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Types of Golf Bets

Golf fans and bettors, do I have your complete attention?

Did you know there are a plethora of golf bets offered during a given tournament on the best online sports betting sites? You knew the top sites have an abundance of football, basketball, baseball, and soccer bets over the course of the seasons.

Were you aware that golf has entered the online betting landscape in a big, big way? The days of just picking out who will win the golf tournament are long behind us. The tournaments that only made a couple head to head golfer matchups available are a thing of the past.

Nowadays, betting on golf tournaments has expanded into a full-on parade of money-making opportunities. We want you to join the party that is “making money on all the available golf bets”.

Let’s get started by discussing the variety of golf bets you will encounter.

To Win Bets

Win bets are the ones that you are most likely the most used to. This is where you bet on a golfer to win a particular round or a particular tournament. The premise of the bet is simple.

If the golfer you picked wins the round or the tournament,
you win your bet!

We’d love to sound cool and overcomplicate this somehow but we can’t- it’s really that simple.

One of the perks of these bets is that they almost always pay way better than even money. Now that Tiger Woods in his prime is out of the picture, even the heavy favorites will offer nice payouts.

Picking someone to win out of a large field is tricky, and therefore the sportsbooks will reward you if you are correct.

For Example:

We looked at the odds for an upcoming tournament and the favorite to win was at +700. This means that if you bet $100 on that golfer and he wins, you would win a profit of $700! A $10 wager on that winning golfer would net you $80 total ($70 profit, $10 original bet).

Versus the Field Bets

These bets usually come into play in the later rounds of a tournament when there is a clear favorite to win that is well out in front of everyone else. You basically will be betting that anyone else other than that golfer will win.

For example, if Dustin Johnson is out in front by 5 strokes going into the last round, you can bet that anyone but Dustin Johnson will win (betting the field). You can also choose the other side of the bet with a standard To Win bet for Dustin.

In the golf majors, you will see more of the “vs the field” bets at the beginning of the tournament. They will group golfers together based on the rank or nationality and offer bets vs the field.

For example, the following bet was offered in the 2017 United States Open:

Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson VS. the field

This bet was offered at an 8:1 price. Essentially if you bet $100 on three golfers vs the field, you would need either Garcia, Rose, or Stenson to win the tournament. If any of the three men were victorious, you would profit $800.

Head to Head Matchups

These bets are not only a lot of fun, but a great spot to make money if you have a strong read on how specific golfers are going to play. Head to head matchups are where the sportsbook will pick two golfers, and you get to pick which of the two you think is going to beat the other one.

With these bets, it does not matter how well the golfers do against the rest of the field. It does not matter if they win the tournament or anything like that. All that matters is how well they do against the other golfer in the bet.

You will find head to head matchups based on the individual rounds as well as head to head overall tournament matchups.

An example with two evenly matched golfers might look like this.

  • Rory McIlroy -110
  • Rickie Fowler -110

If one golfer is favored over the other, it may look more like this.

  • Jordan Spieth -125
  • Justin Rose +110

If you bet in a brick-and-mortar casino, you may or may not have the option to place this head to head matchup bet. Sometimes they will offer one or two options, but that will be it. You may see a few more during bigger tournaments or majors.

Online sportsbooks, on the other hand, will offer much more variety with this bet type for you to choose from. This is awesome as it gives you that much more flexibility with your bets and more opportunities to leverage specific knowledge you have on specific golfers.

Futures

Futures bets are popular bets in all types of sports. They are bets that are not decided in the near future but take an extended period to decide. The futures bet that you will see the most in professional golf is a bet on who will be the FedEx Cup winner.

The bet is simple and the payoff is extremely nice as it can be tough to predict correctly. Futures bets on who will win the FedEx Cup are available all year long, but most people tend to make their bets at the beginning of the year or right before the playoffs start.

Your odds will typically be better at the beginning of the year as there is so much that can happen throughout the year. The better a golfer plays, the worse his odds get for us bettors. However, if a certain golfer is struggling in the early part of the season- you can bet your bottom dollar his futures odds will be reflected.

Taking advantage of sites that aren’t updating these odds after every single tournament

is a way to get well ahead of the ball game.

