Golf Betting Sites

Golf

Golf is a sport with a lot of history, a lot of money and, contrary to what many people think, a whole lot of excitement. The drama and tension slowly builds, unfurls and unfolds over four days to a dramatic conclusion on a Sunday afternoon and if you happen to be holding a winning bet then so much the better!

Betting on golf is unusual in that due to the large size of the field it’s not uncommon to have winners at very large odds, with 50/1, 66/1 or even 100/1 popping up with reassuring regularity and Ben Curtis was even way out at 500/1 when he won the British Open in 2003. Fancy having even a couple of quid each way at those odds and then watching him deliver the goods!

The other great thing about golf for betting fans is that it is a global sport, with major events almost every week of the year on both the US PGA tour and European tour. With the Asian tour, women’s golf and various team events all growing in popularity, there is no shortage of fantastic golf to bet on.

How To Bet On Golf

Whether you want a bet on a player to win a big competition next year or want to bet on who will do best this afternoon, golf has a huge variety of exciting markets for you. In-play betting is also growing in popularity and with plenty of live golf on the TV you can watch as the drama unfolds and hopefully leaves you with a tidy profit as well.

Golf Bets

  • Outright tournament betting – Betting on an individual player to win a tournament is by far the most common bet in golf and is very simple to understand. Each way is always available with some bookies paying out on the top six for big events.
  • Other outrights – Various specials often exist, such as a player to win a Major in a given year, to top the money list or to be on the Ryder Cup team.
  • Top American/European/GB and Ireland player – This market is usually available on various nationalities or regions, including Australian, South African, Rest of the World and many others and is a bet on which player from that particular area will do best in any given event.
  • Top three finish – Will a player finish in the top three for the tournament. Often available for top six, eight, 10 and even 20.
  • Match betting – You can usually bet on which of two or three players will score the lowest round or do best in the tournament. Round betting can be players in the same group or pairing or any players from the field.
  • Hole in one – Betting on whether or not there will there be a hole in one at any hole, by any player during the tournament: a straight yes or no bet.

Golf Betting Rules

Golf is a simple sport to bet on, not least because the vast majority of money is placed on a player to win a tournament. Such bets include play-offs, with the market settled on the official winner of the event. The biggest thing to watch out for, that can leave many a punter bemoaning their payout, is that for top three (or six, eight, whatever) bets, and for each way bets, dead heat rules apply. This means that if your player finishes tied third with one person (and ties are very common in golf, often with many players on the same score) then half of a top three bet will settle as a winner but the other half as a loser.

When many people are tied and especially with each-way bets this means you may actually lose money. It also means that a player finishing with the second best score but, for example, behind four players tied a shot better, is classed as fifth, and therefore will not usually get an each-way payout.

In match betting, unless a tie is specifically offered then this will settle as a void, meaning you will get your stake back. The same will usually apply in tournaments curtailed by weather (or other unforeseen events) unless 36 holes have been played, in which case most bookies will allow bets to stand.

Golf Betting Strategy

Golf, perhaps more than any other sport, is about finding value and the reason for that is because it is impossible to know with any certainty which player will win, primarily due to the size of the field. In Tiger Woods’ heyday when he started most tournaments not too far off evens you could have some degree of confidence but in the modern game, with so many great players capable of winning, there is just no way that anyone, even the best golf punter on the planet, will be able to pick too many tournament winners over the course of the season.

If that has turned you off the idea of golf betting, it really shouldn’t. The odds, thankfully, reflect this uncertainty, and on some players there is huge value quite often throughout the year. 100/1 shots – and higher – will finish in the places with regularity and a golfer at 100/1 is still a huge payday finishing fourth on an each-way bet.

There are three huge factors that influence which golfer is going to win or do well on any given week, aside from outright ability. However, the majority of casual gamblers and fans of the sport are massively led by ability and world ranking alone, meaning paying attention to these other factors can make you a lot of money. They are current form, the past record at a given course and the prevailing weather conditions. Even players way down in the rankings are capable of having a hot four days and so ascertaining if a player is coming into form, especially if it’s at a course where they have done well in the past, is the key way to spot the best value.

Format

Golf is a brilliant sport, to play, watch and of course to have a bet on. Mark Twain may or may not have described golf as a good walk spoiled. We would have to disagree with whoever did indeed first utter the famous quote. For us, golf is one of the most exciting sports to watch, one of the most satisfying to play and one of the most brilliant on which to bet.

Golf is now very much a global game and it is also a sport that can be played and watched more or less all year round. In terms of the major pro circuits, there is a short break around Christmas time. However, the festive period aside, there is pretty much always some high class golf to have a bet on.

Betting on golf is great for a range of reasons but perhaps chief among those is the fact that, due to the large fields (often between 132 and 156), golf regularly throws up winners at huge odds. In tennis, snooker, football and indeed almost all other sports, including horse racing, outright winners at double digit odds are uncommon. In contrast, in golf the favourite may be priced at odds of 10/1 or above and winners coming in at 33/1, 66/1 or even 100/1 or more are not uncommon.

There is much more to bet on in golf than the outright winner of a given tournament, however, although that is certainly the most popular wager to make. You can back a player to make the cut, claim a top 10, lead after the opening round or even to beat another named player in a head-to-head.

The Main Tours

Golf has two main tours, the US, known as the PGA Tour and the European Tour. These organising bodies oversee the golf calendar, establishing rules and setting up tournaments. Whilst there is much talk of creating a single global tour, for now there is no doubt that these two are the most important.

With both bodies looking to grow the sport and generate more money, both regularly feature events outside of their eponymous homes. Such events, for example the European Tour’s Australian PGA Championship, are often co-sanctioned by the local (smaller) tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia in this example.

