their sponsors ablaze on their sleeves and hats (and on their caddies!) At one point, Tiger Woods was making more than 10 times as much money in endorsements as he did playing competitively.
Golfers are also paid significant amounts of money playing in corporation-sponsored events. In a corporate event--usually played on a Monday or Tuesday since most tournaments are played Thursday through Saturday--will net a golfer a fee of $25,000 to $250,000 depending on his stature and how much the corporation is willing to pay.
Golfers who are good enough can win millions of dollars on the pro tour on an annual basis, not counting money earned outside of competition. An average pro golfer will earn more than $2 million a year as a competitor and will have the opportunities to earn at least as much away from the course. The top-name golfers on tour can earn more than $100 million per year.