While golf betting isn’t the most promising market for bookies, the sport itself is among the most popular ones all around the world. It’s a big thing in America, Europe and even Africa. Professional golf players also come from different countries from every corner of the globe. This doesn’t make golf betting odds easy to predict, but it certainly makes the process very exciting.
Golf betting may seem difficult at first too with all the different bet possibilities, weird odds, dozens of events and thousands of top players. It all requires some getting used to, but once you’re immersed in this activity, it isn’t difficult at all. In fact, it can prove to be quite a decent way to make a good profit if you’re serious about it.
Although we can’t turn you into a punter who wins more often than loses, we can give you a thorough introduction to golf betting. It will prove as a solid basis for every golf fan, who wants to invest more than just their time and attention into this beautiful sport.
The Contents of This Betting Guide
Since this is a fairly thorough guide, it will be easier to navigate through it with a little introduction first. Feel free to jump to any section you like.
- Description of golf championships and tournaments where betting is possible.
- Types of betting on golf
- Different betting odds golf fans might see at various sportsbook online sites or high street bookmakers
- Basic and advances strategies for golf betting
- Lean how to calculate the winning probability of each bet you will ever make (useful if you want to succeed at golf betting)
Types of Golf Matches and Tournaments
There are hundreds of golf tournaments happening all around the world that you can bet on every season. Of course, some of them are much more popular than others and this is reflected in the offers by bookmakers. Some of the lesser-known tournaments may only be available at few selected golf betting operators.
The most popular cups, especially within the golf betting circles, usually include The Open Championship, The Masters and USPGA Championship. But that’s just the tip of an iceberg.
What you should know first is that there are different types of golf tournament types. Golf betting is the most popular with Stroke Play cups, but Match Play championships also exist. These types describe the scoring system that is used in a particular game or tournament. We’ll cover both of them in turn.
Stroke Play Golf Betting Tournaments
Stroke play sums up the vast majority of golf tournaments. They’re also the most popular with golf betting enthusiasts. It only counts the total number of strokes a player makes at each hole during the whole round, multiple rounds or even whole seasons of particular tours. Therefore, stroke play tournaments can be much longer than the others.
There are several tours of golf events to which stroke play tournaments and events belong:
- The European Tour (often referred to as ET)
Just like the name says, this tour is predominantly played in Europe, though the number of countries is really high and includes many Asian and even African countries too. There are usually up to 50 events in a single season of the ET tour, which take place in fields from a few dozen countries and well over 100 players in most events. A lot of golf betting opportunities here.
- PGA Tour
PGA tour is the favourite of golf betting fans across the pond, because it mostly takes place in the States. Only a few events take place in Asia and South Africa. This tour is also dominated by local American players, though professionals around the world aim to participate in PGA Tour events as they’re considered among the very best in the world of golf. Therefore, even golf betting UK operators often allow bets within this league.
- The Golf Majors
Separate from these two tours is the Golf Majors. It only includes four events and they’re all top-notch tournaments where world-class players meet for a final showdown. Not accidentally, they’re also the most popular when it comes to golf betting.
Match Play Golf Betting Tournaments
The match play scoring system is used less frequently, but you should know it anyway because it involves different golf betting systems too. The main reason we’re talking about it is The Ryder Cup, one of the most popular golf tournaments out there. You know, that event where 12 European golf players play against 12 American golf players? Unlike the previous mentions, The Ryder Cup uses the match play scoring system.
If you’re familiar with the Euro VS US Cup, we probably don’t need to tell you how match play works. But for those of you who haven’t watched this cup before, the scoring is actually really simple. Basically, the only difference from the stroke play cups is that the points are counted on each hole separately. Naturally, this also affects golf betting options on such events.
For example, in The Ryder Cup, there are 28 holes and each one is worth one point. It doesn’t matter how many strokes it takes, because you get a point as long as you land that ball faster than the other player or team. There are other less known match play tournaments too, including The Solheim Cup, The Eurasia Cup and The Presidents Cup, though they are rarely featured in golf betting.
Golf Betting Types
Betting for golf players can be a complicated business as it allows lots of different types of bets. They offer different live golf betting odds too, which means some of them are usually more lucrative than the others.
Since not all of them have the same probability to bring you profit, it’s useful to know how different bets work. You won’t be able to choose the best deal if you simply don’t understand everything that is on offer by one or several bookies.
