Golf is a radically different sport. It isn’t as fast-paced and adrenaline-packed as mainstream team sports like football, soccer, and basketball. This is perhaps why many people don’t know that you can bet on golf. In fact, the game has one of the most dedicated fanbases in all of betting.
Golf offers various betting options for fans each week. It also has some of the best odds in sport. If you get your bets right and win, there is lots of money to be made. That said, here is everything you need to know about betting on Golf.
What are the basics of golf betting and golf betting odds?
First, you need to know the different betting options at your disposal. These are;
Outright bets require you to select the player to win the tournament. Think of it as a moneyline, only this time, there are many more options than just two teams. There are several favorites for every tournament. So, predicting the winner isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.
Odds for outright bets vary between favorites and underdogs. For example, the favorites for a golf tournament usually get odds between +600 and +1300. This results in bet winnings of between 6-1 and 13-1. On the other hand, the lower-ranked golfers get odds of around +10000, which reach as high as +50,000. This translates to winnings of 100-1 to 500-1.
The probability of striking such a win is relatively low as underdog fairytales are quite rare in golf. Fortunately, tournament favorites also offer good winnings. You can get six times your initial investment. All you have to do is guess who between the many favorites will win the next PGA tournament.
Place/finishing position bets
Finishing position bets are all about deciding which players will finish in what position. You don’t have to be specific. Instead, predict which players will finish in the top 5, 10, or 20. They are less risky than outright winners, meaning they offer lower payouts. However, they can be an excellent way to keep your bankroll afloat.
There are several other bets almost similar to place bets. These include;
- Round leader: Rather than select the outright winner, you wager on who will be the leader after a specific round. Usually the first round, but there are markets for the 2nd and 3rd.
- To make the cut: You can also wager on which players will make the cut. ‘The Cut’ refers to a specific score set halfway through the tournament. Those who make it proceed to the remaining rounds, while those who don’t are eliminated.
Take a tournament where the cut is set at +2. If you bet on a certain player to make the cut, their score must be +2 for you to win. If they get +3 or worse, they’re out, and you lose.
Note that most sportsbooks apply dead heat rules on some bets. A dead heat is a tie(s) in finishing position bets, 3-ball matchups, and first-round leaders. If your golfer finishes in a four-way tie for 10th and you bet on him in the top 10, you’ll only win 1/4th of your bet.
Matchups are player vs. player kind-of bets. You bet on one player versus another, i.e., who will have the better tournament? This is the closest thing we have to a moneyline in golf betting.
Golf prop bets
Props are bets on random events in a golf tournament. You can bet on;
- How low will the winning score be?
- Who will be the best left-handed golfer (player props)?
- Who will be the highest placing amateur?
- Will there be a hole in one?
Types of Golf props include;
- Nationality bet: Golf tournaments typically have a lot of players. This has prompted some sportsbooks to group golfers into various categories. The most common of these is nationality. Here, bettors wager on the nationality of the top players in the tournament. Nationality bets come in handy when you can’t quite decide which specific players to wager on.
- Live golf betting: Live betting is becoming more popular in gambling circles. Thanks to technology, golf bettors can place wagers while watching the tournament. For instance, you can bet on who will have the lowest score out of a two-ball group. First-round leader betting is also possible with live golf betting.
- Futures bet: Futures are wagers on long-term events throughout the golf year. For instance, you can bet on who will win a later tournament or have the most wins/total points by the end of the year.
- Three-ball bets: Most golf tournaments start in groups of three golfers. In three-ball bets, sportsbooks let golfers bet on who they think will have the best score in their group. Such bets are decided at the end of the round.
Golf betting tips & tricks
Course vs. golfer
Some golfers excel in specific golf courses more than others. For instance, courses with narrow fairways and hazards of the tee box typically favor golfers with excellent driving accuracy. There are also those with wider fairways and a longer average length per hole. These reward golfers with a significant average distance per drive.
As tournament week approaches, research the course and how it may affect specific players. Some courses will disadvantage the favorites and even out the playing field.
Golfers occasionally go through hot and cold streaks. Heading into a tournament, you want to check the kind of form a player is in. You should also check the reason behind that kind of form. That tells you whether you should expect it to continue coming into the tournament.
For instance, hot streaks in golf can sometimes be due to playing against weaker opponents. If so, don’t expect it to continue if they face stronger opponents. On the other hand, cold streaks can be caused by reduced driving accuracy due to;
- Injuries and recovery time
- Changing swing mechanics
- Using a new technique
- Working in new clubs
Say a top player is coming off a shoulder injury. It will take some time before they recover their form. As a bettor, it’s up to you to guess when that will happen.
Check the weather forecast
The weather affects how a course plays. Rain will soak the fairways and greens, making the golf course play slower. Similarly, strong winds will force players to shorten their drives in favor of accuracy. How well players adapt to such conditions will determine the winner.
