The List: How to burn $15 million on golf

Just imagine all the ways you could spend FedEx Cup winnings
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with the FedExCup trophy after winning the TOUR Championship. You'd smile too after securing a cool $15 million.

When I told my teenagers how much money Rory McIlroy won at the Tour Championship they were in disbelief.

The $15-million payout for winning the FedEx Cup can seem unfathomable to us mortals, but this is just life in the fast lane for superstar athletes. It's, ahem, par for the course. Seven baseball players are making more than $30 million this year, according to MLB.com. Boxer Floyd Mayweather lived up to his nickname, "Money," by earning $275 million for his bout with Conor McGregor in 2017, according to Forbes. By comparison, McIlroy's payday looks paltry.

So how would you spend your $15 million if you could wear McIlroy's Nikes? I've got a few ideas in our latest version of The List. Of course, all of them involve golf.

  1. Live at the ultimate golf compound
    A view from Wolf Point Golf Course

    I'm not foolish enough to suggest you go out and buy a golf course to run. Considering the glut of courses closing and for sale, that would be like throwing your money away.

    But here's an alternative that just might sound appealing. Why not purchase your own golf compound and live the good life with friends stopping by for an ongoing $2 nassau? Recently price-reduced to under $11 million you can rope in Wolf Point, a 1,600-acre ranch in Texas that includes an engaging golf course; a small clubhouse; a 7,200-square-foot hilltop home and a runway and hanger. You get your dream home and will be the board president and CEO of your own private club. No member votes. It's your show. Now that's livin'.

    Whatever you spend your money on, have fun with it. Once you get bored, just sell it and buy another toy. That's the millionaire mindset.

    How would you spend your millions? Let us know in the comments below.

  2. Move into the ultimate golf address

    Real estate is expensive these days. You could spend your $15 million in a hurry if you tried to snap up a prime spot on a well-known Top 100 course. Don't waste your time with Tom Brady's $39-million palace at The Country Club at Brookline or the 10 most expensive golf estate homes in California. You're not worthy.

    You could, however, afford every home listed on realtor.com in the gated Pebble Beach community along 17-Mile Drive except one $17-million, 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom McMansion. For $3 million, you could be neighbors with Tim Tebow at the Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla., according to the Gainesville Sun.

    Me? I'd probably buy a nice place in northern Michigan - maybe near Traverse City or Torch Lake - for summers and another home in Santa Barbara, Calif., for winters. I could join the Montecito Club, the newly redesigned course by Jack Nicklaus in Santa Barbara, but I'd probably be just as happy playing Rancho San Marcos hidden in the hills and Sandpiper on the Pacific Ocean.

  3. Join a couple of private clubs
    The Cal Club provides firm and fast turf that is so different from most Bay Area clubs.

    You've heard of the 14 club rule, right?

    I'm not talking about what's in the bag. The one percent like to joke about the "14 club rule", meaning you can only belong to so many country clubs at one time.

    Your big payday won't buy you any membership you want. Augusta National and many other old money clubs are invitation only. But I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding a great private club or two that will happily take your money. In my backyard - the Bay Area - there's lots of options, but only one right choice for me - The Cal Club, home to a great course that fits my game and a great vibe for hanging around. I'll be doing a lot of that.

  4. Plan a bucket-list trip
    Kauri Cliffs in New Zealand hosted the final Shell's Wonderful World of Golf in 2003.

    No more worrying about asking your spouse for permission to go on that bucket-list golf trip you've always dreamed of. And if you friends say they can't take the time off work, dangle a can't-say-no incentive in front of them - all expenses paid. You can afford it.

    I'm intrigued by spending a month somewhere, living and playing golf like a local. My dreams are to do it in Ireland one summer and Scotland the next. A month down under exploring Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania sounds almost too good to be true.

  5. Get your game in shape

    No more excuses. You've got the time (you quit your job, right?) and the money to polish up that golf game.

    Now do it in style. If you want to impress the boys, go ahead and buy those PXGs and make sure to get them custom fit while you're at it.

    Since you're going large, dial up a member from Tiger's old entourage. Hank? Butch? Sean? Foley, Martin Hall, Cameron McCormick (Jordan Spieth's coach), Jim McLean and others are part of Revolution Golf's high-powered team of instructors. Pick your guy and fly them in. Be the boss of your new game.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 1,000 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Instagram at @jasondeegangolfadvisor and Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
6 Comments
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Commented on

Hi, looking for golf organize trip for more than one persone to europe, willing to share room etc, thanks

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To fulfil my down-under bucket list, i would restrict my travels to just 2 countries - New Zealand and Australia because I'm sure my travel agent would know that Tasmania is a state of Australia, not a separate country.

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I know that I will be out of sync with most, but I find that professional golf has become far too money oriented. I believe that professional golfers deserve to make decent money, but the whole focus of this Tour Event was big bucks - and not the competition. How often did we hear the TV announcer say - oh, this is a million dollar putt - or words similar. Go ahead, have the big purses, but spread the money around to those in the lower rankings too - there is no need for anyone to win multi-millions in one tournament. Somehow with all the yelling during the game, the intense commercialization and the non-stop droning on about Tiger, Tiger, Tiger - the game is becoming crass and almost boring at times.

Commented on

I’d give a trip to Ireland and Scotland for an ultimate golf outing for a few old timers and their friends. And, and, I’d accompany them for a round at St. Andrews, just in case they need a few pointers.

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I would play all the major golf courses. I would invite friends along.

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ohhh.. golf vacation.. long one.. with family and just hubby.. ireland.. scotland.. Europe.. Canada

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The List: How to burn $15 million on golf