Golf Betting Guide: Offers, Markets and Tips
Although golf stands amongt the oldest organised sports in the world and has been played through countless generations, it still retains the raw excitement that keeps people flocking to courses and making bets. It is one of the best sports around to bet on and as such most of the best betting sites feature golf heavily in their free bets and enhanced odds offers.
The highlights of the men’s PGA Tour are the four Majors: the US Open, the British Open (better known as ‘The Open’), the Masters and the USPGA Championship. The women’s LPGA game also features the US Open, British Open and (L)PGA Championship, with the addition of the ANA Inspiration, the LPGA version of the Masters, and the Evian Championship. The PGA Tour and European Tour seasons span most of the year, with tournaments on a regular basis, yet the summer packs the drama of Majors season into a couple of months. Although mostly an individual sport, the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup bring the men and women of Europe and the USA together in a titanic clash of continents. Golf is a game of patience, precision and skill, and the same is required if you wish to make successful bets.
Here we take a look at the major golf betting markets, as well as how to pick your golf bets, get the best odds and – hopefully – make a decent profit from betting on this wonderful sport.
Top Five Golf Markets and Odds
- Outright Tournament Winner – Simply put, you pick a winner. With such huge fields, usually in excess of 100 players, picking the winner can be very tough and it’s not uncommon to get winners at odds of 50/1 or even a 100/1, meaning each way betting can be very profitable.
- Make/Miss The Cut – Quite the opposite to backing a player to win, you can place a bet on them failing to make the cut after 36 holes and thus exit the tournament. Conversely you can back a player to make the cut, which makes for a good choice when in-form amateurs take part in Majors.
- Top by Nationality – Instead of backing a player to finish top of the overall standings, back them to finish ahead of their countrymen. On the PGA circuit it isn’t worth picking an American as they dominate the field but a crafty bet on Miguel Angel Jimenez to trump his fellow Spaniards at the Open can land you a big enough score to buy yourself one of his trademark cigars.
- Places – Rather than picking a player to finish first you can get a number of places and have more margin for error. The most common bets are on top 3, 5 and 10 finishes. Good if you fancy a player to be in and around the leaders but don’t fancy an each way bet.
- 2 or 3 Ball – A good bet that offers a quicker result than many golf betting markets, you can bet on a player to shoot the best score in their group, be that a two- or three-ball.
Golf Betting Guide and Tips
The best thing to do, if you’re picking a winner, is follow the form book. A player in good form is more likely to pick up momentum, while some players can go years without winning a tournament. During the period of dominance of certain players like Tiger Woods, picking a winner is easier. However, Woods’ demise has made the world of golf much more unpredictable and not even Rory McIlroy or Jordan Spieth are (yet at least) anywhere near as dominant as Woods was at his peak. While this is good for spectators, it makes it much more difficult to land an outright tournament winner bet with any sort of regularity. However, players on a hot streak going into a Major or other event are likely to carry that form on, and even if you’re not confident of them winning outright putting money on them to place in the top five is as shrewd a bet as they come.
Another huge factor in golf is course form, with players’ styles suiting different courses and a good previous record at a layout a strong indicator that a player may perform well there again. This can be due to confidence or simply that the course suits their strengths or usually a combination of both but course form is arguably as important as general form when it comes to trying to find value bets in golf.
Rules to Note Betting on Golf
As with many bets, in the event that a player finishes joint in a position, dead heat rules apply, so potential winnings are divided by the number of players involved. For instance, if you put money on Luke Donald to finish in the top five at the Open and he finishes joint-fifth with Sergio Garcia, only half your bet will be treated as a winner, with half being classed as a losing bets. Thanks a bunch Sergio. Dead heat rules often come into play in golf due to the prevalence of each way betting. An each way bet that pays for the top four will only effectively be one quarter of a winner in the not-unlikely event that four players tie for that crucial fourth spot.
The winner will more likely than not be decided by a play-off, so an outright victor is always determined. In the very rare event that there is not a play-off, dead heat rules apply.
Other rules to note concern if a tournament is called off with 36 or fewer holes played, with the bet usually being void. Another strange one can be if a player pulls out after playing at least three holes, with the bet usually being allowed to stand. With unpredictable scenarios such as this rules often vary from one betting site to the next, so check with the bookmaker to see exactly what will happen.