Today, we’re talking golf sports bets. Most people think that you can only bet on who is going to win a tournament, but that’s just not the case. Sportsbooks offer a ton of betting flexibility when it comes to betting on golf. This information is important to recreational and serious bettors as it adds some new ways to have fun and to make some serious cash.
Below, you’ll find a complete list of the different types of bets available when you choose to bet on golf. While not all of these bets will be available at every sportsbook you go to, you will be able to find most of this action somewhere. Also, the higher profile the golfing event is (something like the Masters or the Ryder Cup), the more betting options that you’re going to see at more establishments.
If you do want the ultimate in options and betting flexibility on golf, we recommend you check out our golf betting hub where we have some great options to recommend to you.
The most popular and widely-known golf bet is the ‘to-win’ bet. This is a bet on who you think is going to win an upcoming tournament or round. The only criteria to win this bet is that the golfer you selected wins the event that you selected. It doesn’t matter by how many strokes or if the win is pretty. All that matters is that they are victorious in the event that you selected.
As we mentioned, ‘to-win’ bets are available for individual rounds in a tournament or the entire tournament. Individual round bets are usually just available the day before the round after the completion of the previous round. The only exception is the first round which releases odds out with the tournament long odds. You can also bet the full tournament winner at any point after any of the rounds or before the tournament starts. The odds will adjust based on the likelihood of each golfer winning the tournament, so keep that in mind.
Payouts will not be the same for every golfer but will be dependent on the likelihood of that golfer winning the designated tournament or round. The bigger the favorite a golfer is, the lower the payout you should expect to get. On the flip side, the bigger the underdog a golfer is to win, the higher the payout that you should expect to get.
To-win bets are great because they are simple and straightforward. If you’re brand new to betting on golf, this is one of the best places to start. Don’t let that fool you, though. To-win bets are utilized by some of the top betting professionals as a part of their winning strategies. Some professionals exclusively bet these bets, so don’t think that just because they are simple, they are not a powerful betting tool in your arsenal.
A great golf bet for beginners or experienced bettors that helps to limit variance is the matchup bet. These bets will be tough to find in brick and mortar sportsbooks unless it’s a major event and even then they will be limited. But, if you’re betting online, you should see these bets quite frequently with a lot more options to choose from.
A matchup bet is a wager where the sportsbook picks out two different golfers and asks you to pick which of the two you think is going to outperform the other. Typically, you’ll see this on an individual round, but you can sometimes see these matchup bets on a full tournament. The golfers are not usually picked at random, but are either popular rivals or golfers that are paired with each other in later rounds.
In order to win a matchup bet, all you have to do is pick which golfer is going to either score better (for round matchup bets) or place higher (for tournament matchup bets). The rest of the field does not matter. The golfers could secure the last two spots in the field shooting 80 over par, but as long as the golfer you picked to score better or finish higher than the other golfer does so, you win your bet.
As we mentioned, this is a great way to drastically lower variance as you are no longer picking from over 100+ golfers to win a tournament. You now only have to choose which one of two golfers is going to beat out the other one.
Now, we just want to make sure that it’s clear that you’re not getting special odds or anything on this bet type. Yes, you will win more frequently, but the payouts will be lower than what you will get with a to-win bet. But, instead of having to go weeks or sometimes months without a win, you can dramatically bring that variance down. You’ll still need to find value and pick winners to be profitable, but the time between wins should be a lot shorter.
In tournaments where there is a clear favorite who seems to be running away with a tournament, you’ll have the option of taking the versus the field bet. With this bet, you’ll be able to bet whether that player wins the tournament or anyone else in field wins. If you take the player side, all you need is for that player to be the winner. If you take the field, all you need is anyone other than the player to win the tournament.
Again, you are not always going to have this bet as an option as it is really only viable when there is a clear favorite. The odds will be adjusted based on how big of a favorite the single golfer is and the likelihood of them holding off the rest of the field.
A futures bet is a wager on well, something that is going to happen in the future that is usually not determined by one tournament. Some of the most common futures bets that you’ll see in golf are wagers on who will make the playoffs and who will win the season end championship. All you have to do is pick who you think that winner is going to be and if you’re right, you win your bet.
