The following online betting sites have been chosen as the best places to bet on golf, based on the promotions, markets and odds they offer. All of the sites offer a free bet which can be used to bet on golf.
Golf Betting Guide
Golf is one the largest participating sports in the UK. Millions of us rock up to golf courses around the country and it’s largely as a result of the increased exposure of golf as a whole. SKY TV has been at the forefront of bringing golf into our homes and making it much more accessible then it maybe once was. They show every event from both the PGA Tour and the European Tour, not including the four major championships.
It’s like any sport that gets given TV coverage; eventually bookmakers will cotton on the popularity of the game and start producing betting markets. In fact golf has been one of the fastest growing betting markets on the exchanges. It’s a sport that offers great value when often favourites head off at around 10/1; something that is unheard of with other sports.
How To Bet On Golf
Golf betting is as simple as it comes; all you have to do is pick your market, choose your bet and place your bet. The beauty of the increased exposure from bookmakers allows you to search out the best odds and free bets from the market.
The markets seem to grow each year. Bookmakers are constantly finding new ways in which to appease their punters, and everyone likes a fresh market to bet on. Below we have listed some of the more common markets along with a couple of obscure ones to suit.
- Outright Winner – On this market you can select which player you think will win the tournament outright. This market will turn in-play with the majority of major bookmakers so you can amend bets as and when the tournament progresses.
- 3 Ball Betting – Away from the tournament you can bet on specific groups of 3 balls that may be playing. So you can choose a winner as to who will have the best round out of those three players with it not mattering where they finish overall in the tournament. As the competition goes on the 3 ball matchups will change and may even change to 2 balls on the weekend.
- Top Player Per Continent – The global appeal of golf means players from all over the world compete. This allows you to choose which player will be the highest ranked from their continent or country. Again the overall standing for the tournament in this market is irrelevant.
- Top 5 Finish – A little like an each way bet, this market allows you to choose a player to finish within the top 5 at the end of the tournament. If a player finishes tied for 5th place then this will be down as a win.
Golf Betting Rules
There isn’t too much to worry about in golf with regards to the rules of golf betting. There are very few grey areas in the sport and this means that betting lines and results are relatively clean cut. However, here are a couple of rules which you should be aware of.
- Rule 4 will be applied to the appropriate markets should a player withdraw or retire. The odds will be adjusted to reflect this retirement.
- Tournaments need to complete 36 holes for bets to become valid. Anything less and bets will become void.
Dead heats in golf are actually very common, but it’s an area of betting that many people overlook. Whilst the outright winner is undisputed – as extra holes or a playoff will determine this – for places, there are often several players tied for a certain position.
The process here is actually quite simple, in that you just need to divide your stake by the total number of players tied for that position. This then becomes your new stake which is then applied to the odds that you took prior to the bet starting.
Let’s say you placed £10 each way on Dustin Johnson to win The Open at odds of 20/1. The leader board at the conclusion of the tournament looks like this:
- Jordan Spieth – 1st -20
- Rory McIlroy – 2nd -19
- Dustin Johnson – T3rd -15
- John Rahm – T3rd -15
- Sergio Garcia – T3rd -15
- Justin Rose – 6th -13
As you can see, Johnson finished in a tie for 3rd place. This automatically means that our win section from the each way bet has lost. However, the terms of the each way were that they would pay out top 5 finishes at ¼ odds. Johnson has finished in a tie for third, so the place bet wins.
As we can see, there are 3 players that are currently tied for third; Dustin Johnson, John Rahm and Sergio Garcia. For the purposes of our place bet, we will now need to divide our original stake by 3.
£10 place bet divide 3 = £3.33
Our new stake is now £3.33. The terms of the each way bet were ¼ odds, so our new odds become 5/1. Our winnings equal:
£3.33 x 5/1 = £19.98 Returns.
As you can see, it’s all pretty straight forward stuff when you break it down. As long as you remember that the stake is divided by the number of ties in the dead heat, then you are good to go.
Ante Post Betting
Ante post betting in golf is one of the more popular bets to make. The format is pretty simple in that you simply place your bet on a market either on the day or even several days before the start of the tournament.
The key difference to remember when betting on ante post markets is that should a player not play in the event for whatever reason, you will not get your stake back. If you placed the same bet in a non-ante post market, then you expect your bet to become void and your stake refunded.
The plus side to ante post betting is that more often than not you are going to be able to get inflated odds for your selection; often, the further before the tournament you place your bet, the higher the odds.
The main reason for this is that several weeks or even months before a tournament starts, bookies are second guessing what kind of form players are in. Golf, like a lot of sports, can rely hugely on momentum, and with this momentum players often carry their good form into the following week.
Let’s run through a quick example. Looking at the 2018 Masters we see that a young Mathew Fitzpatrick is priced at odds of 100/1. Now, bearing in mind that at the time of writing this article we are several months away from the start, Fitzpatrick is likely going to be playing 6-8 tournaments before then at least.
Who’s to say that he won’t go and win 2 of those events, and be one of the most in form players on the field for that week? One thing is for certain, if he has seen success in the weeks leading up to it, his price of 100/1 won’t be around for long and could be halved or greater.
