Sports punters often cite golf as being one of the most fun games to get involved in as a bet on the sport can give you an interest across four days.
Unless you are betting on a matchplay format, every shot matters towards your bet so you get great value for your stake that you may have placed at betfair.com, paddypower.com, or whichever is your bookmaker of choice.
Find the winner of a competition that involves more than 100 players isn’t easy though but there are a range of different markets available that can help shift the chances of winning more in your favour.
Here are 18 ways to bet on golf:-
1. Outright betting
The most popular way to bet on golf is by backing a selection in the outright betting. If you do so with a win bet, your selection needs to come out on top in the tournament for you to be deemed a winner.
Bookmakers open betting on golf tournaments in the lead up to the event in which they price every participant up in a market. The majority then continue to bet on the winner during the four days until the final hole when the leading golfer is awarded the first prize.
Each-way betting is also very popular with outright bets as, depending on the place terms, you don’t always need to find the winner to get paid out. If your selection is one of the places on offer, you will pick up a return. When there are fields of 150 plus, the extra places are always welcomed and can give you a better chance of securing a pay-out.
When betting on the outright market, look for players who are not only playing well, as form is an important factor in golf, but those who have a good record at the particular course. There is so much information available today on the internet that it does not take long to pull up previous results of any given tournament.
In some cases, such as major events like the Ryder Cup, several bookmakers will offer free bets and promotions (which are touched on later) when staking outright bets that you can take advantage off and in turn maximize any chances of winning!
2. First round leader
Rather than wait for four days for your golf tournament to finish, bookmakers offer odds on who will lead after the opening round of 18 holes. This will suit those who prefer a quick result, rather than to sweat it out for the full 72 holes in the competition.
Like an outright winner bet, each-way terms are normally offered so you may only need to hit the top five in the first round leaderboard for a return.
Look out for players who often make a strong start to events. You will be surprised how often these golfers top the standings in the early stages but fade as they get closer to the winning line.
The great thing about in-play betting is you can watch some of the action in the competition before making your opinion on who you think will win.
3. Match bet
If a field of 100+ is too daunting for you in golf, match bets narrow the selections all the way down to two players. A match bet can occur across 18 holes or the full 72 throughout the tournament.
Prices will be offered as to who will fare best out of two players. These may be mythical as they won’t always be paired together in a round but you will often find prices for the parings as it is very logical for the bookmakers to offer prices on these ties.
In match betting if you have an opinion about a certain player, whether it is positive or negative, you can hopefully make it pay. You will need to assess the chances of both golfers before making your decision.
The odds you receive in a match bet tend to be around the even money mark as bookmakers like to pair together similar priced players in the outright betting.
4. Top 10 finish
This is exactly what is says on the tin in that you are betting on a player to finish in the top 10 at the end of the tournament. This market is great is you fancy someone to go really close in your specific competition but you feel they could just miss out. The bigger the price of the player in the outright betting, the larger their odds are likely to be in this market.
5. Top continent/nation player
Betting is available on a range of top continent or nation markets. For example, on the PGA Tour, the Top European player is generally popular as the majority of the fields are made up of Americans so you can reduce the number down considerably. The winner is determined by the highest position from the group of players from your specific continent/nation.
In some cases there may only be a handful of players from a certain nation. If you have a strong feeling about how a particular golfer will do in a tournament, have a look at their price in their respective top continent/nation market as you may be able to find some good value.
6. Betting in-play
In-play betting has grown considerably in recent years and so much so that it is now almost as big as the pre-match outright market.
The great thing about in-play betting is you can watch some of the action in the competition before making your opinion on who you think will win. This can be done midway through the opening round, going in the final day on the Sunday or with just a few holes to play in the final round.
If you have already made a selection pre-tournament, in-play markets allow you the opportunity to build your portfolio of bets as the action nears a conclusion. You may have backed the leader before the competition got underway and there is realistically only one other player which can catch you. What some people do in this instance is hedge their bets by backing the other golfer to ensure a profit if either of them win.
