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BETTING

Proven Golf Betting Strategies

Lexi Thompson bag general view KPMG Women's PGA Championship

Betting on golf requires understanding player statistics and selecting the right bet types for optimal results. Learn how recent performance, course history, and player skills influence betting decisions, whether opting for outright winners, top placements, or head-to-head matchups in golf tournaments.

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Betting on golf is not for everyone. Typically, the golf bettor who plays the sport has an avid interest in following what happens (as most golfers do), which helps them have a better understanding of betting on all the variations.

That doesn’t preclude you from betting if they choose, but if you have never watched a NASCAR race and decided to start wagering on it with little or no knowledge, the eventual outcome would be predictable.

Let’s state a point of fact. Whether you are a newbie golf bettor or an experienced one playing at top-rated sportsbooks, this article is written to reduce your risk and place you in the best position to win bets. Others may strongly disagree with the premise, which is perfectly fine: there is not one way to bet on any sport, including golf.

Understanding Golf Statistics

There are strong basics to follow for wagering on golf.

  • Recent Performance in Tournaments: Includes finishes and scoring all four rounds.
  • Past Course Performance: Courses that have a similar overall layoff.
  • Player Profile for Driving, Shots to the Green, Chipping and Putting

Recent performances at tourneys give you an indication of how a player is playing. If he’s had three Top 20 or better finishes after missing a cut, that suggests he refocused and is in a nice groove, which often continues. Make sure to check the scores of each round. The reason is if a player finishes 5th in a tournament at -14, but had a round of -10, that could be a misleading score that affected his overall outcome. Be savvy in understanding.

Sometimes golf bettors get hung up on past performances at a certain course. Not that it shouldn’t be taken into consideration, but if a PGA Tour player is running in bad form, just because he’s played well at one particular course doesn’t mean he’s suddenly going to shoot better scores.

Similar to baseball, professional golf has a myriad of statistics that can break down a player’s skills and how they might match a particular track. Say a player is long off the tee, not especially accurate, and is above average with short irons. Courses that have wide fairways with little rough would benefit this type of individual. Golfers with those skills facing narrow fairways with penal rough and well-bunkered greens will likely be scrambling more and are likely to have a tougher time scoring.

Betting To Win a Tournament

This wager has the highest risk/reward because it is so difficult.

Some years there are a series of longshots winning and other years the Top 5 golfers with the lowest odds will win frequently. Generally, this is a challenging wager, and if you take a stab at it, you might consider adding the same player for a Top 5 or Top 10 bet.

Though the odds will have lower payouts than winning, you can offset a loss on winning outright with money management if you truly believe you have the winner. Here is an example.

  • John Smith +1400 to Win – Bet $50 to Win $700
  • John Smith +170 for Top 10 – Bet $100 to win $170

If Smith finishes 8th, you not only make $170, but you offset your “win” bet for a profit of $20. And if you were lucky enough to win outright, you added additional profit.

Top 5, 10, 20 and 30 Can Be Safe Bets

Because picking the outright winner is never easy, if you do your homework each week you can find value for a variety of players who can finish in any of these categories.

If you like a player to finish in the Top 5 but are leery because he’s not put well recently, check the odds for a Top 10 or Top 20 outcome, which offers you extra coverage. Again, the payouts are lower, yet the risk is reduced.

Note: It seldom makes sense to wager at +100 or -105 or greater odds in these specific areas; seek the better payouts. Also, sharp sportsbooks have different tie or dead heat rules. Find those that benefit you.

Head-To-Head Matchups

Head-to-head matchups between two golfers can be for one round or the entire tournament. Generally, the longer option is favored because if you are on the favorite or underdog, you can often overcome one poor round.

Also, the odds on the favorite are relatively low unless you choose one of the Top 3 favorites from that tourney and it enhances the pleasure of the golf betting experience.

Here you are looking for the previously mentioned stats where you can determine a one-on-one comparison along with recent form or course history for both.

Stick With the Basic Bets Until Your Skill Improves With Your Bankroll

Other popular wagers are:

  • First Round Leader (Also Top 5 and Top 10)
  • Tournament 3-Balls
  • Nationality Winner
  • Various Parlays
  • Various Props

These all can be fun bets. The downside, even with great knowledge, is that these are mostly bankroll drainers. Learn how to bet golf the smart way, where you are regularly profitable, before heading into unexplored territory.

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