In association with Coral and Bruce West
Over the past fifty years, golf has propelled itself from a game enjoyed by the elite to a popular people’s pastime.
Played in every corner of the world and with professional tours operating across the globe, it’s no surprise that golf is so popular. As with all sport, with massive popularity comes serious betting activity.
How can golf fans win big betting on golf?
What are the tricks of the trade?
Top Tips for betting on golf
If you want to win big betting on golf picking the right event to bet on is crucial.
The biggest events in the world of professional golf are the Majors, of which four are held; the US Masters in April, the US Open in June, the Open Championship (or British Open to American golf fans) in July, and the US PGA Championship, in August.
In these competitions golf’s greatest players compete in stroke play (the fewest strokes equals the winner), and as a result some of the biggest wagers are placed and the largest returns are handed out during these tournaments.
Types of golf bets
The type of betting markets in golf varies.
The primary market that punters bet on in golfing events is the winner market – pretty self-explanatory- but there’s also the top 5 finish and top 10 finish markets, victory margin markets and first round leader market.
There are also three-ball markets, which are based upon the first two days of a golfing event when players are drawn into groups of three, here wagers are placed on who you think will come out on top in the group.
Keeping an eye on the odds is important, and the best way to keep informed is to watch the odds through an online bookie or app; online bookies like Coral keep up to the minute accounts of odds, helping you engineer your bets to yield the highest returns.
The market you choose to play in is largely down to personal choice, but by keeping an eye on the intricacies of the game you can manipulate your bets in order to achieve a profit.
And that leads us on to our next tip – always pay attention to the variables.
Get to know the courses on which the main tournaments are played. The old adage ‘horses for courses’ rings true with golf and often the best players in the world have their favored golf courses.
For example, two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson has an advantage at Augusta National because he’s left handed and can hit the ball a long way with a fade.
German Martin Kaymer is right handed and fades the ball and has never performed especially well at Augusta National because the course suits a draw (right to left shot) for right handers.
US Open courses favor straight drivers and good putters while The Open almost always favors international or European based players who play in lots of varying conditions – including links courses – unlike the US Tour players who tend to play similar resort style courses and conditions year round.
You need to study the golf courses and match them to the types of players in the fields and the form they are in at the time.
This includes taking note of the difficult holes, the pitfalls, the areas where most mistakes are made – such as the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during the Players Championship (golf’s 5th Major). Sergio Garcia has a history of performing brilliantly in the tournament and then struggling at the close with this famous but dangerous island green par three.
Don’t rule out the Longshot
With golf, unlike horses, it’s always worth a flutter on the long long odds.
A great example is The Open Championship and the surprise winners it’s thrown up over the years. Ben Curtis won The Open in 2003, and Todd Hamilton in 2004 – unless a studious expert on the sport, you’ll probably never have heard of these two, needless to say their odds were hugely long and some people made a lot of money on them.
In 2011, Darren Clarke finally won The Open and his odds were somewhere around 150-1 at the start of play. Other anonymous Major Champions of note – Rich Beem (US PGA 2002) and Shaun Micheel (US PGA in 2003) – which proves that in an elite golf field almost anyone can win.
It’s worth betting on favourites, especially in the peak of the Tiger Woods era and now the Rory Rampage, but never ignore the long odds in golf.
If you add all of the different options and styles of bet together you can approach betting on golf with a rounded and intelligent strategy that will include tips to win, safe bets on three ball play, some outsiders with huge odds and safe bets to finish Top-10 (usually the form players of the season – guys like Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood and Jordan Spieth).
Thanks to Coral for this Guide to betting on Golf