Top 5 Highest-Earning Golfers in the World

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Tiger Woods of the U.S. hits from a sand trap on the 12th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville
Tiger Woods of the U.S. hits from a sand trap on the 12th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, August 8, 2014. REUTERS/John Sommers II

Golf Digest's "Golf Digest 50" reveals the 50 highest-earning professional golfers, on and off the course. Here are the 2014 top 5 highest-earning golfers from endorsements, bonuses, speaking engagements, books, licensing fees, appearance fees and businesses on top of their tour winnings.

1 Tiger Woods

On course: $12 million

Off course: $71 million

Total: $83 million

Tiger Woods tops the list of highest-earning golfers in the world despite the events of 2009. Woods is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, collecting more than $10 million in appearance fees for foreign events. He has been the face of Nike golf since 1997, earning $40 million and has recently secured sponsorship deal with Rolex.

2 Phil Mickelson

On course: $7 million

Off course: $45 million

Total: $52 million

Phil Mickelson won the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Open Championship, which earned him more than $7 million for the season alone. Mickelson grossed approximately $45 million off the course with sponsorship deals with Barclay's, Callaway, Rolex, KPMG, Amgen/Pfizer and Exxon.

3 Arnold Palmer

On course: n/a

Off course: n/a

Total: $40 million

Although Arnold Palmer has not won a PGA Tour in 40 years, he grossed an estimated $40 million in 2013. Palmer owns the Bay Hill Club and Lodge and a golf course design firm on top of his sponsorship deals with Cessna, Callaway, Golf Channel, EZ-GO and his image sale of a beverage that bears his name.

4 Jack Nicklaus

On course: $9,625

Off course: $26 million

Total: $26 million

In 2013, Jack Nicklaus earned approximately $26 million from his business ventures. Earlier this year, the 74-year-old introduced a golf ball line that targets players in every skill level. Apart from the aforementioned, he is the owner of the Nicklaus Design, which is responsible for the Muirfield Village, Harbour Town and Glen Abbey.

5 Henrik Stenson

On course: $18.5 million

Off course: $2.8 million

Total: $21.4 million

Henrik Stenson won the PGA Tour twice in 2013, which includes two of the four FedExCup Playoff events. Stenson secured him $10 million annuity grant by winning the Tour Championship. Off the course, Stenson has sponsorship deals with Mutual of Omaha, Hugo Boss, NetJets and FootJoy.

With the millions of career earnings and sponsorship deals of the past and present players, professional golf proves to be a lucrative career.  However, based on the list above, it appears that there is more money made in endorsement deals and golf related businesses than in there is between the ropes.