Golf Betting Online - A Complete Guide To Markets, Lines & Bet Types

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 over a decade 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 emerging stars such as Rory McIlroy and Bill Haas to go along with established veterans such as Woods and Phil Mickelson, there is a lot to look forward to, in 2012 and beyond when it comes to professional golf.

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

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Types of Lines

Standard Tournaments

There are many different types of lines on professional golf. There are lines 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 chances to bet, as books post lines on golfer vs. golfer, complete with a spread (usually .5 of a stroke to avoid a tie) and a moneyline for each imaginary matchup. Sometimes these are based on the pairings and sometimes they just pair big names such as Phil vs. Tiger to generate action. Before each tournament you can also bet these matchups for just an individual round or for the whole tournament.


Books also offer creative props on golf tournaments, with the majors usually seeing the biggest selection. 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?, 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? Books 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 Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and a few others, and then you can pick which will finish best with odds attached to each player.


Golf futures are also a good way to get some action down. Some books 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. For a while it was “Tiger must tee off for action” which shows just how big of an influence he was on the golf market.

Another way to play 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

Tiger Woods Majors won 2012

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

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

Tiger Woods Major Win 2012

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 Tiger and Phil.

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, books got smart to this strategy and adjusted their lines down to meet the rising demand of players to bet on Tiger. The trend was simply playing on the very real fact that other players were not as skilled as Tiger and also intimidated by his Sunday Red. Whether you believe in it or not, golf is the biggest mental game of any sport, and Tiger clearly had the edge for a long while. Now, he is older, and his personal problems are out in the open. Other players were very young when Tiger burst onto the scene, and are not afraid of him. Players such as Rory McIlroy are fearless and skilled enough to stand eye to eye and take down Tiger.

One strategy that is working great so far since 2012 is to simply bet against the leader heading into the final round. There have been numerous comebacks from 5+ shots this year going into the last round, so it seems as if no lead is safe heading into Sunday. The books continue to give nice odds to the field, especially if the leader is 2-4 shots clear of everyone else.

What To Look For In a Golf Book

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

Some books have live betting for golf, 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 exotics for golf.

Having a book that pays out quickly and securely is very important, not just for golf betting, but for every sport. Be sure to line shop and 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 Major 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 and it happens in the first week in April.  The event is always held at 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 alot of attention from around the globe.

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

Also, don’t forget about the British Open which is another huge PGA event that takes place in the UK.  All of the sport books will offer some odds and prop bets for these events and it makes it easier that you can wager from your own home. Next we will discuss some golf strategy and tips.

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