Betting on Golf

The sport of golf has been around for ages, has been up and down in terms of popularity, and has enjoyed a surge ever since Tiger Woods hit the scene almost two decades ago and took the sports world by storm. Even though Tiger has hit hard times, both on and off the course, the sport still sees high ratings, and with stars such as Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson to go along with established veterans such as Woods and Phil Mickelson, there is a lot to look forward to, in 2018 and beyond when it comes to golf betting.

Betting on golf has expanded along with the sport’s popularity, and sportsbooks are getting a bit more competitive to try and capture this growing market. This article will examine some of the different types of odds, the trends and strategies involved, and what to look for in a bookmaker. However, to get straight into the betting action, take a look at the most reliable and best golf betting sites.

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Types of Golf Betting

Standard Tournaments

There are many different types of lines on professional golf, including odds on each PGA tournament. You can bet on every golfer to win, and for some of the larger names you can also take the field to win (basically a “no” bet against that golfer). Each round also offers further chances to bet, as bookmakers post lines on golfer vs. golfer complete with a spread or handicap (usually .5 of a stroke to avoid a tie), and odds for each imaginary matchup. Sometimes these are based on the pairings and sometimes they just pair big names such as Johnson vs. Spieth to generate betting action. Before each tournament, you can bet on these matchups for an individual round or for the whole tournament.


Sportsbooks also offer creative proposition bets, or novelty bets, on golf tournaments, with the majors usually seeing the biggest selection of markets. These props include bets such as Top 10 finish, Top 5 finish, will there be a playoff in the tournament? will there be a hole in one in the tournament? The lowest round, cut score, and then individual props such as will Tiger Woods make the cut? There are also many different types of bets based on the home country of the winning golfer. For example: will the winner be from America? Bookmakers have even taken to creating pools of players from the different countries and allowing you to bet on who will finish the highest in the tournament. So you may have an American bracket with Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and a few others, and then you can pick which will finish best of the pack, with odds assigned to each player.


Golf futures, or long-term bets, are also a good way to get some action down. Some bookmakers list odds for hundreds of players for all 4 majors, months in advance. These bets are usually “action” and mean that if your player does not qualify, or is injured, or retires before the tournament, your bet is essentially lost. Sometimes they include the caveat that your player must tee off for action.

Another popular type of golf betting is to bet on whether a golfer will win any of the 4 majors. You can bet Yes or No for most players, and also can bet odds such as:

Rory McIlroy – Majors won in 2018?

Zero -200
One +225
Two +800
Three +4000
Four (Grand Slam) +9000

This means you can pick how many majors McIlroy will win, and get paid accordingly. Zero is the clear favorite here, but you can also find a bet such as:

Rory McIlroy – to win a Major in 2018?

Yes -200
No +180

Meaning if he wins 1, 2, 3, or 4, you still win the bet. In the previous bet, you have to pick the exact amount of majors he wins, which is nearly impossible to predict without a lot of luck. At least the yes/no question is more straightforward and easier to pick, especially if you like the “no.” These bets are offered on most big name golfers, not just the likes of Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm.

Trends and Strategies

For a long, long time, the trend was to simply bet on Tiger Woods and sit back and watch your bankroll grow. However, those days are long gone and there are several top players that are all capable of winning Majors if they bring their A game. Whether you believe in it or not, golf is the biggest mental game of any sport, and confidence can play a huge part in deciding which player has the edge in a particular tournament.

One strategy that has worked well in the past has been to simply bet against the leader heading into the final round. There have been numerous comebacks from 5+ shots going into the last round, so it seems as if no lead is safe heading into Sunday. The bookmakers continue to give nice odds on the field, especially if the leader is 2-4 shots clear of everyone else.

What to Look for in a Sportsbook

As golf continues to grow, and as betting on golf also continues to surge, players will need to pay close attention to the different odds on offer. Some sportsbooks are aggressive and offer lines very early, with a bit of increased juice to compensate for time risk and uncertainty. Other bookies post lines late but offer soft odds to attract amateur action.

Some bookmakers have live betting for golf, some offer live streaming of events, and others feature specials that aren’t found anywhere else. It just depends on if you want to bet on a golfer to win a tournament, or if you think there is value in props and exotic bets for golf.

Having a bookmaker that pays out quickly and securely is very important, not just for golf betting, but for every sport. Be sure to check out various sportsbooks to find the best odds, as well as any other perks such as a generous deposit bonus or reduced juice. Remember, every cent matters when it comes to sports betting.

Golf Betting Events

There are many events that people like to bet on but the four examples below are probably the busiest times for golf betting. These four tournaments are known as the “Majors” namely the US Masters, the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship.

The Masters – Takes place annually in the first week in April.  The event is always held at the Augusta National Golf Club and most people always associate it with the “Green Jacket”.

US Open – Another annual event and it’s the 2nd major PGA tournament. The event happens every June and many fans turn out due to the great weather.

British Open – As the oldest one of the four majors and the only one to be situated outside the US, the Open Championships draws a lot of attention from around the globe.

PGA Championships -The PGA is another annual major golf tournament. The great thing about it is that it’s played on a different course every year which always makes things interesting for betting.

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