Golf doesn’t have a reputation for being the most exciting sport, but for those who follow and understand it, watching golf can be an exhilarating experience… especially when there’s money involved. The world of golf betting may seem complicated to the layman, but once you know a few key pieces of information, it’s actually very easy to get into. The best part is that betting on golf is usually much more rewarding than betting on other sports thanks to high number of competitors- and therefore payouts- involved.
The two main golf tours played each year are the U.S. PGA Tour and the Road to Dubai (also known as the European Tour). Individual events in each respective tour are held all throughout the year, usually from a Thursday to Sunday. The majority of these events are known as Stroke Play Tournaments, and the objective is simple- the golfer who takes the fewest amount of strokes possible while still completing all the holes in the tournament wins, and their ranking in the overall tour improves.
Major Types of Bets
Betting on these tournaments can be as easy or as complicated as you would like. Outright bets and place bets are the most simple- for an outright bet, simply pick the golfer that you feel will win the tournament with the least amount of strokes. For a place bet, that golfer has to finish in the top 4, 5 or 6 (depending on your sportsbook) for you to get paid. Live betting allows you to adjust your bets throughout the tournament (for decreased payouts, of course).
Instead of picking an individual golfer out of the 150 or so that are playing in a tournament, you can place a group bet– these narrow the field down for you and allow you to vote on different nationalities or other groups, such as the top amateur. Head-to-head bets allow you to put money on one specific golfer doing better than another specific golfer in the tournament. If you don’t want to sit through the whole event, you can place an individual round bet, which is exactly what it sounds like.
How to Pick Winners
As with any sport, there are a wealth of statistics out there for you to pore over before putting your money on a golfer to win. The two biggest things you want to look at are golfer statistics and course statistics. Golfer statistics will tell you how long the golfer’s average drive is, how accurate it is, how many putts per green, etc. Course statistics show you what the course looks like, what the par is, etc.
Your job is to match these statistics- if a golfer is a powerhouse off the drive but lacking in accuracy and the course is heavily wooded and filled with traps, he wouldn’t be a smart bet. You’d probably be better off backing a golfer with pinpoint accuracy, even if his power is lacking or he takes one more putt on average. You should also find out if your golfer has played this course before and if so, how did they do? Do they have a history of choking on this course even though they do really well the rest of the year? Or is this an unknown golfer’s best course?
Many people also like to look at weather when making bets, but since tournaments are four days long, it can be hard to accurately predict exactly how Mother Nature is going to act. With that being said, you probably know a tournament in Seattle or the UK is more likely to see rain, whereas a coastal tournament has a good chance of getting a lot of wind. These conditions can definitely be game-changers, but don’t get in the habit of betting on the weather.