As with tennis, when it comes to golf, there are four tournaments that stand out above all of the rest. Golf’s majors are the Open, the Masters, the US Open and the USPGA Championship and these four events are the ones that all pros would most love to win. They are also the ones that attract the most interest from us punters too. Regular golf bettors will probably stake a little more than usual when it comes to the majors, whilst for casual golf betting fans, these four tournaments may be the only ones they wager on all year.
Because these tournaments are the most prestigious and most valuable, and attract both the best golfers in the world and the highest volume of bets, the bookies go to town in terms of the offers and betting markets they offer. As one of the big four events draws nearer, bookies will unveil their promos and odds, with far more markets than are offered for a standard tournament.
However, one of the most popular outrights when it comes to majors is often struck before the season even begins. The best golf bookmakers have a range of major specials that can usually be placed anytime between the final major of one season and the first from the next golf year. Some sites may even update these markets during the campaign after each major tournament is completed.
The main market is to back a named player to win any major in a calendar year. So, for example, you might back Rory McIlroy to win a major in 2024. If he wins any of the big four – the British Open, the US Masters, the US Open or the USPGA – then your bet is a winner. However, if Rory extends his long, long wait to claim a fifth major for yet another season, then your bet is a loser. It is an incredibly straightforward market and there isn’t much else to say.
However, in the rest of this article, we will take a look at what sort of odds you can expect in this market. We will also explain what other similar major-based bets are available too.
To Win a Major Odds
At the time of writing, the 2023 majors are long since done and dusted but players will already be thinking about the prizes on offer in 2024. Below you can see the odds being offered for a selection of players to win a major in 2024. To give you an idea of what sort of prices to expect we have picked a range of different players. To provide even further context to those prices, we have also listed the odds for the US Masters, the first of the big four up for grabs each year, as well as the Open Championship.
|Player||To Win A Major||Masters||Open Championship|
Strategy and Tips
Quite how much value there is in this market depends on your point of view. Some players have a great all-round game and are genuine contenders at all of the majors. Others may have a far greater chance of success at one or more.
Each of the majors has its own character. The Open, for example, is played on shorter links courses where the weather is often a huge factor. The US Open, meanwhile, tends to be played on very challenging venues with penal rough. The US Masters is unique in being the only major played at the same course each year (Augusta National), and it is one that rewards excellent putting and long (though not necessarily that accurate) driving. Hosts for the USPGA can be a little more varied but certainly favour lower scoring than the US Open, whilst still tending to be very long.
The key point is that unless you feel a player has a decent chance in three, and ideally all four, tournaments, you may be better backing them simply to win the one – or two – where you think they will go best. Of course, the odds reflect these differences to some degree, but it is well worth trying to find value as there can be discrepancies that don’t necessarily make complete sense.
Zalatoris is 13/2 to win any major but 40/1 to win the Masters. The American is 33/1 for the Open Championship but has a strong record at all three US majors, boasting two a top-eight finish in the Open and a runner-up (including ties) in each of the others. As such, backing him at 13/2 in the ‘To win a major’ market may well make more appeal than the 33/1 for him at the Open.
Ultimately though, the main appeal of this market is the fun and interest it offers. One single stake can keep you interested across all four majors. That’s great value in terms of a stake-to-interest ratio, with your one wager covering most of the golfing year. The only way your bet could end early (aside from injury) would be if your player wins – and we don’t think you can really be too upset in that scenario!
Alternative Majors Bets
There are various special markets that you may see at different bookmakers that relate to majors. Not all sites will offer these bets, but you might be able to bet on some of the following at your preferred bookie.
- To win two or more majors – back a player to win two – or more – of the big four in a single year
- To make the cut in all four majors – does what it says on the tin: pick a player, and they have to make the weekend at all four of that year’s majors
- Top 5/10/20 at all majors – as above but your selected player has to make the top five, 10 or 20. Different places may also be available
As noted, the main major market is very simple and your pick just has to win any of the four majors in the specified year for you to win. Perhaps the only rule you might need to consider is one we have touched on above – what happens if a player is injured? Rules may vary from site to site but in general we suspect that once your pick starts any major, the bet is live. If they subsequently get injured and miss one of the year’s majors, this would not make a difference.
In fact, even if they failed to complete a single major due to injury, chances are that if they hit a tee shot at the Masters the bet would stand. If, however, they missed all four tournaments due to an issue early in the year, many bookies are likely to void the bet. That said, if in doubt, check with the bookie where you placed the wager.
Another, though probably quite obvious, thing to note, is that these bets apply to the calendar year. With golf’s calendar and season changing from time to time and ‘wraparound’ seasons the norm, it is worth stating that majors bets will apply to the four tournaments that take place in a given year.
Finally, and specifically with regards to a bet on a player to make, for example, the top 10 at all of the majors, it is worth being aware that dead heat rules are unlikely to apply. Dead heat rules apply to each way bets in golf but we believe that most sites would include ties with the top 5/10/20 bets. As such, if you backed a player for a top 5 in all four majors, we think you would get a full payout if they were tied fifth in all of them.
Note, however, that should they miss one or more major tournaments through injury, bets would lose. So if you backed a player for four out of four top 20s, if they won the first three majors of the year but couldn’t compete in the last due to injury, your bet would be a loser.