The world of professional golf includes the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) and Ladies Professional Golfer’s Association (LPGA) events, plus the European Tour events and Seniors Tour. Depending upon the sportsbooks you utilize, there are many other professional golf events around the world that may be bet. That means that there’s a wealth of wagering opportunities for the savvy and connected sports bettor. There are numerous types of bets to make, including futures, props, money line, and others.
Weekly Tournament Calendar
Most professional tournaments, except the Seniors Tour, are comprised of four 18-hole rounds. Tournaments start on Thursday and run through Sunday. After the Thursday and Friday rounds are over, players are cut so that the final two rounds have much smaller fields.
As an example, a PGA event begins with 150 eligible golfers. Of those 150, only the top 70 will make it to the final two rounds and the money. If there are three tied for last place, then all three make the cut.
Early Betting Opportunities
Prior to the start of a tournament, you’ll find a range of bets that you can make. Various wagering opportunities will include the entire field with each player being given specific odds. Starting the Sunday before the tournament, you may pick the winner of the entire event, top five finishers, or the leader after the first round.
If you’re betting on a tournament winner on Thursday, you’ll often have 80 more choices than you’ll have after Friday’s round. Some sites will list all 150 players, while others will offer between 80 and 100 and simply have one other choice: “Rest of Field.”
You may also find numerous props such as will a specific player score a hole-in-one, the over/under on a specific player’s score, the winning margin, who the top Australian, European, or South African player will be, whether a specific player will finish in the top 10 or 20, and more.
You have the chance to pick the tournament winner, at differing odds, during the entire event. Many online sportsbooks offer in-play action with odds shifting as the tournament progresses. As the field narrows, it gets much easier to pick a tournament winner.
However, if you are betting on the winner on the final day, it is important to remember that some players are great at maintaining a lead while others tend to collapse when the money is on the line. Also, there are some golfers who are experts at getting to the final round three to six strokes back, then making a charge to take the whole event.
When betting on professional golf, you really need to know the players, including their strengths, weaknesses, present physical and mental condition, and anything else that may help you make an informed decision.
You may also wager on two golfers going head-to-head in a tournament. This is a basic money line wager with the favored golfer listed in the negative and the underdog in the positive. Often, the difference in odds is negligible. It’s not unusual to see both golfers listed at -115, which means you’ll have to bet $115 to win $100. Sometimes, odds will have one golfer at -110 and the other at -130 or one at EVEN and the other at -130.
Match play bets may be made as single wagers or as parlays. Some sports bettors enjoy trying to make the parlay enhance an otherwise low-return wager. However, if you have the inside track on a specific golfer, it’s a good idea to load numerous betting units on that one player. That can equal a good payday. Match play betting is for a specific round and not for the whole event.
The futures market in golf is a rich one. Futures include betting on tournaments months in advance, wagering on how top players will do on the Tour, and considering very specific accomplishments for certain golfers. Always be wary of futures wagering, as these are high-risk bets and not where the smart money goes. They are sidelines and more useful for entertainment purposes. Remember that a futures bet ties up your cash for a long time, reducing your daily and weekly betting power.
Know the Field
It is essential that you keep totally up-to-date on the field if you are betting on professional golf. Things can change quickly during a round, over the course of a week, or even during one hole of play. Analyze the players, the course, the weather, and the entire event. Make smart choices putting larger unit bets on those that are most likely to payout at the end of the day.
Professional golf involves various tours, including the PGA, LPGA, Seniors, and European. Those who are professionals are exacting in many ways. Golf is an extremely difficult sport and those who are at the top of their game tend to remain there for some time, as long as they maintain their health and focus.
One dilemma that some golfers have is that compared to other athletes, they are not in shape. More times than not, this involves carrying excess weight, which can eventually comprise their stamina in terms of walking the course, can create back problems that hamper their swing, and make them susceptible to other health issues.
In golf, players negotiate an 18-hole course each day. In tournament play, those golfers play four 18-hole rounds (seniors play three rounds). Tournaments typically start on Thursday. At the end of Thursday, there is a cut which eliminates players who do not have a low enough score. The same occurs on Friday. If players make the cut on Friday, they will play on Saturday and Sunday.
Golf courses are set up with four distinctive areas: the tee, the fairway, the approach, and the green. The tee is the designated area where each golfer starts a specific hole. To the sides of the fairways there will be the rough, and the approach will often include sand traps and other such problem areas. The fairway is where a golfer wants to keep the ball, as this makes it easiest to reach the green. Navigating a finely manicured green involves the use of extremely refined skills unlike any other that a golfer will use elsewhere on the course.
Golf involves a few specific skilled tasks. These include the ability to drive a ball a long distance, the skill to negotiate hazards such as roughs, water traps and sand traps, and the ability to putt. Along with these basic skills, there are a variety of specific types of situations that a golfer can get into that can ruin an otherwise good round.
In golf, unlike other sports, the player with the lowest score wins. A par is set for each hole. Most holes are par 4, but those that are of a shorter distance are par 3, and those that are longer or that include some complex maneuvering are par 5. Usually a par includes someone using two putting strokes once they hit the green.
On a par five, one would be expected to hit the green in two or three strokes. A par four is a hole where one should be able to hit the green in two strokes, and a par three is the type of hole that a golfer can hit from the tee.
The pars for all of the holes are added up and scores are reported for 18 holes. If total par for an 18-hole course is 72 and some shoots a 70, they would be two under par. If they shot a 74, they’d be two over.
Golfers and Certain Courses
Some golfers do better on certain courses, and all golfers may struggle on one specific course. A course with a lot of overgrown rough and a large number of traps will push any golfer’s score up if he can’t keep the ball down the center of the fairway. Some golfers excel at courses that have long holes, while others do well on courses that offer fast greens.
Wind and rain can be major factors in any golf tournament. These can make a course very difficult to play. Extreme heat and/or humidity can take a toll on certain players, while cool air can benefit other players.
Betting on Golf
Professional golf offers sports bettors various opportunities to make cash. Along with betting on the winner of a tournament, there are futures and various props from which sports bettors may choose. If you do your homework and know the professional players well enough, golf can be a great second or third sport on which to bet.