So, first of all, here’s a list of bet types that you must know by heart if you want to become a golf betting expert:
- The Season Betting
- Outright Golf Betting
- Place and Each Way Betting
- First Round Leader and Individual Round Betting
- Proposition Bets
- Head to Head Bets
- Group and Versus the Field Betting
The Season Betting
Golf betting on the outcomes of tournaments is probably the simplest way to do it, but it isn’t the most popular. In this case, you can bet on the outcomes of particular tournaments or tours. Since the prices of bets offered by the bookies aren’t always accurate, it isn’t an easy bet to make if you want to feel confident that you’ll win.
Outright Golf Betting
The outright betting on golf is also a difficult one to predict. It’s basically a bet before the start of a tournament, though many sportsbook operators now allow these bets during the events as well. There are many things you may place an outright bet on and people usually do it because of the high returns.
Place and Each Way Betting
Place bet is a bet on a single golf player. If that player wins or places in one of the top places in an event you bet on, your bet will win too. Another popular type of golf betting is each way. Each way is a double bet of sorts, including a bet on a winning player and a bet on a player, who will end up in a high position.
The exact final position that counts as a win is determined by the bet itself. For example, if the each-way offer is 1/3 1-2-3, you’ll win twice if the player you bet will be a winner actually wins and the second player you bet on places in the top three. In that case, you’ll win some extra on top, but that’s only one-third of your bet’s worth (as indicated by 1/3).
First Round Leader and Individual Round Golf Betting
The first round leader bet is self-explanatory. Just choose someone, who you think will be the best in the first round. The individual round betting is the same, except it may include not just the first, but other rounds of a tournament. This is great for golf betting fans who don’t want to follow the action for whole four days.
Proposition or side bets include various other types of specific bets offered by different golf betting operators. This includes the bet on a player’s score, whether there will be a hole-in-one, the total number of birdies in the round or the number of par scores of a particular player, the winning margin and many other interesting bets.
Head to Head Bets
Another interesting golf betting option offered by the bookies is head to head. What it does is group any two players and propose to bet on which one of the two will finish in a higher place. It doesn’t matter which places they end up in exactly; as long as the one you bet on ends up higher up than the other one, you win.
Group and Versus The Field Golf Betting
These types of bets are very similar to ‘head to heads’ in golf betting. The only difference is that groups of players are involved, rather than separate individuals. The groups of players are made by the bookmaker and will often involve some sort of a connection between the individuals.
As a result, some of the possible groups you might find are Top US Players, Latest Winners, Top European players and similar.
One of the groups might include the top three or four favourites in which case ‘Versus the Field’ golf betting might be available. This works the same way as the group bets, except that it involves the several top players in one group and all other participants in the other, as opposed to the groups being the same size.
Betting Odds Golf Fans Must Know
Depending on the place you live in, bookmakers might write the betting golf odds differently. However, it’s useful to know all of them, because sometimes you might stumble upon them in unexpected circumstances.
And if you don’t quite get these golf betting systems, you’ll simply won’t be able to understand what the number means and whether that bet is a good one or not. There are three main ways to write down the odds at golf betting on paper:
- Fractional Odds
- Decimal Odds
- Money Line / US Odds
Fractional odds are the most popular in golf betting UK, though they aren’t exclusive to just one country. They are written as two numbers with a slash in between, for example 14/3.
They’re very easy to understand once you know what each number stands for. In this case, the first number is the amount you would win with the bet. In golf betting, that number doesn’t include your original stake. So, when counting total profit, don’t forget to add the initial bet, which you’ll get back. The actual bet is also represented by the second number.
So, if you place a £30 bet with 14/3 odds and win, you’ll get £140 as winnings and the total win at that point will be £170.
Decimal odds are used all around the world, though most European fans of golf betting will probably know this odds system the best. Decimal odds are written as a single number with a decimal value, such as 5.25.
It represents the gain of the bet based on one unit. So, all you have to do with the number is subtract one unit and the resulting number will be your profit. In this case, 5.25 minus 1 equals 4.25. In other words, your profit is the bet multiplied by 4.25. For golf betting, it can’t get any simpler than that.
In the US, most betting golf fans are familiar with the Money Line expression of odds. It is always represented by a three-digit number with a plus or a minus. The number 100 is the reference point in this golf betting system.
