Golf is one of the best sports to place a bet on. In most cases, it can give you betting opportunities over four days, meaning you get great value for your stake. And, with a number of tournaments taking place every week of the year, there are plenty to choose from. The European Tour and PGA Tour are the two leading organisations that put on big events for the top players each week. However, if you are not familiar with golf betting, here are the different ways you can bet on the sport with the bookmakers.
The bookmaker usually opens up betting on a golf tournament three days before it begins. Every player who is set to tee off in the event will have odds in the outright market. Given the size of the field in the sport, you can pick up some tasty prices on your fancied player. In the late 90s and early 00s, Tiger Woods dominated the sport and was going off at around 2/1 in every tournament he entered; however, the standard is far more competitive today, and it is usually 8/1 the field in the four Major Championships, with Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson the three players which share favouritism between them.
If you are looking to have an each-way bet in the outright market, make sure you check the terms on offer. These differ from one bookmaker to another. Some will give you more placings than the usual five, while others prefer to go 1/4 the odds rather than 1/5.
Once a tournament starts, the outright market will then turn into an in-play event where the odds compilers update their prices after every shot and hole. This means that if you have an opinion on who is best placed to win the event, you can get involved across the four days. This is a particularly busy market on the final day when there are just 18 holes or less left to play.
When considering who to back in the outright betting of a golf tournament, always research course form. This can be more important than current form as players often find their best game when they are playing at a course they have done well at before. The US Masters at Augusta is a great example. Spieth has played there four times in his career and his results are T2, winner, T2 and T11 respectively. The Texan clearly loves playing the Georgia course and is likely to be a contender once again in 2018 where he is the 7/1 favourite.
If you want to increase your chances of winning in golf betting, there are a number of other ways to bet on an event other than the outright market. One of these options is to place a match bet. This is where the bookmaker will create a mythical match between two players. In order to win your bet, your player has to finish higher than their opponents on the leaderboard at the end of the four rounds. Usually there is very little between the two players in the betting as the bookies will pair players who have similar ability and/or the same price in the outright market.
Another popular way to bet on golf is a three-ball bet. On the opening two days of a tournament, the field is normally divided into threes and this is the draw in which the players will go around the course in over the first couple of rounds. On each day, you can bet on who will win that particular three ball. You only have two players to beat and the beauty of this bet is that your player can have a nightmare round but as long as it is better than their playing partners, you are a winner.
The opening Major Championship on the calendar is the US Masters, which takes place in early April at Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia. This has been the home of the tournament since 1934. Augusta is a fantastic test for the world’s best players as there are bunker, hazards, and tight fairways across the course; therefore, if they play a bad shot, they are punished. One of the things that is often underestimated in the Masters is how tough the greens can be when they are playing fast. They require full attention and they are often the difference between who does well and struggles across the four days.
The venue for the US Open changes with each year. Organised by the USGA, the course is selected according to how tough it will be for the players. In 2012 and 2013, the winning score was +1 when Webb Simpson and Justin Rose were successful respectively. Players who do well at the US Open are normally ones who play safe golf. Distance off the tee is not essential; however, you do want a player who knows when to attack and when to play defensively.
This is the oldest of the four Major Championships and it is the only one to be played outside of the United States. The British event is rotated across a number of sanctioned courses that are allowed to hold the event. The Open is unique in that it is played on a links course so the weather is usually a big factor on how tough the tournament is each year. Spieth, Henrik Stenson, and Phil Mickelson have all been successful over the last four years so the best players all have an excellent record. In 2018, the tournament returns to Carnoustie in Scotland.
US PGA Championship
Golf’s final major of the year is the US PGA Championship and this is also held at a different course each year. A lot of the venues used for this major are familiar to the players so it is worth searching for course form when looking who to back. In 2015, Jason Day broke his duck in the majors in this tournament when he finished on -20 after his four rounds, while in 2017 Jimmy Walker came out on top.
The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest team events in sport and the tournament takes place every two years between Europe and the USA. Betting is not only available on which team will lift the trophy but there are a whole host of other markets. You can bet on which player will score the most points across the three days, the top European points scorer, and top American points scorer.
The next Ryder Cup will take place in 2018 when Europe plays host at Le Golf National in Paris. USA will be the holders of the trophy as they beat Europe 17-11 in 2016 at Hazeltine National Golf Course. The bookmakers make Europe the marginal favoruites this time though as they can be backed at 10-11. USA are 6-5 while the draw is available at 11/1.
With plenty of golf still to play in 2017/18, look out for the latest betting each week for the tournaments ahead and good luck if you are having a punt.