Another key point to remember is that players’ prices don’t tend to drift all that much. They shorten, but few actually lengthen, which is another reason that the ante post market is so lucrative.
Horses for Courses
You’ve heard the term before, right? But there are few sports where horses for courses applies more to than golf.
Golf courses are all set up to try and offer something a little different. Some vary in length, layout, speed, weather conditions, type of grass (different grasses play differently), hazards, and so many more. The idea is to make things challenging for the golfer without being impossible.
Despite what you are led to believe on TV, golfers are only human and they do make mistakes. They also have weaknesses, some fewer than others granted. It’s these weaknesses that make some courses suit certain golfers more than others.
For example, a course that is near to 8,000 yards long is – for the time being at least – classed as a very long course. If you’re someone who doesn’t hit the ball very far, then the course isn’t going to suit you. If you average 330 yards off the tee, however, then this is going to be a massive advantage.
Conversely, if you can’t find a fairway off the tee, then smaller, narrow fairways are going to be your worst nightmare. You are essentially going to be scrambling for par on most holes, which is going to put you at a disadvantage over the accurate players, regardless of distance.
This actually makes things a lot easier for us bettors, as it allows us to narrow down a select group of players that we think will perform well on that course. The plethora of data that is available online makes it so much easier to see who will fit well where.
Your selections aren’t going to do well every week, that is the nature of golf. Even Rory McIlroy misses cuts, heck, even the great Tiger Woods didn’t win everything he played in, although he wasn’t too far away.
The trick is to try and find players that suit the course for that week. Forget about just choosing the top 4/5 players each week, they don’t win every week. The value is in the middle of the road bets, something we talk more about later in this article.
Shop Around for Best Prices
There are few sports where an outright favourite for an event is going to go off at odds of 10/1 or even higher. Golf is one of those sports. Looking at the current field and the odds for the 2018 Masters shows that the average odds for the field is around the 50-60/1 mark, ranging from as little as 8/1 for the favourite up to 400/1 for Scott Hend (don’t bet on him!).
The range of odds that are on offer differ massively from bookmaker to bookmaker. Let’s take a quick example of what we mean:
Adam Scott is just above the middle of the pack to win the 2018 Master. Below are the highest and lowest odds that we found for him:
- Highest: Ladbrokes, 40/1
- Lowest: Bwin, 26/1
Ladbrokes is offering you, for exactly the same bet, almost 50% better odds than that of Bwin. For the same bet! This is pretty common as well, we could list dozens of players where the odds discrepancy between the best and worst odds are staggering.
What we are saying is, make sure you shop around and don’t just stick with the same bookmaker that you place all your bets with out of convenience. We aren’t saying you need dozens of accounts, but if you have 4 or 5 that are active and that you can jump straight into, then you are going to make so much more money. If you fail to do this then you are literally throwing money away.
Favour the Each Way Bet
We spoke earlier about each way betting in our dead heats section, but we really wanted to hammer home the importance of this bet type, because with of the sheer size of the odds on offer it totally makes sense to utilise each way betting. This allows you to cover both the win and place bet, with both sections offering a great range in payouts.
As mentioned above, the rough average odds for the 2018 Masters is around 50/1 or thereabouts. So, even if your each way bet was ¼ of this, which the majority are, then the odds of 25/2 are still very appealing, even for half your stake.
Picking winners in golf is also very hard. You have to remember that some fields can include over 150 players for a single event. It’s theoretically easier to choose the winner of the Grand National several times in a row than it is to pick a winner in a golf tournament. Realistically, that’s not totally accurate, but you see our point.
However, whilst the best players in the world might not be winning every week, they are rarely far away, which is why they are the best. Each way betting not only gives us some cover, but unlike most sports, it also gives us a lot of value as well.
The Rich and Famous
Golf is now one of the world’s richest sports. There is more money in the game than ever before and each year record prize pools seem to keep occurring.
The thing is, you don’t even need to be that good anymore to make an extremely healthy living. Well, when we say ‘that good’, you still need to be in the top percentile of players in the world to get on tour in the first place; but compared to the best, you don’t even need to compete.
Let’s look at a quick example. We looked at the World Golf Rankings and decided to shoot for number 300 in the world. We figured this wouldn’t be a bad place to start. At 300 in the world you get little access to the big events on the PGA Tour and have to qualify for most of the events.
Number 300 in the world just so happens to be Canadian, David Hearn. Never heard of him? Neither had we.
After looking through his stats, Hearn had actually been on tour since 2005, missing one season in 2010 before returning again in 2011. In that time, Hearn had no wins, just 3 top 3 finishes and 18 top 10’s from 233 events. Not great by any means.
His career earnings, not including sponsorship? $8,400,860. Just for being fairly good at golf (in an elite comparison). He averages over $36,000 per event and over $13,000 per week over his career.
This is Premier League footballer’s money, for a player that’s not really made a mark or that many people will have heard off. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a David Hearn bashing article, we merely use him to highlight how much money there is in the game at the minute.
The numbers are continuing to rise as well, with all four majors set for record breaking prize funds in 2018. The rich, are certainly getting richer!