Golf Betting: What is it?
Golf is played with a metal club and ball and the goal of the game is to sink the golf ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible. Players will move through an 18-hole golf course of different lengths. These lengths determine the hole’s par which is the number of strokes a player normally requires to complete the hole. Most holes range from three to five pars but can go up to seven.
The version of golf we know dates back to 15th century Scotland shortly before it was outlawed by King James II of Scotland for distracting soldiers. The game grew in popularity in the UK in the following centuries and the 18-hole round, which is what we play today, was created at the Old Course in St Andrews during the early 1760s. Eventually, the sport managed to spread to Canada, the United States and other parts of the world.
Today, there are four major golf championships: The Open Championship (Also known as the British Open), the Masters, the U.S Open and the PGA Championship, but more on them later. Users looking into golf betting can wager on all of them plus many more games. But how does it all work?
We’ve already briefly discussed how golf works above. Players must complete 18 holes by striking their ball with a club. Each hole starts with a stroke and ends when players successfully sink their ball.
New golf rules were introduced in 2019 and according to the R&A, the ruling authority of golf throughout the world except for the USA and Mexico, players making a stroke must play the course as they find it and play the ball as it lies, meaning that nothing can be moved.
Each game of golf is made up of a round of 18 holes in an order set by the Committee. and there are two forms of golf games. It’s important you understand both so you know what you’re betting on.
The first is Match Play in which players compete against each other based on the holes won, lost or tied. There’s also the Stroke Play where players compete against each other based on the total score which is calculated by adding up each player’s number of strokes and penalties.
Before playing golf or making any bets on golf games, you should understand the layout of courses which are comprised of five different areas:
- Fairway: The mowed grass area between the tee box and the putting green
- Tee Box: The spot where players make their first stroke and start the game
- Penalty Areas or Hazards: This is often water or an area of longer, tougher grass
- Bunkers: Areas which are hallowed out and often filled with sand
- The Green: The green or putting green is the area where the hole is located
It’s important you understand that when making the first stroke, players must remain in and play from inside the teeing area. Depending on the competition, the player may receive penalties for playing outside of the teeing area on a first stroke.
If the ball lands in a penalty area during a hole the player is given two options; they either play the ball as it lies without a penalty or they play a ball from outside the penalty area and take penalty relief.
Bunkers are the sand pits you generally see on golf courses which are made to slow players down. For a ball to be considered in a bunker, it must be touching the sand on the ground inside the edge of a bunker or must be located inside the edge of a bunker.
A putting green is the final area of the hole which is generally mowed short to allow the ball to roll along easily. The hole is always located on the putting green but to be considered inside the area, your ball must be touching the putting green or be physically inside the area.
Players earn scores for the number of strokes it takes them to complete a hole. The scores differ depending on the pars of the hole but they follow the same general rules:
- Hole in one: One single stroke
- Albatross: Three stokes less than the hole’s par
- Eagle: Two strokes less than the hole’s par
- Birdie: One stroke less than the hole’s par
- Par: Equal number of strokes as the hole’s par
- Bogey: One stroke more than the hole’s par
- Double Bogey: Two strokes more than the hole’s par
- Triple Bogey: Three strokes more than the hole’s par
So, if a hole has a par of four and the player scores a Triple Bogey (Three strokes more than the hole’s par), they struck the ball into the hole within seven strokes. It’s important you understand how pars work and how they affect the score outcomes when you decide to make a bet.
We’ve already mentioned that there are four key golf championships that take place throughout the year and in different countries. Punters can wager on all of them by predicting the outcome of the match and more.
The Masters Tournament is the first golf tournament of the year and takes place during the first week of April. The event was started by amateur champion Bobby Jones and investment banker Clifford Roberts and was first played in 1934. Winners of the championship include Jack Niklaus, Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo, Phil Mickelson and many more.
The PGA Championship takes place in May on the weekend before Memorial Day, though it previously was held in August before Labor Day weekend. Players who win the PGA Championship are automatically invited to play the three other major championships in the United States.
The United States Open Championship, also known as the U.S. Open, takes place in mid-June and is scheduled so that the final takes place on Father’s Day. This championship is known for its difficulty and the winner of the championship is the player with the lowest total number of strokes.
Another great championship or tournament is the Solheim Cup, a biennially women’s golf tournament. These games have become hugely popular over the last few years and have since become a popular betting option. More information on the event can be found in our Solheim Cup guide.
