Golf is the most popular club-and-ball sport in the world, one that has been around for centuries. The sport is a favourite of millions of spectators and punters around the world but is especially popular in countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Scotland, and Ireland. In fact, it was in Scotland where golf first emerged in the 15th century. The first major golf championship was also held there back in the mid 19th century.
Golf may not be as popular as football is among Brits but is still preferred by many punters from the Island. There was a resurgence of interest in the sport after Tiger Woods, who is now considered a golf legend, emerged on the scene. This increase in interest caused many online sportsbooks to add a variety of golf markets on their websites as a means to attract more action on behalf of bettors.
In fact, a growing number of punters prefer to place their bets online since golf betting sites have numerous perks to offer, including live betting markets, better odds, and a comprehensive coverage of the biggest golf competitions in the world, such as the Open Championship, the US Open, the US Masters, and the Ryder Cup. There is a variety of bets to place on this sport but if you want them to pay off, you need to arrive at a good understanding of the sport itself and how the different wager types work. In this article, we will examine the options golf bettors have, placing a stress on how betting on golf works in online sportsbooks and what types of golf-related bets you can find there.
Features of Golf Betting Sites
The revival of golf saw many online sportsbooks competing for punters’ action by adding a number of markets for this sport to meet the increase in demand. One way to attract more golf bettors to one’s online sportsbook is by providing them with competitive odds. Those of you who are accustomed to placing bets with landbased bookies will immediately notice the odds offered by golf betting sites are far more competitive – very important, especially if one insists on generating higher long-term profits.
Many golf fans would prefer to stake their money online since they are provided with a broader range of tournaments and events to select from. Established online bookmakers cover all of the prestigious majors in this sport, like the Masters, the PGA Championship, the US Open, and the Champions Tour as well as smaller and lesser known tour events like the Zurich Classic and the Volvo China Open.
But the diversity of betting options is not the only thing to attract droves of golf fans to web-based sportsbooks. One feature of golf betting sites that enjoys a tremendous popularity at the moment is live betting on golf events that have already started. This enables punters who have a sudden change of heart to place another bet that is more likely to win since they can see everything that is happening on the golf course.
This may sound funny but if you are a golf fan, you are even not required to have a TV set at home to watch the sport and back your favourite golfer. Gone are the days when bettors gathered at their local landbased bookie to watch sports events they have invested money into on television.
Golf betting sites take the action from the top golf courses in the world straight to punters’ living rooms thanks to their live streaming services. Punters can easily gain access to this useful feature by registering a real-money account and making a small deposit. Many of the biggest online sportsbooks that accept bets on golf would also offer both video and audio streams. Often, there is the option of listening or watching podcasts directly at the bookmaker’s website. Such podcasts are usually available before the start at major competitions, with sports experts presenting listeners with previews of the tournaments in question. However, some bookies would host podcasts about golf on a weekly basis.
Online sportsbooks offer a number of other useful functionalities that are otherwise unavailable at landbased betting shops. Punters can save some of their favourite bets, check the live-betting schedule, or go through comprehensive statistical sections with detailed information of golfers’ performance, their shape, and results in previous events.
Since golf is popular on a global scale, golf betting sites would normally support three types of odds formats, fractional, decimal, and American. The online bet slips are very simplified and easy to work with, even for those who have to experience with virtual sportsbooks whatsoever. You can add several straight bets to your slip and the best thing of all is that there is no need for you to be proficient with odds calculation since the bet slip will automatically calculate your potential return with a given bet when you fill in the amount of the stake.
The websites are usually available in several different languages other than English, so you can handle your account and work with a bet slip that is displayed in your own language. All reputable online bookmakers would run websites that respond well to mobile devices based on iOS and Android, allowing players to watch the live action on the course and place their bets as they go.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest advantages of joining a golf betting site has to do with the offered bonuses and promotions. There is a huge array of promotional incentives online. Some of those are available to new registrants only while others run throughout the year and target loyal customers. The most widespread types of bonuses golf fans are likely to encounter at an online sportsbook include enhanced odds at some of their favourite markets and free bets. Moreover, there is an abundance of secure banking options to choose from when topping your sports betting account, with payments supported in different currencies like the popular USD, GBP, and EUR.
Common Bets Offered on Golf Betting Sites
Now that we have introduced you to some of the key features of golf betting sites, it is only fitting to proceed by explaining about some of the most popular types of golf bets you can find there. It should be mentioned that unlike some other sports like football or tennis, golf offers a slightly more limited range of bets. However, this can be easily attributed to the laid-back pace the sport is played at as well as to the fact golf competitions would normally take several days to complete.
Despite that, there are still plenty of options available to golf bettors since online sportsbooks are in a heavy competition and have started to add more interesting markets for this sports in an attempt to lure more punters. Some golf bet types are pretty straightforward while others are more advanced and difficult to grasp. You can read more about bets from both categories below.
