Many will argue that golf doesn’t quite hold that same level excitement as the classic ball game or motor racing. Nonetheless, this love it or hate it sport is available for betting on at most major US sportsbooks. Not to mention worldwide ones. Read more about Golf from Sports Betting USA.
How do you bet on golf, though? Well, given that golf doesn’t really have seasons like other sports, and is, by and large, available all-year-round, betting on golf is a rather simple affair, as you will find out.
What Competitions Can I Bet On?
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to know what tournament you’re going to betting on exactly. There are many. Some are, understandably, far more popular to bet on than others.
- The Majors: These events take place in both Europe and the United States. Of course, the USPGA and European PGA tours consist of 45, and 52 tournaments each year, respectively, but it is the Majors which draw both the crowds and the bets. The Masters is played in the second week of April in the USA, while the US Open is held in the third week of June. The Open is held in the UK during the third week of July, and the PGA is held in the USA during the third week of August. Each of these four events attracts the biggest and best golfers in the world.
- The Ryder Cup: Held every two years (even-numbered years) between a team of USA golfers and a team of European ones, the Ryder Cup is the most wagered on golfing event of all. It is held in the final week of September and takes 3 days to run its course.
- The President’s Cup: The lesser known President’s Cup is played during the second week in October and is held every two years (odd-numbered years) between the USA and an International team (no European players). It doesn’t draw anywhere near the same crowds as the Ryder Cup, but could still be worth a look if it happens to be the right year.
Types of Golf Bets
Several different types of golf bets exist, and the way you bet on golf is entirely different from the way you would bet on the most popular American sports, such as football, basketball and baseball. Let’s look at the more common golfing bets you can make at sportsbooks.
- To Win: The outright/straight-up bets involve picking the winner of a tournament. If he or she wins, you win your bet. What could be simpler than that? When you predict the winner of a tournament long before that tournament is set to take place, it is known as a Future Bet, and these types of bets naturally offer the best-paying odds.
- Versus the Field: As a tournament progresses, these bets start to become available. Once a probable tournament winner has been established, this bet allows you to bet on anyone else to win but them. It doesn’t matter who wins, just as long as it is not the favourite.
- Head to Heads: These bets (also known as Matchups) involves picking one golfer over another, based on the options provided. The sportsbook will name the two golfers, and you only need to predict who will finish above the other with Head to Head bets.
- Props: Like all other prop bets, these are bets on “something” happening in a tournament. It could be the number of birdies or eagles struck, whether a hole-in-one will be landed and by whom. Prop bets vary significantly, so the choice is yours, really, provided the sportsbook offers it.
Doing Your Homework
Golf stats are nowhere near as complex as those which you can find for other major sporting events. With that in mind, they aren’t likely to help you too much. Even so, keeping tabs on how a player performs over several events is something which can help you. Of course, there are other things to look out for, too…
Other Things to Consider
None of what follows may make any difference to your bet at the end of the day, although it is always advantageous to keep in mind that they might. When you decide to bet on golfing events, just keep the following in mind…
- Live Betting: Some sportsbooks offer live betting or in-play bets. These can be advantageous to take (especially if they offer early cash-outs). Keep in mind, though, that the odds with live betting are always changing, so you may be better placing bets before a tournament if you are planning on betting on a favourite or an underdog.
- Wind and Weather: Golf is an outdoor ball-based game. The weather and wind play a sizeable part in determining the outcome of a match. Make sure that you know what the weather is going to be in advance (if possible) and how that will affect the golfers.
- Golfer Strengths: As we’ve just said, the weather can play a part. Some golfers are particularly adept at driving in the wind, and others aren’t. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of golfers is a major plus. It also helps to know a little bit about your chosen golfer’s history on a course. If they’ve struggled or excelled at that venue in the past, the chances are that they will again.
- The Course: No two courses are alike. Each offers its own challenges. It helps if you know a bit about each course. How far away is the pin, what about bunkers, water hazards. Is the distance to most of the holes short, or is it going to take plenty of hefty drives down the fairway to get there? This information (as well as all the above) can all help you determine which golfer stands the best chance of winning an event.
Where Can I Bet on Golf?
Again, most major sportsbooks offer bets on golf. Moreover, most of these sportsbooks will also offer provide bets on both the USPGA and European PGA tour events, as well as global, international events such as the Ryder Cup, too.
Golf may not be the most entertaining sport to watch for some, but it is undoubtedly one of the best to bet on if you know your stuff.