What Are the Best Golf Bets for Beginners?

Tiger Woods Phil Mickelson golf players
Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and caddie Joe LaCava walk on the tenth hole during the final round of the 2020 Zozo Championship. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

You have played golf regularly for years, you watch it on television on the weekends (when possible) and you have a few shows you like on the Golf Channel. In other words, you love golf.

At the same time, you have wagered on the NFL and college football to be comfortable enough to try betting on golf. But you wonder, what is the best way to go about wagering on the PGA Tour without losing money, or at least limiting the losses early on when finding out what works.

Fortunately, OddsTrader has the betting tips to help you succeed against the golf odds.

Set a Budget and Stick To It

This is always the top priority for betting of any kind: Money management. Surprisingly, it is the one advice followed or addressed the least.

Depending on how the weeks fall year to year, there are about 34 PGA Tour events a year from the start to the end of the regular season. If you have $1,000 set aside for betting golf weekly, that is approximately $30 a week to utilize.

If your preference is to bet more, save it for the four majors and identify, say, six other tournaments you typically watch like the:

  • Players Championship
  • Pebble Beach Pro-Am
  • Arnold Palmer Invitational
  • Hawai’i Open
  • Phoenix Open

That gives you a $100 per tourney to wager with.

Augusta Georgia golf course
A general view of the 16th hole during the second round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP

Win Bets Are Hard, Don’t Make This Harder

In a normal golf year with the depth of quality players, close to 10 and sometimes more, players win for the first time. This has happened annually for the past 5 to 10 years at least. That is close to 30 percent of the tournaments listed each year.

That’s why betting golf to “win” is so hard. One three-foot missed putt on a Thursday can be the difference between finishing first or second.

Instead, if you really like a player for various reasons, look at the betting odds for a Top 5 or a Top 10 wager. Though the payouts are lower, the chances of winning are significantly better.

Top 20 Wagers Give the Best Chance to Cash

For those that prefer the term – Big Risks/Big Rewards – mentality, this section is not for you. But if you invest your money in various ways determined for slower long-term growth with the idea of reducing risk, this type of wagering makes more sense.

In most tournaments, the Top 12 favorites with the lowest betting odds are going to be poor bets for a Top 20 wager because their risk is greater with odds from say -150 to -200 or higher.

Instead, for these bets, you are after players who have Top 10 potential and could comfortably finish 8th to 16th in a given week. Your research should be able to determine those types of players.

Additionally, each week, some players have a history of playing well at particular courses or those who play better on certain types of layouts. For example, that could be a shorter layout, one geared towards long hitters or a layout that favors an outstanding hitting iron.

Find those that match up to the courses, and who might also be in good form. You could generate winning tickets at good odds.

Another Method to Increase Profitability

Most of this article is about tournament golf played over four rounds. There are also Head-to-Head bets that can be utilized for the complete tourney of daily betting.

The tournament H2H bets look this way and largely are under the same metrics as your other wagers, finding edges to give you a possible advantage.

  • Tiger Woods (-130) over Phil Mickelson (+100)

Daily head-to-heads have the most value for Saturday and Sunday when you can see how a player(s) has done. If one player is coming off a hot round versus one who struggled some and they are matched against each other the next day, you will probably have value on the player that scuffled and seeks redemption, going against a player who is facing regression after a low score.

For golf betting, use money management, do your homework to choose the right players in the best situations, and think of golf as investing, not looking for a quick score. 

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