Outright bets are pretty straightforward which actually is the reason why they are so popular among recreational golf bettors. Many punters prefer to place outright bets because of the juicy payout they can potentially earn them for a correct prediction.
That being said, correct predictions are usually more difficult to make when one is betting on the winner of an entire tournament since the field in golf is larger and often involves several dozens of participating players. Even the sure favourite can give you good odds. This is precisely the reason why bookmakers would reward outright winners with more generous payouts.
All players participating in the tournament are assigned odds by the bookies and you simply need to choose the one you think would win. To provide an example, we have looked up the odds offered by a certain online sportsbook for this year’s US Open where it became apparent Dustin Johnson is the sure favourite with odds of 10.00. One such bet still offers you a good value since you can win £100 with a bet as small as £10 for a total profit of £110. Not bad, right?
Another option for outright bettors would be to back their favourite with an each-way wager. To win with one such bet, your golf player does not necessarily have to emerge first and collect the trophy. Each-way bets win as long as your favourite finishes in any of the top four positions, which one exactly is irrelevant.
Logically, this increases your chances of winning, which results in a drop of the odds, usually to a quarter of those offered for winning outright bets. Have in mind that you have to put twice as much money on the line with each-way bets, so to proceed with the example from above, £20 staked each way on Johnson will show you a profit of £132 since the odds here are reduced from 10.00 to about 6.62.
Matchup betting is another simple way to stake money on this wonderful sport and is the preferred type of bet of many golf mavens. It is irrelevant whether your selected winner actually wins the entire tournament or not – they simply need to score higher than the opponent you have picked.
This type of golf bet offers smaller odds but is much easier to win with so sometimes matchup wagers can give you more value. There is the option to place matchup bets on separate rounds or on entire tournaments. One example would be if you decide to place a matchup bet on Tommy Fleetwood against opponent Paul Casey with a spread of +2.5 and -2.5. If you chose to side with Fleetwood, your bet will win only if the Brit prevails with 2 or more strokes over his opponent. Provided that you decide to back Casey, he needs to win within 2 strokes or less in order for your bet to show you profit.
An interesting question is what happens if the two players you have selected end up in a tie. Do not worry, if this happens – the vast majority of golf betting sites would declare the tie is a “no bet” and you will be reimbursed for your original stake. Note that some sportsbooks allow you to choose a group of three players for your matchup bets.
Betting on the First-Round Leader
This type of bet is pretty straightforward but still deserves a mention due to the popularity it enjoys among golf aficionados. This may seem simple at first glance but there are still some important things you need to factor in prior to laying your money on one such bet.
To start with, punters are generally recommended to risk smaller amounts of money on this market since the correct outcome is trickier to get right. Then again, it is highly advisable to consider morning draw biases which come as a direct result of weather conditions at the start of the tournament, like wind to be more specific. Some players do very well in windy conditions and may use this to their advantage, defeating the golfer you are backing as a first-round winner.
Futures are among the most commonly spread types of bets to make in any sport and golf is not an exception. One of the most popular future bets among golf bettors is wagering on the winner of the FedEx Cup.
This is easily the most prestigious accolade a golfer can receive and is awarded to the player who tops the ranking list at the end of the PGA Tour. Determining the winner of the FedEx Cup is based on the cumulative number of points golfers have earned from their finishes in major golf events and the additional points they are awarded for winning events.
It makes sense that making a correct prediction over such a long period of time is rather difficult, which is why one such winning wager can offer you a very appetising payout at higher odds. Due to their nature, futures are available throughout the entire year but many golf fans would prefer to place theirs either at the beginning of the year or before the start of the playoffs. Of course, the player with the highest chances to collect the trophy would offer you the shorter odds. One important aspect of futures is that odds for such bets would fluctuate throughout the year to reflect players’ performance in events.
This is an entire subgroup of golf wagers which, we cannot help but admit, are very fun to experiment with when you have grown tired of the usual outright or matchup bets. Here you are not betting on who the exact winner of a tournament will be but instead are backing a proposition that something will occur during a particular tournament or round. Some types of props require the punter to put their golf expertise at work in order to make the prediction but many are based solely on chance.
The betting opportunities with props are indeed immense, which is why we would list only some of the most common types of propositions bookies offer on golf. One example would be the playoff wager which requires you to predict whether or not the tournament will have a playoff in case two or more golfers tie with the same final score. As you can suppose, no analysis or expertise, as high as it is, can help you make a correct prediction here.
Another exciting subtype of props is the hole-in-one where the goal is to try and guess whether a whole will be hit in a single stroke. Some bookies would even offer props for whether or not a particular player, usually a skilled one, would succeed in shooting a hole in one stroke. There is also the option to bet on who you think will finish the tournament with the lowest score, but some recreational punters prefer to avoid it because they think this might jinx their bet. Unlike the playoff bet, your golf expertise might help you with making an educated guess with this proposition.