Positive numbers, such as +280, means more lucrative lower odds, while negative numbers like -160 mean less lucrative odds with a higher percentage.
For example, +280 means that you will get £280 for every £100 you bet. In case of -160, you should flip the numbers. Simply put, it means that you’ll get £100 for every £160 you invest in golf betting. So, if we converted these numbers into fractional odds, we’d get 14/5 in case of +280 and 5/8 in case of -160. Finally, if you see a simple 100, it means you will get double of your bet if you win.
Golf Betting Tips and Strategies
If you want to be a golf betting expert, knowing the types of golf tournaments, bet types and odds of golf betting isn’t nearly enough. But, on the bright side, you already have some basic knowledge to start betting.
And that’s already a big step towards making some long-term profit. To make this start even more smooth, however, take in these valuable tips that every single good golf punter knows.
We’ll give you three big tips which are all different but help you reach the same goal. That goal is to place only those bets that you think are worthy and valuable. There’s nothing worse than random golf betting since you can actually have some control over this type of gambling.
So, the three ways to find worthy bets are:
- Research the market and the golf players
- Analyse your previous golf betting endeavors
- Learn which offers are truly valuable
Do Your Research
The most important step in golf betting is the research. Unless you’re here solely for the thrill of the unknown, you can greatly increase your winning chances simply by following the industry and paying attention to what’s going on in the world of golf.
In other words, see how the players you like and would like to invest your golf betting money in are doing at the moment. Are they in shape to win a tournament or score a birdie? Have they won other competitions recently? Are they good in windy fields in general if you’re thinking of betting on them when they’re playing in such a field?
All of these things matter and are necessary to weigh before making any golf betting decision. Don’t worry if this sounds complicated, though. As you continue using these golf tips, betting will become easier and you’ll get much better at avoiding bad decisions. However, we can guarantee that you will make quite a lot of mistakes at first. It’s just the nature of golf betting.
By the way, research the golf betting market as well, because different bookmakers have various deals and offer different odds, so it’s always good to know what’s on offer and choose more lucrative deals.
Analyse Your Latest Golf Betting Results
As you start out, you should take a look at your previous bets, especially if you lost them, and learn from them. But how do you do that?
A good idea is to read or listen to some commentaries on the results as they can give you an idea whether that outcome was expected or not. If it was, you did something wrong and probably could have researched it better beforehand.
On the other hand, golf betting is very unpredictable with so many players participating in each tournament. Therefore, you can also take a look at different types of winning bets that are similar to the one you made in that situation. Maybe you should have placed a head to head bet rather than an outright bet and you would have won?
Golf Betting Is All About Numbers
Finally, you should always try to avoid impractical golf betting offers and only stick to those that pay according to the winning probability. If you won a bet that was unlikely to succeed, but only got an average payout, that’s still a bit of a loss as you probably could have placed a better bet in the first place.
It’s also important to understand that you will most likely lose as much as you win. That’s what happens even to the best golf betting experts out there. As a result, you simply can’t afford bad bets because you can easily lose money even if you win fairly often. In other words, it’s important to maximise your gain when you’re lucky enough to fill your pockets.
Doing that is easier than you might think, because all you have to do is count the percentage of winning in every scenario of golf betting. That’s what we’ll cover in the last part of this golf betting guide.
Counting The Win Probability
Since there are three different ways to write down odds in golf betting, each one requires a different way of counting the win probability.
In case of fractional odds like 14/3, you’ll need to add both numbers together first. The sum, in this case, is 17. Now, take the second number, divide it by 17 and multiply by 100. You’ll get the percentage which, in this case, is 17.65%.
Decimal odds are easier. To get the win percentage of 5.25, simply divide 1 by this number and multiply by 100. In this case, you should get 19.05%.
The winning probability of positive and negative US odds is counted differently. In case of +280, simply divide 100 by the odds plus 100 (that’s 380 in this case) and then multiply by 100. The result here is 26.32%.
For negative numbers, divide the odds by themselves plus 100. In case of -160, you should divide 160 by 260 and multiply by 100. The end result is 61.54%.
Once you know the percentage, compare it with your own estimations of the likelihood of a win and only bet if your estimations are equal or higher. That’s the key to lucrative long-term golf betting.