7. Winning margin
If you don’t have an opinion on who will win a golf tournament, a punt on the winning margin will still give you some interest on the event. Most competitions tend to be won by a small margin so if you fancy a runway leader, you may be rewarded with big odds.
8. To miss/make to cut
At the midway stage of most tournaments, around half of the field leaves the competition, while the other half stay around for the final two rounds. If you are backing a player to make the cut, they simply have to stay in the competition for the last 36 holes, in which you are deemed a winner.
The odds on these markets are not always great, unless you are going against the grain, i.e. backing one of the favorites to miss the cut which should be available at attractive odds.
It can be quite exciting to follow your player in the second round when they float around the cut mark as often it can come down to their final shot with regards to survival or not.
9. Hole in one
Hole in ones are becoming more frequent in golf tournaments and odds are generally available for yes and no before they get underway. If you are betting on this market, it is always worth looking at how many par 3s are available at the course as the more there are, the better chance of one occurring.
10 years ago the odds on a hole in one occurring used to be around the 33-1 mark, now it is just about odds against mark.
A play-off in golf takes place when two or more players finish on the same score at the top of a leaderboard after 72 holes. They will then take each other on in a sudden death matchplay format which usually starts at the 18th hole, but this varies across different tournaments.
If you do back a play-off to occur in any given competition, the good news is you don’t need to worry about the winner. Once the 72 holes are complete and there is still a tie at the top of standings, you will have won your bet.
11. Dual forecast
Those searching for big returns in golf can look no further than a dual forecast bet. This is where you select two players before a tournament starts in which you require them to finish first and second. Unlike with a straight forecast, it does not matter which player wins or is runner-up, as long as they share out the top two placings, you have won your bet.
Although this is very difficult to predict, you are rewarded if successful as the odds tend to be high which means you only have to bet small stakes to pick up big returns. It is also encouraged to have more than one bet in this market to give yourself a better chance of being successful.
12. Big guns v the field
This market basically splits the top three or four in the betting against the rest of the field. It works particularly well when there is a short priced favourite as you then have the choice of taking them on, in which you will have a number of runners in your favor, or by having the market leader on your side with the second and/or third best in the betting with them.
13. Group betting
Group betting generally consists of five players where bets will be taken on who will fare best over mythical 18 and 72 holes. These are similar to match bets but the big difference is the odds will be much better as you have more than one player to beat with your selection.
14. Double chance
Rather than backing one player in the outright betting, bookmakers now offer odds on pairings in which you get two selections for the price of one. Naturally, the odds will be reduced and reflect the chances of your two players but it will allow you to cheer on more than one golfer if you want a single bet.
15. Three balls
Three balls take place on the opening two rounds of golf tournaments before the cut when there is a large field. Betting is available on who will have the best round of the three players which have been grouped together in the draw. If there is a tie, dead-heat rules apply.
In the four majors, three ball betting is very popular as the organizers tend to put together at least two exciting three ball groups which involve the biggest names in the sport. This tempts punters into having a play in this market as these players tend to pick up the most television coverage so you get to see every shot from their round,
16. Winning nationality
Each nationality that is represented in your selected golf tournament will be priced up in this market. Depending on where the event is played, the home nation is likely to be the ffavoriteas they tend to have the most representation, i.e. in a PGA Tour event; American is usually short in this market.
Handicap markets are very popular in sports betting and the same can be said in golf. What they aim to do is give every player an equal chance of winning. They do this by assigning each golfer with a starting mark, whether that is – or +/-. Everybody in the field would then be the same price in this market.
Sometimes it is best to avoid the favorites in the handicap betting and look for someone who has been given a decent start and could outperform that score.
Bookmakers like to come up with a number of specials ahead of the bigger tournaments on the calendar such as the four majors. These are bets which are usually specific to a certain player. For example, an individual to record four or more birdies on their card in a given round.
Specials can also be offered on a season-long basis. There are usually a number of them on offer before the start of the campaign such as how many majors will an individual win.