Since golf pros from a huge range of countries are usually involved in a tournament, there is the possibility of trying to guess who the highest scoring player from a specific country will be as often many compatriots would participate in one and the same golf tournament. To finish with our examples of props, online punters also have the option of backing a golfer who needs to finish within the top 3, top 5, or top 10 in order for you to collect a payout. Note that when backing a player to finish in the top 10, the bookies will offer you worse odds than those available for finishing in the top 3.
But before you jump on the proposition bandwagon along with other recreational punters, remember that the chances of winning with those are rather slim, especially when the predictions you make are not based on your knowledge and expertise. Still, laying a small amount on a prop bet every once in a while would provide you with a healthy dose of excitement.
Bets Versus the Field
This is an interesting type of bet which some punters prefer to make every once in a while to diversify their betting patterns. The main peculiarity here is that you are betting against a given player and are practically backing the field. In other words, you are betting that the player you have selected will be defeated by everyone else in the field, as mean as one such proposition seems.
Bets against the field are normally accepted by online bookies at the later stages of a tournament when the sure favourite has already established a solid lead. But it all depends on the bookmaker and the tournament. Some bookies prefer to offer such bets at the beginning on major golf tournaments like the US Open, grouping several golfers against the field on the basis of their rank, but sometimes nationality is also taken into consideration.
Let’s consider this year’s US Open as an example and assume the players Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, and Si Woo Kim are all grouped against the field at odds of 9.00. This sounds like a rather good price since you will win £90 with a £10 stake provided that any of the three of the above-listed golfers loses.
Note that with field bets it is possible to also lay some money on the opposite result and back the players you have selected, in which case you win when any of the three selections defeat the field.
Golf betting sites present fans of the sport with an opportunity they do not want to miss, namely putting their money on stake on the golf in-play markets. This is also commonly referred to as live betting and is extremely popular among punters due to that fact it allows them to bet on rounds or tournaments that are currently under way.
This can be quite lucrative for punters because they can place their bets in real time, observe trends and respectively, make better-informed predictions as to the outcome of their wagers. One example would be to bet on how your player of choice would perform on the 15th hole after they have finished playing the 14th hole. In-play bets are quite exciting and come with the added benefit of being able to change your mind. For example, if you have made a bet before the start of an event but notice things are not going your way, you may offset your losses with the first wager by placing another wager that has higher chances of winning.
Top 5 Rules of the Successful Online Golf Bettor
Like any other form of gambling, betting on golf requires a solid understanding of the game itself and is not as simple as it initially appears to be, at least not if one wishes to be successful over the long term. Becoming a winning golf bettor is pretty much a combination of knowledge, skill, luck, and good money management. You need to invest some patience and efforts to get there. Sticking to the following five rules is a good way to start if you are new to golf betting.
The number one rule of a smart golf bettor is to always shop for value and find the bookmakers offering them the most competitive odds. Odds are changeable in their nature, which is why smart punters would compare the betting terms at several sportsbooks before they choose which one to place their bets with. Many sportsbooks would offer approximately the same odds for the same market but the fluctuations would begin roughly a week or so before the respective tournament starts.
The second rule for novices would be to start with specific bet types in the beginning until they gradually expand their knowledge and understanding. Some of the most successful golf bettors would usually specialise only in specific bet types that are more likely to result in profits and would avoid experimenting with more exotic but riskier wagers. Once you sufficiently expand your knowledge of the game, you can start experimenting with more advanced wager types since predicting the correct outcome will become easier.
It would also be a good idea to start experimenting with the in-play markets. When you watch the action on the golf course unfold in real time, it would be easier for you to make an educated guess on the outcome. Additionally, the in-play markets are deemed especially suitable for golf bettors because the sport is played at a much slower pace and live betting makes it all the more exciting.
Another good idea would be to take advantage of the statistics available on golf betting sites. Some of the most important statistical information to look for in golf includes statistics on the golfers’ putting average, driving accuracy, and driving distance. It is important to watch golf events throughout the year, even those you have not placed bets on. This would give you a better understanding of how different golfers perform and will familiarise you with key aspects of their style that can help you with your bets. Take note of how different golfers’ performance is affected by weather conditions like rain, wind, and even extreme heat which causes the ground of the golf course to dry up and harden, affecting the stop of the ball negatively.
Last but definitely not least, never underestimate the importance of bankroll management. This is in fact the most important rule any golf bettor should follow. Start by setting up a bankroll specifically for the purposes of golf betting but make sure it is big enough so that it can absorb your losses. After all, you are not going to emerge a winner with every single golf bet you place, so the size of your bankroll should be such so as to act as a safety cushion, preventing you from wasting everything. The size of your bets should correlate to the size of your overall bankroll. Later on, you will be able to start increasing your bet size proportionately to the growth of your bankroll.