Thus, you should check the weather forecast. This will include forecasts for the entire tournament and detailed daily forecasts. Then, analyze how the weather will help or hurt a golfer based on their skill set. Some players are also used to playing in less-than-ideal weather conditions. Keep an eye out for these, as they might cause significant upsets.
Golf betting strategies
Bankroll management is the number one rule of betting. However, due to the huge potential profits of golf betting, most people have a hard time with it. Still, you need to remain patient and reasonable. Set a weekly betting limit and stick with it, even when you go weeks without winning a bet.
It may not seem like it, but golfers are affected by injury. Lingering injuries cause withdrawals every once in a while in golf tournaments. They may not be as frequent as in other sports, but staying up-to-date on injury reports is still worth it.
Fatigue is also a thing in golf. This is especially the case with a packed schedule. Golfers will have to do a lot of traveling and may end up exhausted. Keep an eye on players who only managed a short rest after a long journey. Golfers who have had to play for multiple weeks in a row are also worth checking out.
Line movements can help you get more favorable odds. Watch out for golfers that might get a push to lower odds due to a particular story or talks from the media.
How good are your situational betting skills? If you want to excel in golf, you should be able to read external factors that may affect the tournament. Things like the weather and a player’s motivation coming into the tournament are good examples.
Which golf betting stats matter when betting?
Strokes gained stats are widely considered the most crucial in golf betting. Depending on the golf course you want to look at;
- Strokes gained: off-the-tee
- Strokes gained: approach
- Strokes gained: putting
These will also change depending on the weather and the course’s setup.
What are the best Golf tournaments to bet on
There are many golf tournaments every year. For the best golf betting action, watch out for the following tournaments;
Betting on golf majors
The Masters is usually the first major of the golf year. It’s held every April in the Augusta National Golf Club and attracts the best golfers in the world.
The US PGA Championship is held every year in May. It is the second of the four men’s majors in golf.
This is the annual open championship of golf in the United States. It is the third of the four major golf championships and is on the official schedule of the European Tour and PGA Tour. The tournament is held every June.
The British Open has been around since 1860, making it the oldest golf tournament globally. It is held every July.
Betting on PGA Tour events, other tours
The PGA Tours consists of several professional golf tours played by male golfers in the United States and North America. There are six tours; three are contested in the United States, and the other three are international developmental tours centered on a specific region or country.
There is also the LPGA; The Ladies Professional Golf Association. The organization runs the LPGA tours, a series of weekly golf tournaments. Elite female pro golfers from all over the world compete in these, providing plenty of betting opportunities.
The European Tour is the principal male golf tour in Europe. There’s plenty of betting action as the best European golfers fight for the prize purse. The elite tournament is currently known as the DP World Tour due to sponsorship deals.
There are several match play tournaments where elite golfers play against each other in head-to-head matchups. The WGC Match Play is the most popular of these and the only match-play tournament in the World Golf Championships. This makes it ripe for matchup bets.
The Ryder Cup is another golf tournament you don’t want to miss. It is held once every two years and pits the best American and European golfers against each other. Think of it as a Team USA vs. Team Europe kind of tournament. So, if nationality bets are your things, watch out for this one.
Where to bet on Golf online
Some of the best sportsbooks to bet on Golf include;
Betrivers is another excellent sportsbook for betting on golf online. The platform offers updated odds for all kinds of golf bets throughout the season. New users also get a signup bonus of up to $250.
BetMGM has PGA betting opportunities throughout the year. It’s home to the latest odds for outright winners, futures, round leaders, matchups, and props. New betters qualify for risk-free bets of up to $1000.
FanDuel is an exciting platform with great odds, easy deposits, and fast payouts. You can bet live on major golf events or wager in advance on matchups, tournament winners, and place bets. New players may also receive risk-free bets worth up to $1000 as a welcome bonus.
DraftKings sportsbook offers all the right odds and bonuses for new handicappers. New users get a free bet and qualify for a bonus of up to $1000.
Golf Betting FAQs
Why do all golfers have long odds?
There are many players participating in a golf tournament. Some can have up to 150 players. This means that all things even, each player has odds of 150 to 1. And even with favorites like Tiger Woods, it’s still hard to predict the outright winner. This is why even the best players have odds of 50 to 1 or higher in golf tournaments.
Is betting on golf legal in America?
Is sports betting legal? Yes, it is. All you have to do is find a certified online sportsbook, and you’re good to go. We recommend the following online golf betting platforms; Betrivers, BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings.
Can you bet on a golf tournament after it has started
Yes, you can. Thanks to live betting, you don’t have to place all your bets before the tournament. You can keep wagering as the tournament unfolds in front of you. However, live betting has the least stable odds. You have to stay sharp at all times to avoid losing out.
Where can I find more golf betting content?
Betsperts Golf is the home of everything golf betting. Here, you’ll find the latest news, golf betting tips, and fantasy golf. In addition, we provide essential data on player performance. So, you can compare different players and see how they stack up against each other.
There is also the latest tournament content from golf betting experts. This includes articles, podcasts, and streams with valuable insights into the golf betting markets.