Understanding Golf Betting Markets

Each week during the golfing season there is one PGA Tour and one European Tour event taking place. This provides bettors lots of opportunity to place bets on a weekly basis all year round and has caused a surge in betting on golf online. Sportsbooks have followed this trend, offering plenty of the markets highlighted throughout this article.

Tournament Winner

This market is straightforward and offers the bettor to decide on who will win the upcoming tournament. It is a very popular betting market for both recreational and experienced bettors. If you make a winning hit on this market, it can be very lucrative for the bettor - as favourites are also priced highly due to the large field of competitors.

Each Way Betting

Current tournaments involve 100+ competitors, making it very difficult to choose exactly who is going to win. Sportsbooks offer bettors the opportunity to place each way bets on a specific player to increase your chances of winning. This market is preferred when betting on a non-favourite.

Each way betting consists of placing an equal stake on the player to win and also for that same player to ‘place.’ The sportsbook determines the terms of a place finish. For example, some sportsbooks offer a quarter of the win odds for a top 5 / 6 finish. 

Let’s say you place a $10 each way bet on Jordan Spieth to win the upcoming PGA Tour event at +1800 odds (using the example above). You would effectively be placing $10 on Jordan Spieth to win the tournament at odds of +1800 and $10 on him to finish in the top 5 at odds of +450. 

Top 5 / 10 / 20 Finish

This market allows the bettor to back a player to finish in the top 5 / 10 / 20 players in a particular tournament. There are plenty of players who are steady golfers, who will always make the cut, finish well but unfortunately rarely threaten to win outright. This market allows the bettor to back those golfers, creating a higher probability of winning their bet, but at much lower odds compared to the outright winner or each way betting markets.

72 Hole Match / Group Betting Markets

Match Betting

Sportsbooks choose a number of head to head match ups within the players competing at the tournament. It’s up to you to decide who will come out on top. The bookmakers usually offer similar odds for both players (around -110), and this market can be of value to some bettors because an in-form golfer may be paired with a slightly out of form golfer, creating an edge for us.

Group Betting

Similar to match betting above, although the sportsbooks decide on a number of groups consisting of 5 players in total. Lowering the overall probability of success but increasing the odds and overall pay-out if this bet is won.

Round 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 Group Betting

On each day of the tournament, the competitors are placed into groups of 2 / 3. These are the players they will play alongside during the first two rounds of the tournament. The pairings change after the cut (in rounds 3 and 4), depending on where they place after round 2. Sportsbooks offer markets on who will come out on top in these 2 / 3 ball groupings during each round. Players are grouped by a merit system based on their performances throughout the current tour. 

Top Nationality Markets

Golf sportsbooks split up the competitors into nationalities, and you as the bettor, can choose which golfer will be the leading player of their nationality. There can be value in these betting markets, especially in groups with a low number of players representing that nationality. Top nationality markets differ when betting on the PGA Tour and European Tour events. The players are usually split as follows:

  • PGA Tour:
    • American
    • European
    • Rest of World
  • European Tour:
    • American
    • Australian
    • Asian
    • Belgian
    • Continental European
    • Englishman
    • Frenchman
    • Irish
    • Italian
    • Scotsman
    • Spaniard
    • Swede
    • South African
    • Rest of World

As you can see from the splits above, there are a lot more possibilities, which in turn will create better value when betting on the European Tour events.

First Round Leader

This betting market is growing in popularity throughout the betting world. This market allows you to decide on who will be leading at the end of the first round. There are notorious fast starters in golf, but who tail off towards the latter stages of a tournament, making this market beneficial for those golfers. Also, players teeing off first usually have better weather conditions and also fresh greens to help them shoot low scores.

Hole in One Betting

One fun and entertaining betting market being offered by golf sportsbooks is the – will there be a hole in one scored during the tournament? A simple yes / no market. Due to incentives now being placed on scoring a hole in one during a tournament (168 champagne bottles awarded to Andrew Johnston in 2012 whilst competing on the European Tour – 168 represented the number of yards the hole was), coupled with the high specification equipment being used by current players, hole in ones are now more common. This is now reflected in the odds for this market, some sportsbooks offering odds as low as -175 for this feat to happen.

A wide variety of golf betting markets have been highlighted above. Use this analysis to help further your research into each event and place your bets accordingly.

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