Golf Betting Explained

This is the Definitive Betting Brain Guide to Gambling on Golf and was written to give bettors a complete understanding to betting on golf and PGA tournaments.

When it comes to betting, golf is one of the toughest sports to win at, but can potentially be one of the most rewarding. Week in, week out there are events on the many golf tours you’ll be able to gamble on.

Here you’ll find a guide to the different markets you’ll find. First up, the winner market is explained, using some examples. Next you’ll find information on the 2 or 3-balls, followed by individual match-ups. Group betting, team events and other tournament bets are explained at the end of this page.

Golf – The Winner Market

This is the most popular bet on golf, and is a bet on which golfer you think will win a particular event. Here is an example of what you’ll see when you visit a sportsbook:

To win the Open Championship:

Tiger Woods      7/1
Rory McIlroy     10/1
Adam Scott        12/1
Martin Kaymer   14/1

Here, if you were to place a bet on Tiger Woods to win the Open Championship, you’d win seven times your stake. For example, if you were to wager $10 on Woods, you’d receive $80 back – $70 profit and your $10 stake back. Using the same principle, here you’d win $100 on McIlroy, $120 on Scott and $140 on Kaymer.

Some books will not actually list every competitor and group all of the non-listed players together as “the field” and offer odds on these players as a collective – if any of these players win, you’ll win your bet.

Some sportsbooks will also offer odds on players to finish in the top five, or the top ten, or even to make the cut

Golf – Two or Three Balls

In most cases golfers will either go out in a two or a three, and books will offer odds on some or all of these pairings. You are betting on which of the players scores lowest for THAT particular round only. Here is a typical example:

Phil Mickelson     +150
Keegan Bradley   +150
Vijay Singh            +300

If you were place a $100 bet on Mickelson to win the 3-ball here, you’d win $150 if he did shoot the low score of the three players. Bradley would win you the same amount, and Singh would see you in profit for $300. If two of the players scored the same on the day, dead heat rules apply, and you’d receive half of your total return back.

Golf Betting Match Ups

Before an event, sportsbooks like bovada will normally publish a group of match ups between big name golfers. You’ll be betting on one of the players to finish higher than the other over the four days. Sportsbooks try and match up golfers who are considered a similar ability, so the odds on both will be close. Here is an example:

Nick Faldo         -110
Greg Norman   -110

If you were to back either golfer here for $110, you’d win $100. Of course, if one player misses the cut and the other doesn’t then the player making the cut will win the wager.

Group Betting in Golf Tournaments

In some events there will be special group markets normally based upon the origin of the players. Here is an example:

Top European at the Masters

Rory McIlroy       4/1
Henrik Stenson   6/1
Luke Donald        7/1
Sergio Garcia       8/1

These markets work exactly the same way as the outright winner market, except only the players on the list actually count – so the lowest scorer on the list is deemed the winner of the bet. As well as groups based upon the origin of the player, you might find a market with rookies at the event, or previous winners of a tournament.

Other Golf Tournament Bets

On some events, particularly the larger ones, you may find a variety of other bets on the tournament. This might be on the eventual winning score, whether or not they’ll be a hole in one during the week, which player will be leading at the end of the first round and more.

Golf Betting on Team Events

Events like the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup and the Presidents Cup are very popular when it comes to betting and you’ll be able to place a wager on a good choice of markets.

The most popular bet is the outright winner and you’ll be able to bet on both teams as well as an outright tie. Top points scorers are also a popular wager and these can be placed on the overall event, or for a top point scorer within a team.

Each match throughout the event will also be priced up, so whether the game is a four-ball, a foursome or a singles match on the final day, you’ll be able to place a bet on it.

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