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A Beginner’s Guide to Golf Betting

Betting on professional golf can be a huge amount of fun. Today, many tournaments take place across the world, each of which brings with it a huge number of betting opportunities that you can take advantage of.  

If you are a golf fan who is new to the world of betting, then in this guide you will find all the information you need to help you get started and you can soon start taking advantage of a huge range of betting opportunities.

Popular Golf Betting Markets 

One of the great things about betting online is that there are a huge number of different betting markets on offer, usually far more than at a traditional land-based sportsbook. However, this can be slightly overwhelming to newcomers who are faced with a vast number of markets. Here we will go through the most popular golf betting markets and you will soon realise that they are actually very straightforward and you can start using them in no time at all.  

To Win Bets 

There is no doubt that this is both the simplest bet and the most popular. Furthermore, it is also one that many successful bettors utilise on a regular basis with a great amount of success. It is simply a bet on which player will win a particular golf tournament. If you believe a certain person looks in form ahead of a tournament, then you can just place a “to win” bet on them to win. If that player then wins the tournament, then you win your bet.  

Ultimately, the bet requires you to be able to identify winners and one of the great things about this betting market is that it nearly always offers odds far better than even money. This means that even when betting small amounts, there is the potential to win very large payouts. Of course, the favourite will have shorter odds, but the odds may still be as generous at 7:1. Conversely, if you truly believe that one of the underdogs is going to win, then you may find some amazing odds.  

In other words, just because the “to win” bets are very straightforward, it does not mean that they cannot be lucrative. Be sure to consider them carefully and remember, you can always bet on multiple players, giving yourself numerous chances to win.  

Versus the Field Bets 

This is a bet that is unique to golf and it can be a huge amount of fun. It allows you to support everyone except for one or two participants. Normally the bet only becomes available in later rounds of a tournament when there is one player who has built a strong lead. You can then bet on anyone else to win the tournament except for that player. You will then win your bet as long as anyone but that player wins the tournament.  

For example, you may see a player is five strokes up heading into the final day of a tournament. You could then use a “versus the field” bet to essentially back that player to then lose. It really doesn’t matter who wins the tournament, as long as it isn’t the player who was leading.  

Head to Head Golf Bets 

This is another type of bet that is unique to golf and you will find far more options online than at a land-based bookmaker. In this type of bet, the sportsbook sets a line between two players that is completely independent of the overall results of the tournament.  

For example, if you have Player A and Player B in the fourth round of a tournament. The line will then be on which of the players will win that round or the rest of the tournament. All that matters is which of the two players does better relative to the other, the rest of the players in the tournament are completely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if they finish last and one from last, your bet is on which will perform better than the other.  

These bets are a great way for golf fans to try to place winning bets. They require you to have knowledge of individual players, but they also allow you to make use of that knowledge in a way that no other markets do. You may be well aware that neither of the two players have a chance of winning, but you may firmly believe that one will outperform the other, and can capitalise on this with a head to head bet.  

At major golf tournaments, you are likely to find a huge number of head to head markets available, and they are a great way for you to make betting even more exciting.  

Each Way Betting 

This type of bet allows you a bit of flexibility. It is a bet on a player to win a tournament or finish in one of the places, which could be anything up to a top 5 or 6 finish. The bets are a little more expensive but they allow for the unexpected to happen.  

First Round Leader  

This is a simple bet that can be a lot of fun. It is a bet on which of the participants in a tournament will be leading at the end of the first round. There are some who believe that the first few players to tee off in a tournament are in a favourable position as they have the best conditions, no wind, fresh greens, and no leaderboard pressure. As a result, this market is a great way to back them.  

Top 10, Top 20 Finish 

The Top 10 and Top 20 markets are exactly what they sound like. They give you the chance to bet on a player to finish in the top 10 or top 20 of a tournament. Sometimes these markets offer some surprisingly generous odds, so they are certainly worth keeping a close eye on. 

Futures Bets 

A futures bet is a bet on an event that isn’t taking place in the immediate future. There is one particularly popular futures bet, a bet on who will win the PGA Championship, and the bet is usually made at the start of the season or the start of the playoffs. However, you can place it at any point.  

The difference will be the odds that are offered. As the season progresses and it becomes clearer what kind of form players are in, the odds will shorten on the favourites and lengthen on the underdogs. This means that if you want to back a favourite, you will find odds that are more favourable at the beginning of a season. Therefore, it is important to choose the right time to place the bet, as it will have a big impact on the odds you get.  

Prop Bets 

Prop bets are a great way to have fun and win money when betting on golf. These are bets that are not strictly related to individual players’ performances or the outcome of a tournament. For example, there may be bets such as: 

  • Will there be a hole in one during the second round? 
  • Will there be over or under 7 birdies on hole 5? 
  • Will there be a playoff? 
  • How many majors will a particular player win this season? 
  • Will the tournament winner be older or younger than 30 years old? 

Prop bets can come in many different forms, some of them just require you to guess, and these should be treated as pure gambling fun, while others will have some skill involved and can be given careful consideration. For example, betting on a hole in one is essentially just a guess while betting on how many majors a player will win takes more skill and judgement. Both types of prop bets are fine to use, but as always, you need to ensure that you are only betting money you can afford to lose.  

What to Consider When Betting on Golf 

As with any form of sports betting, the more information you have, the better your chances of success. There are many different factors that you should consider when placing a bet, and it is always worth doing your research.  

For example, you need to look at the course itself. Is it better suited to long hitters or short hitters? How will the greens affect a player’s round? If you are using head to head betting, then these things become even more important. You should consider if the two players are suited to the style of course, how they have performed on the same or similar courses in the past, and if the tee time is likely to have an effect on a player. You can also look for any other advantages a player may have, such as if the crowd is behind them or if it is their home course.  

You can never do too much research on a player. Look at their recent results, if they need to win in order to qualify for another tournament or to gain ranking points, if they have said anything in the build up to the tournament that suggests they are in good or bad form, and so on. While it may take some time to do the research, it is certainly worthwhile and it could make a huge difference to the success of your bets.  

You should now have enough information to dive head first into the world of golf betting. If there is a major tournament coming up then go and study the markets. Do your research carefully and with a bit of luck, you will soon be celebrating winning your first bet.  


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