As golfers’ chances of winning the Championship increase or decrease, their payout odds should increase and decrease as well. A good strategy with these bets is to look for online sportsbooks that overreact to a player’s result in one specific tournament.

Don’t be late to the party. You don’t want to jump on a guy the week after he won an event. That’s what the majority of the public does. Remember, when we bet golf, we want to do the opposite of the general public. The average person doesn’t win money betting on golf, so don’t bet golf like the average person does!

An example of a how a futures bet may change drastically is what happened to Justin Thomas at the beginning of the 2017 season. He opened as a 50:1 shot to win the FedEx Cup. After winning three tournaments before January had even ended, he was leading the FedEx Cup.

As you can imagine, the days of getting Justin Thomas at 50:1 to win the FedEx Cup were long gone.

The best way to attack the futures odds is putting stock in a guy that is coming off a couple less than stellar performances.

Betting sites must reflect what takes place on the course and how bettors are reacting to it. Clearly, if a golfer struggles for a three-week stretch, that golfer isn’t going to be receiving a lot of action on him during that period. You may see his odds go from 20:1 to 30:1. A couple more bad events and suddenly he is 50:1.

As we will explain in the betting strategies section, this can be a very profitable way to bet on future FedEx Cup winners.

Prop Bets

Short for proposition bets, prop bets are wagers on whether or not something will happen (or how many times it will) during a round or tournament.

Prop bets come in all shapes and sizes but can typically be classified into skilled and non-skilled prop bets. While you won’t ever see them sorted this way at the sportsbook, it’s important that you are able to tell the distinction.

Unskilled prop bets are ones that, as you might imagine, require no actual skill to predict.

These are the fun, wild, and wacky bets.

For example, you can bet on whether or not a hole-in-one will be made during the course of the tournament. At the Masters, you can bet on if the winning player will kiss his significant other on the 18th green.

Obviously, there isn’t any skill involved in bets likes this. These bets are purely for entertainment value and should never be part of a long-term winning betting strategy. There’s nothing wrong with making unskilled prop bets as long as you are aware that you are gambling and that winning these bets long-term is not sustainable.

Skilled prop bets are those that require you to utilize knowledge and expertise to predict.

For example, you could see a bet on whether or not there are over or under X number of birdies on a particular hole. You can weigh in the weather conditions (are they better or worse for scoring), the skill of the golfers playing that week, how the hole lends itself to the golfers playing that week, etc.

At first glance, a wager like this might seem like an unskilled prop bet, but there is a lot of information you can weigh to make a better-informed decision.

Remember that both of these bets are completely fine to make

as long as you know the reason and purpose for making them.

Unskilled bets are only for entertainment, and skilled prop bets can be for entertainment and/or part of a long-term winning golf betting strategy.

Please don’t be one of those guys or gals that convinces yourself that the crazy unskilled prop bets are beatable. They are strictly for entertainment value.

Live/In-Play Betting

Live betting is becoming more and more popular across all major sports in the world. Golf’s version of this is known commonly as in-play betting.

This is your ability to place wagers in real time as a round or tournament is happening.

After a golfer finishes the 12th hole, you can bet in real time how they are going to score on the 13th.  You can analyze trends and make predictions in real time.

This form of wagering is fast paced and high energy and not for the faint of heart. If you like excitement and can make betting decisions quickly, this might be for you.

No longer can anyone tell you that watching golf is boring when you have in-play betting at your disposal. We highly recommend checking this out at least once to see if it is for you.

To Summarize

As you can see, it isn’t just about picking a golfer or two to win the entire tournament. Our horizon of golf bets has expanded into being able to bet on player matchups, bet during a live-round, and even bet on things unrelated to the play on the course.

The online betting sites aren’t stupid. They are in the business of making money. To get that accomplished, they must be providing their customers with as many choices and options as possible. The more bets they offer, the more likely that bettors will place wagers.

We want you to be as comfortable as possible next time you are looking to make some bets on a golf tournament. Getting you acquainted with the several possible bets you may come across is our way of helping you get prepared.

Doing the necessary homework each week on the golfers and the course history will still be up to you.

You know the bets, now go take advantage of them
and make some money!