Welcome to the exciting world of betting on golf. The information provided on this page will help you better understand the nuances of betting on golf. Hopefully, the tips offered in the last section will help you become a winner.
How to Bet on Golf – Tournaments
The wonderful thing about golf is there’s lots of parity. From 52 tournaments a year, you might see 40 different winners. Using the overall tournament and individual matchups betting formats, there’s always good betting value on golf.
For all examples, we will assume the bettor is going to be wagering in $100 USD increments. The favorite in a match will be listed with a minus (-) money line while the underdog will be listed with a plus (+) money line. The minus represents the amount the bettor must bet to win $100. The plus represents the amount the bettor will win if they bet $100.
Each week, as many as 160 golfers will line up to participate in the designated tournament. From a betting perspective, bettors can bet on a specific player to win the tournament. With so many good golfers in the world, it’s not uncommon to see the top-ranked golfer in the world being offered at 5-1 odds. By the way, not all 160 golfers will have odds. There are times when the lines maker will lump a group of lesser known or low ranked golfers into a betting option called the “field”. Since the field could have as many as a hundred golfers included, the odds usually sit in the 5-1 range.
Example: Today’s PGA Tournament has 155 entrants with listed odds on the first 50 golfers. The favorite is Dustin Johnson, who is listed at 4-1 to win the tournament (four rounds). At 4-1 odds, the bettor would win $500 on a $100, which calculates out to a net profit of $400
How to Bet on Golf – Individual Matchups
Each day of a golf tournament, lines makers like to create matchups between two golfers. These matchups usually include the most popular and highest ranked golfers in the tournament. Betting on matchups seems to be the preferred betting option of bettors throughout the world. The favored golfer in a matchup will have a minus (-1) symbol before their money line odds while the underdog will have a plus (+) sign. Let’s look at a possible matchup:
Tiger Woods +120
Dustin Johnson –140
Johnson is favored as indicated by the minus money line. The payoffs on these odds are calculated as follows: If the bettor bets $100 on Woods, they will get back $220 for a profit of $120 if he wins. If the bettor bets the same $100 on Johnson, they will be back $171.43 for a profit of $71.43 if he wins. Note: the winnings on a minus amount are calculated by taking the bet amount and dividing it by the money line odds with a decimal placed two digits to the left from the end. In this case it would be $100/1.5 = $66.67. Should the golfers end up tied for the day’s round, all monies are refunded unless the lines maker attached a ½ stroke spread.
If interested in betting parlays (accumulators), please see the MLB Betting Guide page.
How to Bet on Golf – Proposition Bets
On the four “Grand Slam” events (Masters, US Open, British Open, PGA Championship), proposition bets might be in the offering. Most golf prop bets revolve around individual performance such as a player shooting a certain score over the course of the entire tournament event. Some props get very creative, making them a fun betting option for novice golf bettors.
Golf Betting Tips
The internet is filled with golf betting tips from self-proclaimed handicappers. Some tips are free and others are available at a price. Tips can be useful if you don’t have time to do your own handicapping. If you do your own handicapping, betting tips might be a good way to see if you have consensus with your own opinions.
Still, you should make every effort to do your own handicapping. Here’s a list of factors you should include in your handicapping process:
- Pay attention to how certain golfers play on certain golf courses. Some golf courses will favor or play against a player’s playing style.
- Golfers are streaky. You should give extra consideration to golfers who have been consistently scoring in the top 10 over the prior few weeks.
- When betting tournaments, you get can get great coverage by betting on three individuals and the field. The field is a hedge bet against some unknown or up and coming golfer jumping up and winning unexpectedly. Remember, the field could include as many as 100 golfers.
- Don’t lay big odds when betting individual matchups. Golfers are just too streaky to deserve too much consideration.
- Pay very close to weather conditions. The scores tend to be lower when it rains, or the temperature is cool. Also, some golfers have a definite affinity for certain conditions.
- If you really want to make significant wagers on matchups, you should save your money for the final two rounds. With two rounds already played, it becomes infinitely easier to determine how players are performing on the course as it’s laid out.
- Read the latest in golf news. Any time a player gets involved in some sort of personal issue, their play on the golf course seems to suffer. Also, nagging injuries can affect a golfer’s performance.
As a rule of thumb, you should never bet more than 5% of your bankroll on a straight bet and perhaps no more than 2% on a proposition. However, you must realize the bookmaker is going to have a significant advantage when you are making proposition bets. Above all, you never want to gamble with more than you can afford to lose. That means pay your bills, put some savings aside and have fun betting on tennis matches with whatever you might have remaining. Responsible gambling is the only way to truly enjoy the experience.