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By Jacob Johnson | Published On: Aug 17 2021

Guide to Betting on Golf

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Golf, a sport played amongst gentlemen, but also a sport that gamblers love. For those of you looking to dip your toes in the world of sports betting, golf might scare you. For starters, it’s not the easiest sport to follow considering all of the rules. This makes it tough for casual fans to place intelligent bets. The good news is you don’t have to be a know-it-all when it comes to golf betting. You’ll have to do some research, but it’s not overwhelming.

To help you better understand the process of betting on this classic sport, we’ve built this guide. In it is what you need to know to make proper bets when heading to your local sportsbook. From different leagues to players, to popular bets to make, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get you started, and try to make you some money betting on this pastime. 

Various Golf Leagues:

First, before even thinking about betting on golf, you have to make sure it’s legal in your state. The last thing you want is to come up with a great pick but have nowhere to place it due to sports betting regulations. After you find a sportsbook, online or in-person, that accepts golf wagers, you can then move onto choosing a league. We have published some interesting facts on golf spread betting that we highly recommend reading.

There are two major leagues that allow for wagers to be placed on the outcome. The one in the US is The PGA Tour, here’s more information on “The Tour”:

The PGA Tour: Founded in December of 1929, The PGA Tour is responsible for the popularity surrounding golf. It’s the main source of most of the events happening in the United States. The league is played by only men. There are subdivisions of the league as well, such as PGA50, for players over the age of 50. 

The European Tour: Quite a lot younger than The PGA Tour, the European Tour’s inaugural season was in 1972. They also have sub leagues that incorporate different age groups like the European Senior Tour.  Much like its American counterpart, the European Tour is played mostly in Europe but schedules events in Asia, the United States, and Africa. 

The World Golf Championships: This is essentially a blend between the two leagues mentioned above. The great news is the World Golf Championships have four tournaments that run throughout their season. This league is great for casual watchers as only the best golfers in the sport are invited to play, giving you a better chance to familiarize yourself. 

Golf’s Seasonal Format:

This is something that’s a little tricky at first but with time you’ll understand the operation. Golf isn’t necessarily like other sports in the sense of regular season and offseason. Golf is a year-round sport with events happening over the course of the year. It’s important to find the event or “tournament” currently happening, that way you know what you’re betting on. To help you here’s some information regarding when the most popular leagues and events are happening. 

The PGA Tour: Begins in September and concludes in September the following year. This allows for a full calendar year with events happening throughout the entire season. When the year comes to a close, the points will be awarded and a champion is crowned. Remember, there are events happening throughout the entire season and those are what you’ll be wagering on. You can also make futures bets regarding points winners and the like but in the beginning, focus on events.

The European Tour: Begins in January and comes to a close in November, much different than the American tour. Through the 2021 season, forty events were scheduled, and so far three have been postponed. Much like the American tour, a winner is crowned at the end of the season based on points. Keep an eye on the events as well as that will be what your primary focus will be on when betting. 

Popular bets you can make in golf

Event Betting: This is the most popular way to bet in golf. Before the start of an event, you’ll place a wager on a particular golfer. Much like any other sport, the golfer will have odds attached to represent his chances of winning the event. After you’ve placed your wager, all you have to do is wait until the close of the event to collect your winnings, if you’ve won. This is the form of betting most similar to more popular sports betting.

E/W or Each-Way Bets: This form of betting allows a bettor to wager a portion of their bet to a golfer winning the event outright. While the rest of the money goes to the golfer finishing within a certain spot. A much safer way to bet, to be sure, but the odds are much better on outright bets like event betting. 

Prop Betting: Although not on the scale of propositional betting in the NFL or the NBA, prop betting is still popular in golf. An example of prop bets in golf is betting on the nationality of the golfer that will win an event. Sure, it might be tough to predict, but you can get good odds this way. 

These are just some of the popular bets you can make when wagering golfing events. Beware of multi-way markets, this could turn into a push and you’ll win no money at all. Just be mindful of the bets you’re making and be sure to bet the way you want. 

What you should watch for when betting

Always be mindful of up-and-coming talents. Occasionally a golfer will take the world by storm and get on a hot streak at events. Paying attention to things like that will help you identify a player that could win an upcoming event. Study these events and make small wagers on golfers that look promising.

You could even do something like an E/W wager, that way even if the golfer loses, if they place in the front of the pack, you can cash in. Golf is all about timing and each week there will be someone new to keep an eye on. This doesn’t mean you have to tune into every event, just be mindful of the results. 

Stay away from bets you don’t quite understand. If you see odds on a leaderboard that don’t make sense, do your research before betting. Steer clear of multi-way bets and focus on two-way bets at the most. More often than not you should stick to event betting in the beginning just to get used to the format. 

Absolutely put in a couple of futures bets. If you see a player heating up in the tournaments leading up to The Masters, bet him to win the event in advance. You’ll always get better odds this way and better odds equal better winnings.

FAQ’s about golf events

How do I know if betting golf is legal in my state?

A quick look inside your local sportsbook or a betting website you use will tell you if the sport is available.

Is betting golf for beginners?

Sure, providing you do the research to make intelligent bets, golf betting is for everyone.

Where can I bet golf at?

As long as it’s legal in the state, a sportsbook, either online or in-person should have events available. 

Can I bet on every event?

Yes, as long as the event is provided by the sportsbook, there are no laws stopping you from betting on multiple events.

How old do I have to be to bet golf?

In most states, the legal age of sports betting is 21. 

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