Sports Information: Golf

WHY BET ON GOLF?

 

  • It’s a compulsive sport to watch with tournament leaders changing frequently

  • There are many different betting markets, including in-play and spread betting

  • Increased television coverage has vastly improved the scope for in-play betting

  • There is plenty of research to help you fine-tune your bets

Annual turnover on golf betting exceeds $500 million, helped by the development of in-play markets which now take the lion’s share of revenue. The four annual major golf tournaments will take more than $100 million with additional revenue from smaller tournaments held each week as part of USA and European tours.

 

BACKGROUND TO GOLF

 

Golf is principally an individual game in which players compete against each other - and the golf course. The earliest form of the game was played in Scotland in the Middle Ages, infiltrating the British Empire during the 19th century and reaching Japan by the early 20th century. In club golf, a formal handicapping structure allows players to compete on more or less equal terms. Today, there are over 35,000 courses and 60 million players worldwide, with many more watching on television. A growing proportion of players are now women, estimated at 20% in the UK and up to 30% in some European countries.

 

THE GAME TODAY

 

Although international team golf takes place regularly at an amateur level, it’s rare on the professional circuit, with one notable exception - the Ryder Cup. This is a competition between 12 top European players and 12 from the USA. It takes place every two years, alternating US and European venues. Because of historic rivalry, the Ryder Cup attracts a lot of media attention, making it one of the highest profile events in the golfing calendar.

 

TOP TIPS TO BETTING ON GOLF

 

COMPETITION STRUCTURE

 

Most golf tournaments are staged over four days, with one round of eighteen holes each day. After two rounds, the original field of around 150 players cuts to about 70.

You can bet on golf via bookmakers, betting exchanges and spread betting firms and there are four main markets:

  • It’s a compulsive sport to watch with tournament leaders changing frequently

  • There are many different betting markets, including in-play and spread betting

  • Increased television coverage has vastly improved the scope for in-play betting

  • There is plenty of research to help you fine-tune your bets

 

ANTE POST BETTING

 

ANTE-POST

Most ante-post markets involve winning and each-way bets. Terms may differ by bookmaker so make sure you check them out. Many of the golf markets are also aoffered in-play.

 

OUTRIGHT WIN OR PLACE

 

Here you select a player to win the tournament or you can back each way for a finish within a stipulated range of places. The range varies by bookmaker and tournament, but generally the player needs to finish in the top five.

 

PLACE ONLY

 

Here you select a player in a single bet for a finish within a stipulated range of places. The range varies by bookmaker and tournament, but generally the player needs to finish in the top five.

 

TOURNAMENT FINISH IN TOP FIVE/TOP TEN

 

In a single bet, you select a player to finish in the range of positions specified above.

 

TOP TIPS FOR ANTE POST BETTING

  • Compare prices between bookmakers and exchanges before placing your bet

  • Think about hedging if things are going well

  • Check out whether the course favours long drivers or players with a good short game

  • Look up putting statistics to see who's hot and who's not

 

FIXED ODDS BETTING

 

Play-off

A single win bet selecting Yes or No in a tournament play-off.

Hole-in-One

A single win bet selecting Yes or No to a hole-in-one.
Hole-in-One by a Named Player
A single win bet predicting a hole-in-one by a named player.

Hole in One by round

A single win bet selecting the round in which you predict a hole-in-one.

To Make the Cut/To Miss the Cut

A single win bet selecting an individual player to either make or miss the cut.

Two Ball Betting

In the final two rounds of a tournament, players usually go out in pairs. A Two Ball bet predicts the winning player of the pair. There is also the option for both players to return the same score, producing three potential betting results.

Three Ball Betting

In the opening two rounds of a tournament, players usually go out in threes. A Three Ball bet predicts the winning player of the threesome. If two or all three players return the same score, the bet is settled on dead-heat rules.

72 hole Match Bets

This is a single win bet on one player to beat another over 72 holes. Bookmakers select the pairings which will vary between them. Some may include a tie and therefore three potential outcomes, whereas others will just pay on the winning player over four rounds.

Group Betting

Bookmakers will sometimes select a small group of players - maybe five or six – and offer odds on which of those players will shoot the lowest 72 hole score. This is a single win bet and dead heat rules apply.

 

TOP TIPS FOR FIXED ODDS BETTING

 

  • Compare prices in advance

  • Watch for changing wheather conditions

  • Use hedge bets to lock-in profits

  • For in-play betting, track down a live TV feed to give you an advantage of several seconds over any terrestrial broadcast

 

SPREAD BETTING

 

The following are popular markets offered by spread betting firms for bettors to buy or sell -

  • Total strokes in the tournament

  • Strokes taken by the winner or a group of players

  • Total number of yards driven

  • Total number of putts taken

  • total number of bunker shots

 

TOP TIPS FOR SPREAD BETTING

 

  • Compare spreads on offer to get the best odds to suit your strategy

  • Hedge if your spread bet is going well

  • Look for escape in running trades if your spread bet is going badly

  • Consider stop-loss options

 

IN PLAY BETTING

 

Most fixed odds are also offered for in-play betting, but additional bets include -

  • Predicting a nominated player's score at the next hole

  • Predicting the winner of the next hole (two-ball and three-ball competitions)

 

An Example of In-Play Betting

 

Retief Goosen is one of golf’s most consistent players. He was 25/1 to win the 2005 US Open. Steve bet £10 to win at those odds. Going into the last round, Retief was three shots clear of the field and his odds had reduced to 3/1. Steve called the betting exchange and bet £90 to win £30 that Goosen would not win as a hedge against his original bet. Goosen had a nightmare round, carding an 81. Because of his hedging bet, Steve still won. He bet £100 in total and collected £120. Had Goosen won the tournament, Steve would have made £160.

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