Futures bets in golf can be made at any point during the season or the playoffs. The odds will be temporarily taken down while the golfers are actively playing an event, but will be put back up and adjusted as soon as play is concluded.
Typically, people like to make futures bets in golf at the beginning of the season or right at the beginning of the playoffs. But, you really can make them at any point during the season or playoffs that you want to. Ideally, you’re looking to make your bet when the golfer is least likely to win as you’ll get the best payout. As the golfer becomes more likely to win the championship, you’ll see the odds shift, and the payout get lower and lower.
Futures bets are a fun wager that you can make that you can make a lot of money off of. But, keep in mind that when you make a futures bet, you will not see your winnings until the season is completely over (or the playoffs start). If you have a small bankroll or need access to those funds regularly to bet with, then you might want to avoid a futures bet as those funds will be locked up until the bet is decided. When you make a tournament bet, your funds are locked up for just a few days, but when you make a futures bet, those funds can be locked up for months.
This shouldn’t be a reason not to make futures bets as they can be great sources of value. But, just be aware that you’ll lose that access.
Prop bets in golf are huge! What we mean by huge is that you typically have a lot of different options to choose from especially on the major events. Prop bets are wagers where the sportsbook will list something that may or may not happen during the course of a round or the tournament. You will have the option to bet on whether that will or will not happen.
For example, “Will there be more than five eagles on a particular hole?” or “Will Tiger hit it into the water on 15?” These are just two examples of many prop bets that exist in the golf world. Basically, if it can be measured or confirmed, it can be a prop bet. The only thing limiting how many prop bets are offered is what the sportsbook decides to do.
Some sportsbooks that cater to golf bettors (typically online) will have tons of prop bets on all major events. In the brick and mortar locations, though, you’re really only going to see prop bets on high-profile events and still with a limited number of options.
Do keep in mind that some prop bets require skill to predict while others are luck-based and are essentially gambling. Being able to tell the difference is crucial if you have aspirations of being a long-term winner. Betting on something like how many eagles will occur on a hole takes skill. You can break down which golfers you think have a shot to reach in two and then how many have the putting skill to drop in the eagle putt. You can then also compare it with the conditions and be able to make an educated prediction.
But, something like “Will there be a hole in one this tournament?” is just luck. Be able to discern the difference and stick to betting the skill-based props if you care about your bottom line. If you’re just out for a good time and some added sweat, though, then you can bet any and all the props you want! As long as you know the non-skill based ones are just gambling, we’ve done our part.
Something we hadn’t really seen much of until the Tiger vs. Phil match was individual hole betting. It’s possible that it existed prior to that match, but that was the first we heard of it. Basically, sportsbooks allowed you to bet on every single hole of their match. You could bet that either one of them would win each hole or that the hole would be a draw.
It was a pretty exciting spectacle as you could bet on each hole prior to the match or you could bet on holes that hadn’t been started yet. It was crazy to watch the swings in action based on what had happened in prior holes. In a sense, it became a form of live betting where you were able to continue betting in between holes after the match had already started.
We do expect to see this again as the popularity of it was huge. If there any major match play competitions, keep your eye out for these wagers. They’re incredibly fun, and there is a ton of value as the betting public jumps all over them without doing their homework. If you’re prepared beforehand and know what lines you want, you can capitalize on moving lines and pick up a ton of value thanks to the betting public betting with their hearts and not their minds.
We would like to make one disclaimer before we send you on your way to make your golf bets. Just because all of these different wagers exist does not mean that you’re forced to use them. For some reason, many newer bettors think that you have to have a diversified betting portfolio to be successful. This is not true. You can bet just one type of bet, and as long as you are constantly betting value, then you’re going to make a profit in the long run.
Now, there are personal reasons that you might want to utilize more than one type of golf bet. One, if you have a prediction that does not have a direct effect on the winner of the tournament, you are going to want to be able to capitalize on it. Two, you may want to cut down the variance that comes with only betting to-win bets. Whatever the reason, there is no right or wrong solution. As long as you have a plan for what you’re doing and continue to look for bets that have value, you’re going to stand a good chance of being a long-term profitable golf sports bettor.