It’s a popular sport and it’s a global one too. It’s golf of course, and if you’re thinking of extending your love of the game into sports betting as well, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at our comprehensive guide to golf betting and find all the tips and strategies you need to top the leaderboard.
Golf betting – an overview
The secret to any successful sports bet is to identify the bet with the most value and to combine it with a solid strategy. Add some discipline to the mix (i.e. not betting with more than you can afford to lose) and you’ll have a formula for consistent winning success.
With the popularity of golf being so widespread, it’s no surprise that it’s become a betting favourite for punters. However, if you’re new to betting on golf, or sports betting in general, it can seem overwhelming at first, particularly when faced with the number of bookmakers and betting markets available. The key is to arm yourself with as much information as possible, like the tips we’ll be giving you below, in order to give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome.
The basics of golf betting
If you’re looking to place your bets online, one of the easiest and most convenient methods of sports betting, you’ll have two tours you can choose between – the PGA Tour and the European Tour. The majority of players on the PGA Tour are born in the USA, with most events taking place in the USA as well, or on occasion in other areas such as Asia or South America. Typically the PGA Tour commands the most prize money, with the eventual winner of the tour being given one of the highest rankings in the world.
The European tour, by contrast, is played in continental Europe, South Africa and Asia, with the winner of the series final also taking home a substantial cash prize.
Aside from these tours, you’ll also be able to bet on one of the four golf Majors taking place throughout the year, namely the Masters, the US Open, the Open, and the USPGA Open. In addition to these, you’ll also be able to bet on the golf tournaments in which players work to retain their playing privileges and handicaps for the season ahead.
What to look out for in golf betting
With regards to playing privileges, within the PGA Tour, a total of 125 players are able to retain their playing rights, as opposed to 110 players within the European Tour. This is worth paying attention to towards the end of the golf season, as it’s possible to see lower-ranked players suddenly soar in the rankings in an effort to keep their privileges going forward.
Another element to pay attention to is the course, as some golfers fare better on certain courses than others. Take a look at your personal favourites and their records on certain courses, and if you know they play well in certain tournaments at the same location, you can adjust your betting strategy accordingly.
Understanding the odds
As with all forms of sports betting, understanding the various odds on players is hugely important. With more than 120 players in a single event, some players have far better odds than others. Typically, golf players fall into one of three categories:
- The favourites
- The averages
- The rank outsiders
With no one player currently being a huge crowd favourite over another, even the top players still have decent odds, so all players are currently worth a wager. Bear in mind though that the betting market in golf is still very strong where the top players are concerned, so you’ll still need to wager carefully.
So how do the odds in golf work? Typically you’ll see a golfer’s odds represented as a value such as 64.0. But what does this actually mean? Since odds represent implied probability, the odds here represent what the bookmaker thinks the outcome of the event will be – essentially an individual golfer’s chances of winning.
In golf, this can be worked out with a simple formula: 1/decimal odds. So in our example, 1/64.0 works out to 0.015625, which equates to a 1.56% chance of winning. So the higher the number, in this case 64.0, the less a golfer is expected to win a particular event.
What if you were to bet on this golfer to win though? How would that be calculated? Again, there’s a formula for this, namely (stake x odds) – stake. So let’s say you decided to bet $20 on the golfer with odds of 64.0. Here’s what that would work out to:
- Your profit = ($20 x 64.0) – $20
- Your profit = ($1,280) – $20
- Your profit = $1,260
So while your player only has a 1.56% chance of winning according to the bookies, if they surprise everyone and win, you could make $1,260 profit off a $20 bet. So is it worth it to take a safer bet and have a better chance of winning, or take a riskier bet on the off-chance that you’ll win more money? That’s for you to decide!
Types of golf bets
Once you understand how golfing odds and betting work, you’ll be able to start placing your bets, which you can do in a number of ways, including:
- Tournament winner
- First round leader
- Hole in one
- Each-way betting
- Top nationality
While there are a number of other bets you can choose to place in addition to these, the key is to always do your research first. Learn about players’ form, their statistics, how the course behaves, who the bookies are favouring, and strategise your bets accordingly. The more you know about the sport and the players, the more informed decisions you’ll be able to make, and the more you can look forward to a successful outcome. Good luck!
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