Golf Betting Strategies & Bet Types Explained (With Examples)

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Golf Betting Strategies & Bet Types Explained (With Examples)

Author: AmericanGambler1234 | Last Updated: May 15, 2019

The sport of golf is one of the most entertaining and exciting individual sports on the planet, and has a gambling market to match. With the right techniques and strategy, golf can be one of the most profitable sports to bet on. This guide will give you some insights on the types of bet in golf and how you can produce excellent results. 

There are many types of bets in golf, how much you know about the sport may determine which type of bet you decide to place. Just like in any sport, the likelier the outcome the worse the odds. Betting on the outright winner may seem a lot simpler to judge, but this will be reflected in the odds you are offered. Whereas if you go for something a lot harder to predict, for example when a player will get a Hole in One, your odds will be much, much higher. 

It goes without saying that you should only bet what you can afford to lose. Betting on golf should be a very enjoyable experience, but when the fun stops, stop. 

Golf Bet Types

The first type of bet I would like to discuss is: Outright Betting.

Outrigt Betting

This is the most favorable bet to place in golf. Placing bets on who you think will win the tournament is an easy bet to place. It is still very entertaining and exciting. There are also many factors which can affect the overall outcome of a tournament.

For example: injuries, unpredictable weather, distracting crowd and a player choosing the wrong club. These things can have drastic effects on a bet. So even though an outright bet is the safest bet you can make, there’s always something that could happen that could throw everything into disarray. 

When betting on an outright winner you’ll see odds for each competitor, with the less favorable choices (underdogs) having higher odds. It is a plus-minus system, working similarly to tennis.

For example, if you bet on Jordan Spieth at +2000 then you will win $2000 profit on a $100 bet. If the bet is a winner of course. If the odd starts with a minus sign, steer clear. As no profits can be made.

Another great choice in golf betting is: first round leader odds.

First round leader

Similar to other sports, a game of golf has different stages or rounds. You can bet on the outcome of single rounds. In golf, the first-round leader is the most popular round to bet on. It doesn’t matter if your pick doesn’t go on to win the entire tournament, it doesn’t matter. It’s only about the outcome of the first round.

If you consider yourself a stat-head, (someone who likes studying stats and previous results) then this could be the bet for you. You can discover patterns and spot a history with certain players' first round performances. Using this information, you can make an educated prediction on who the first-round winner might be. 

The next type of bet I will be talking about, is where it gets a little bit more unique and interesting.

Golf Prop Bets

Prop bets in golf are usually based on novelties. They are usually just a bit of fun, but they can offer some exceptional odds and winnings. Some of the most common and popular prop bets are: how many holes in one a player will make, highest ranked nationality in a particular tournament and who the top 5 or 10 players in the tournament will be. These usually offer small profits, but occasionally large sums of money can be made!

A more popular and newer type of bet is: bet in play golf.

In Play Betting

The vast majority of people bet using their smartphone or tablet, which means you can bet while the game is in play. This gives the opportunity for a load of different and creative bets. For example, who will be the next player to be eliminated or who will be the next birdie scorer. These keep you in play at all times and can add another level of excitement to the game of golf. 

With all of these types of bets, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and bet stupidly. So, when betting on golf and any sport for that matter, remember to gamble responsibly. 

Golf Betting Strategies & Advice

Professional golf has enjoyed a major boost in popularity in recent years. Building on the swell of interest generated by Tiger Woods’ rise to prominence, the game has continued to grow as the next generation of superstars like Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and Brooks Koepka have risen to prominence.

The increased attention has made golf’s four major tournaments, The Masters, US Open, PGA Championship, and Open Championship, must watch viewing for both hardcore and casual fans.

And as professional golf continues to gain a wider audience, the sportsbooks have kept pace, providing an increasing array of betting options that can get you into the action in every round throughout the season. Here’s how you can enhance your golf experience, with a wide variety of gold betting action covering every aspect of one of the most ancient games in all of sports.

Futures Odds

The most popular form of betting for golf fans wagering on golf futures. With golf futures, you can bet on which golfer will emerge as the winner of a specific tournament, with the amount of your potential winnings determined by moneyline odds.

In the following example, hypothetical futures odds for the US open are presented. Brooks Koepka is listed as the favorite with +1000 odds, meaning a successful $100 bet on the rising American star will return you winnings of $1000, while betting $100 on Johnson sets you up to win $1200.

US Open Futures

Brooks Koepka              +1000

Dustin Johnson             +1200

Jordan Spieth                +1400

Futures odds are often published well in advance of each year’s major tournaments, and typically a week in advance of lesser events, with odds updated following each round of the tournament.

In addition, futures Betting is also typically available on which players will make (and not make) the cut at major events, as well as on which player will emerge as the biggest money winner on the PGA Tour.


With head-to-head golf match wagering, you have the opportunity to wager on which golfer will play the best round in his group on a specific day.

Head-to-head betting is also referred to as 3-ball betting when referring to groups with three players, and 2-ball betting when groups are cut down to two players for the final two rounds of a tournament following the cut.

In the following 3-ball betting example, Woods is pegged as a -160 favorite to shoot the best round of his three some, which also includes veterans Jim Furyk and Mike Weir. That means a successful $160 bet on Tiger will win you $100, while a winning bet on the longshot Weir will net you a $220 profit.

3-Ball Golf Betting

Tiger Woods                   -160

Jim Furyk                      +140

Mike Weir                     +220

Betting on Specials in Golf

Opportunities abound in golf specials and props wagering for golf fans looking to take their betting game to the next level.

With golf specials betting, you can wager on how a specific golfer will perform over the course of the year. This includes how many major tournaments a golfer will win in a season, and wagering on special events such as the skins game matchup between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson over the 2018 US Thanksgiving Weekend. Betting on the Tiger versus Phil clash including wagering on which of the two legends would emerge victorious, as well as the margin of victory.

Golf props bets cover an even wider array of action on the links, particularly ahead of the four major tournaments, as well as major international team tournaments like the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup.

Tearing a page from the Super Bowl betting playbook, sportsbooks are now offering dozens of props bets in advance of major tournaments that cover every aspect of the action both on and off the links.

Props enable you to bet on such events as whether any golfer will hit a hole-in-one, what the lowest, and highest, single-round score of the tournament will be. Other props bets including wagering on which golfer will lead after the first, second, and third rounds, as well as tournament-specific props such as how many golfers competing in the Masters will find the water on the treacherous 16th hole at the Augusta National Golf Course.

With props wagers, you can also get in on the action with Nationality Odds and Odds versus the Field. With Nationality Odds, you can wager on who will be the Top American, Irishman, or Asian at a tournament.

An example of an Odds versus the Field bet is illustrated below, where a $100 bet on any of the trio of Day, Scott, or Fowler to win the tournament will win you $600, while a $1200 bet on the field, meaning any other golfer to win, will net you $100 in winnings.

Odds vs the Field

Jason Day, Adam Scott, or Rickie Fowler            +600

The Field                                                                    -1200

Photo by Peter Lewicki