Index of influence: Europe takes on USA in the Ryder Cup – but who holds most influence off the course?

As the Ryder Cup commences, viewers across the globe are gearing up to watch championship golfers compete for the cup. However, unlike most tournaments, at the Ryder Cup, there’s no prize money up for grabs! Instead, the money earned in the tournament is distributed to charitable organisations. So, with money off the table, we wanted to explore who holds the most influence when it comes to Europe vs. team USA. 

In order to find out, we created an ‘index of influence’, looking at both teams’ social currency and their potential earnings off the course. 


Team USA 


To collect the data, we looked at the follower count of all 19 members to reveal the top earners: 


Jordan Spieth

Despite being ranked 9th on team USA, Jordan Spieth has the largest level of influence off the course. With a hefty 3.6 million across social platforms, 2 million on Instagram and 1.6 million on Twitter, Spieth is the most followed team USA player. As a result, he can earn a large purse – and has the potential to bring in an impressive £9.8K – £11.8K for a single post on Instagram. Spieth also has partnerships with Rolex and Under Armour featured on his Instagram page. 

(credit @jordanspieth)


Dustin Johnson

Ranked number 2 on Team USA, Dustin Johnson has a large following across social media. Bringing in over 2 million followers across Instagram and Twitter, Johnson has the potential to earn between £8.2K – £9.7K for one post on Instagram. With sponsorships including Adidas and LA Golf, it’s no surprise large brands are drawn to working with Johnson. 

(credit @djohnsonpga)


Other top team USA players also showed a massive following and significant earnings: 


European Team


An amalgamation of incredible players from across Europe, the 19 players on the European team also hold a lot of influence across social media. 


Rory McIlroy

Ranked number 6 on the team, Rory McIlroy boasts over 5 million followers across platforms, including 3.1 million on Twitter and 2.2 million on Instagram. As the most followed golfer in the tournament, McIlroy has the highest potential earnings on Instagram. Boasting the likes of Nike and Omega as sponsors, McIlroy is estimated to bring in between £12.5K and £15K for one post.

(credit @rorymcilroy)


Ian Poulter

Poulter ranks number 2 on our index, bringing in 2.7 million followers on Instagram and Twitter. Charging an estimated £4.2K – £5K for one post on Instagram, and with sponsorships including Mastercard, there’s no doubt Poulter is earning a large sum off of the course as well. 

(credit @ianjamespoulter)


Other top earners on the team: 

Team Europe VS USA 

Across both teams there are huge followings across all competing golfers’ Twitter and Instagram profiles. In total, the European team has the largest audience, with a combined following of over 16.3 million. Closely followed, Team USA has over 14.8 million followers across all their players’ platforms. When it comes to earnings on social media, the highest paid player is Rory McIlroy on the European team. 


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