Lastly, The Open Championship, also known as The Open or The British Open, is the oldest of all four championships and the only one to be held outside of the United States and in the UK. From the beginning of 2019, the event was moved to May though it was previously played in mid-July.
Different Types of Golf Bets
Many people believe that the wagering options are daunting and confusing but they’re actually incredibly simple when you discover what they are. To help you understand, we’ve rounded up some of the most common forms of golf bets and detailed them below:
Outright: Outright betting is when you wager on the winner of a round or a tournament. You simply have to select which player you believe will come out on top.
Each Way: Each Way wagers double your stakes but give you an extra chance to win. Punters can win Each Way bets when the player they wagered on wins the tournament or when they place within a range chosen by the bookmakers. Generally speaking, bookmakers will pay out for the top four places of a tournament or championship.
Future Betting: Betting on events that will take place in the future.
Proposition Bets: Prop Bets are when a punter bets on something that doesn’t relate to the winner of the round, tournament or championship such as landing a penalty or landing in a bunker area.
Hole in One: Wagering on whether a specific player will make a hole in one.
Season Bets: A series of different bets made on golfers during a full season.
Tournament Bets: Available at betting sites such as Paddy Power, Tournament Bets involve punters selecting how many championships they believe players will win throughout the year from zero to all four.
Nationality Bets: Selecting which player from a certain country you believe will finish in the highest place.
How To Wager On Golf
It’s never been easier to make a golf bet! You can do it all online, from the comfort of your own home and on your smartphone or computer. To start wagering on golf, just follow our four easy steps:
1. Register at an online betting site that accepts golf wagering and has good odds.
2. Select the ‘Golf’ category and find which event you wish to wager on.
3. Select a player, adjust your stake and decide whether you want to bet ‘Each Way’.
4. Click confirm and it’s done.
When you’ve completed step four all you need to do is wait for the results of the game. Until then, relax and enjoy yourself!
Our Best Golf Betting Tips
Even after learning the rules, how the hole and scoring works and so much more, wagering on golf can still be difficult. So, to help you out just that little bit more, we’ve decided to compile a list of our top ten golf betting tips to get you started. Take a look below:
Tip #1: Research the players
Before you start making any bets on golf championships, it’s a good idea to research the players participating in the round and figuring out which one you believe has a better chance of winning the tournament or championship.
Tip #2: Watch previous games
This ties in closely to our previous tip. Why not go back and watch some previous games featuring players you like. You might notice that they make similar mistakes or follow a particular strategy which you can then use to make a proposition bet as well as your main straight bet. It could help earn you more!
Tip #3: Memorise the areas
We mentioned way up above that there are five areas to each hole. We suggest that you try and memorise these areas before making any bets so you know exactly what’s happening during the championship or round.
Tip #4: Learn the different bets
A follow up to #3, you should try to memorise the different types of bets and learn how they work. Doing this will allow you to make quick bets during the tournament which could lead to better winnings. Once you become more confident you can also start mixing bets. Instead of always betting on a straight winner, why not make a proposition bet or bet on which player will make a hole in one. Yes, you might lose money, but isn’t that half the fun?
Tip #5: Check the weather
Wait as long as you can before placing a bet on a championship or event and check the weather before betting on a player. You may be disappointed to find that you’ve wagered on a highly skilled player to land a hole in one but unexpected bad weather led the player to miss and led you to lose money.
Tip #6: Don’t just stick with one bookmaker
When making bets on golf championships and events, don’t just stick to one bookmaker because they gave you the best odds or promotion on your first-ever bet. Remember to shop around different sites whenever you want to make a bet, you might find that other sites offer better odds.
Tip #7: Stay safe
When you are making bets, remember to set a budget or limit to avoid overspending. Remember that you don’t have to bet on every event or championship and, if you’re a first-time bettor, try to keep your stakes low so you don’t lose too much. You can always raise the stakes when you become more confident in betting.
Tip #8: Study the courses
Many of the major championships re-use the same courses year-after-year. By studying the courses and researching the players, you could find out which players perform better on certain courses, helping you decide on who to wager on.
Tip #9: Outside help with Golf Betting System
If you want to maximise your chance of winning a wager, you can use Golf Betting System, a golf news and information website, which runs its own gold predictor tool which you can use to determine which players are more likely to win in an event based on their skills.
Tip #10: Enjoy yourself
As you begin making bets it’s important you remember to enjoy yourself and have fun. That’s what online betting is all about. If you find yourself getting frustrated or overspending, it might be a good idea to take a break.