Golf betting has increased in popularity in recent years. This is partly down to the interest generated by emerging young talents but also the potential value it offers bettors. Understanding how to bet on golf is a lot easier than many people think. Continue reading to learn how to bet on golf and find out what statistics can empower your golf betting.
Golf betting - The rules of the sport
Although it can take years to develop the skills required to play golf competitively, golf betting is a much easier discipline to master. Played over 18 holes, golf is primarily an individual sport with one player competing against others to complete all 18 holes - using a range of clubs and a ball - in the lowest number of strokes possible.
Each hole begins on a “tee” and is completed when the ball is hit into the corresponding hole. Golf courses vary greatly and each individual hole is different in terms of length and layout. An expected score or “par” (between three and six strokes) is designated to each hole with players scoring one of the following:
Note: This scale continues with triple bogey, quadruple bogey, five over, six over etc.
The most common form of golf is stroke play (counting the total number of strokes per round), but there is also match play - this is when two or more golfers score each hole individually and the game is decided by winning the most holes.
In terms of golf betting, the main competitions of interest are the four yearly majors (The Masters, US Open, The Open and PGA Championship), as well as PGA Tour events, European Tour events and the Ryder Cup - women’s golf has an equivalent for all of these competitions.
How to bet on golf
Knowledge of the sport is merely a starting point when learning how to bet on golf. The next step is to understand the type of markets available in golf betting and how to find valuable betting opportunities.
Accumulating knowledge of how certain players play and the course layout for a particular tournament is essential when learning how to bet on golf.
There are two main markets available at Pinnacle for golf betting; outright tournament betting and individual tournament matchups. Outright betting, like many other sports, is betting on a player to win a competition or tournament. Tournament matchups, however, is betting on one individual to place higher than another in a particular tournament.
Accumulating knowledge of how certain players play and the course layout for a particular tournament is essential when learning how to bet on golf. Different players are better suited to particular courses depending on their strengths and weaknesses and will, therefore, perform better in different tournaments.
An example of the above would be Bubba Watson and Jordan Speith suiting the longer courses such as Augusta and Quail Hollow as they are longer with their driver. In contrast, players like Phil Mickelson who are skilled with their short game suit courses like Pebble Beach as they are shorter in distant and require more skill with irons and wedges.
The PGA Tour and European Tour websites have plenty of information to use as the basis of golf betting research - this includes anything from player statistics, previous form and a tournament schedule.
Useful statistics for golf betting
Those that don’t know how to bet on golf may look at statistics like scoring average and driving accuracy and think these are good indicators of performance. However, if you want to take a more advanced approach to golf betting, strokes gained (SG) statistics, GIR (greens in regulation) and FIR (fairways in regulation) are much more useful.
Different players are better suited to particular courses depending on their strengths and weaknesses and will, therefore, perform better in different tournaments.
Additionally, scrambling percentage (missing GIR and making a par or better) highlights a player's ability to recover after an error and top 10 finishes can be used to gauge consistency. It is important to analyse previous tournament form when betting on any of the four majors in golf because these competitions are unique in the sense that players are under even more pressure than usual when competing.
Now that you know the basics of how to bet on golf, you can start looking at how external factors and even luck can influence a golf betting strategy.