The European Tour

The European Tour began in 1972 and is now scheduled with a “wraparound” structure, meaning that one season overlaps two calendar years. The (US) PGA Tour has a more pronounced wraparound but in Europe things get underway in December and the season runs from then until the following November.

Until relatively recently the best British, Irish, European, and, in fact, most of the top non-US stars, tended to play on the European Tour. That has changed over the last 10 years or so, with many of the game’s best players now plying their trade on the more lucrative and prestigious PGA Tour.

However, the European Tour still often attracts many of the game’s very best throughout the season, with top players picking and choosing when to appear. It is also a great place to see some of Europe’s elite young players in regular action before they make the move to the States.

PGA Tour

The PGA Tour’s roots go back to 1929 but there have been a number of changes to the format and structure of the organisation over the years. As said, the US wraparound season starts a little earlier than in Europe, such that what is called the 2018 season actually begins at the start of October the previous year. The season then ends at the backend of September.

The PGA Tour regularly attracts the highest calibre fields of events anywhere and the prizemoney on show is staggering in the modern game. As said, more and more this, like the European Tour, is global and in 2018 there are events scheduled for Malaysia, South Korea and China.

Prize money on the PGA Tour is huge, with purses rarely lower than $6m. In 1997 a dominant Tiger Woods was the leading money winner and took home a cool $2m. Fast forward to 2015 and Jordan Spieth, aged just 22, took home more than $12m. Not bad work if you can get it.

Other Tours

There are a wide range of other tours to provide yet more betting for fans of golf. There are various lower tier tours, such as the Web.com Tour and the Challenge Tour in the US and Europe respectively. There are also the major tours in the women’s game, as well as a Seniors Tour for over 50s. Throw in various tours from around the world, including the aforementioned PGA Tour of Australasia, Japan Golf Tour and Africa’s Sunshine Tour and you really won’t be short of golf to watch, enjoy and, if you so choose, have a bet on.

The Majors & Other Important Tournaments

Golf, like tennis, has four major tournaments and three of these are played in the USA. The oldest of the big four is the British Open – known to many simply as The Open – and this rotates between a select group of courses, largely in Scotland and England.

The four majors are by far the most prestigious tournaments in the sport. These are the events that all the players want to win. Whilst the prize for winning is huge in cash terms, for many players, it really is all about the glory.

Open Championship

For most British and European golfers this is the big one. First held way back in 1860, this has been won by virtually all the game’s legends. The prize fund these days is more than $10m but the glory of raising the Claret Jug is what it’s all about. In modern times the British Open, as it is often know, or as mentioned just “The Open”, is held in July. It switches between a small number of venues but these are all links courses and this is one of the features that makes this event unique.

US Open

The US Open is often held on fiendishly difficult courses with penal rough and incredibly tricky greens. First held in 1895, it has thrown up some unusual winners over the years. For US players, this is often the one that holds the most prestige and home-grown players have really dominated this over the years.

US Masters

The Masters is unique in being the only major with a fixed home, the iconic Augusta National in Georgia. It is also the first of the year, taking place in April. The ethereal beauty and preternatural splendour of the blue water, green grass and trees, and bright white sand of the many bunkers, make Augusta easy on the eye. It remains a tough test for the players though, largely thanks to the lightening quick and extremely difficult greens. The US Masters was first held in 1934 and whilst initially dominated by US players, Europeans won the Masters eight times between 1988 and 1999.

US PGA Championship

The US PGA has traditionally been the least illustrious of the majors and the last in the calendar year. First played in 1916, the USPGA (usually just called the PGA Championship in the States) has traditionally been held in August.

It moves around a number of courses, commonly in the east of the country, and courses are usually long, with penal rough. As of 2019 the US PGA is set to move from its current schedule to May in an attempt to make it more appealing and prestigious.

The Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup is held every two years, with the next edition being played in Paris in 2018. Originally played between Britain and the US, it subsequently became Britain and Ireland versus the USA before switching to the current Europe versus USA format in 1979.

There is no prize money at stake in the Ryder Cup, just a huge amount of pride and honour. The individualism of the sport makes way for a team ethos and there is huge pressure. The Ryder Cup has produced some of the most thrilling and memorable moments in golf and offers loads of great betting opportunities to make it even more exciting.

WGC Events

World Golf Championship (WGC) events were first played in 1999 and are the most prestigious tournaments aside from the four majors. They feature the best players, the biggest prize money and as well as being official events on the US Tour, European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour, they are also sanctioned by the Sunshine, Australasian and Asian Tours.

As of 2018 there are four WGC events, with three stroke play tournaments and one match play. Dustin Johnson is the only man to have won all four but his total tally of five is nothing compared to the amazing 18 wins Tiger Woods can boast.

Other Notable Tournaments

Golf has a number of other tournaments and events of note and special mention must go to the The Players Championship. Often referred to as “the fifth major”, the Players is held annually at Florida’s iconic Sawgrass. With huge prize money, a beautiful host course and great history the world’s best all regularly play and in many ways this is a major in all but name.

Aside from the Players, newer events such as the Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup have been added to golf’s calendar’s to spice up the end of the season in Europe and the US respectively. Aside from those there are a range of other tournaments, including variations on the Ryder Cup but in the women’s and amateur games, as well as between other regions, that are also noteworthy.

Throw in tournaments such as the World Match Play, the new Rolex Series on the European Tour and the various majors in the women’s and senior game and you have a LOT of great golf to watch. And, if the mood takes you, bet on!

Latest Golf Tips

Event Date Tip
Belgian Knockout 17 May 2018 Joost Luiten @ 28/1
AT&T Byron Nelson 17 May 2018 Branden Grace @ 25/1
The Players Championship 10 May 2018 Jordan Spieth @ 16/1

For Historical Tips, See Our Golf Tournaments Page

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