Golf Betting Guide 2021

There is no need to introduce you to the popular game of golf. Everyone knows a bit or two about this sport of clubs and balls. It is primarily a favorite among the social elites but also is of interest to the general public. That is why it has managed to establish a strong place among all the betting sports of today.

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Golf Betting In Canada

Golf has been in the sports fraternity for a long time. It was first played in the ancient Scottish Kingdom of the 15th century. That would probably explain the low pace it follows when all other existing sports rely on a fast-paced nail-biting atmosphere. In a golf match, a player hits the small white ball with a light stroke using the club. The ball then traverses through a long path of 9 to 18 holes and then reaches near the final hole. If it falls right into the hole, the striking player scores a point for himself. The fewer strokes he needs to score, the better get his position.

Golfer Rory McIlroy

Golfer Rory McIlroy

This might seem pretty mundane compared to soccer, baseball and cricket, but golf brings great joy for both the spectators and the players due to the tactics associated with those strokes. Hitting the golf ball at the right angle requires experience, patience, practice and accurate mental calculations. As a result, golf doesn’t happen to be everybody’s cup of tea. The sophisticated game is regulated by certain governing bodies like the R&A (Royal and Ancient Golf Club), the USGA (United States Golf Association) and the International Golf Federation. Currently, golf is more prominent in Canada, USA, Australia, South Africa, China, Japan and India.

How To Bet On Golf?

Assuming you have already found a sportsbook and know the basics of this sport, here are some points to help you out in betting on golf:

Lay, Back or Combo?

Golf, like almost any other betting sport, offers you three options – back, lay or a combination of both. The first one means you can bet to back up a claim like “team A will win” or “player X will score the hole in one”. Lay betting is where the bettor opposes such a claim and places his stakes on that opposite outcome. The latter, as well as the combination of these two, are presented by a handful of sportsbooks like Betfair.

Off-season or Pre-event Bets

You approach betting depends a lot on the timing. If it is the off-season or the games have not really started yet, you can take some preparations beforehand. This includes gathering information about the weather forecasts for the golf venue, the condition of its courses and the record of all participating players. Combine all these information to make the most logical predictions for the upcoming matches. There are many sportsbooks who aim at this time period to allow its punters to make some early bets.

In-play Bets

Golf takes a much longer time than other sports like soccer or basketball. The players need to score with 72 holes across 4 rounds. Between every two rounds, the players take a lengthy break to warm up for the next one. This gives the bettors ample time to make up their minds about the upcoming round and its possible outcomes. Thus, you can adjust the bets you already made within these intervals. The prices associated with these bets for a particular player also tend to change during these breaks.


Since a regular match of golf has about 140 participants, the bettors can benefit from betting on their chosen player for both winning and placing. The criteria for placing varies according to the sportsbook you are following. Some consider the first 5 as placed while some go as far as the top 6. If the player places instead of winning, you will get a quarter of the winning odds.

Golf Betting: Understanding the rules

First of all, make sure your country or state allows gambling on sports. For example, even though sports betting is a highly debated topic in the USA, there are many legal sportsbooks in various casinos of New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and Mississippi. So do a quick check on what the status is for online sports betting in your state or nation.

The Game Rules

A golf player needs to complete all the 18 holes in order to be eligible for the winner’s title. He can use up to 14 clubs for varying precisions to make these strokes. A higher number of clubs will result in a penalty for the player. The par of a hole represents the average number of strokes required to complete that hole. Depending on the par, the performance of a player is assessed. The following designations apply to each score according to the number of strokes: 

The Betting Rules

Typically, if a golf tournament gets suspended due to unforeseen conditions like unfavorable weather, the associated rewards are still distributed if the tournament has completed 36 or more holes already. Otherwise, all those bets will be considered void except the markets which have already been decided. In the case of individual players, one needs to complete at least three holes for the associated bets to stand.


The biggest market in golf betting is the winner market where the punters place their stakes on the ultimate winner of a tournament. This market is followed by Top 5 Finish, Top 10 Finish, Victory Margin, First Round Leader, Top Nationality and 3-ball or 2-ball markets. The last one refers to the groups of three or two golf players. You as a punter need to bet on the outcome of a whole group in this market. The first round leader is about betting on who will be the players to finish the first round successfully. As for the other market types, the titles are pretty self-explanatory. The nationality market however usually applies to the major events only.

Golf Odds

The odds for a golf tournament is very tricky since there are many possible winners in each tournament and any of them can actually lift the trophy when it ends. So you cannot rely on previous winners for a sure shot bet. However, the odds can still tell you which players are the most likely to win depending on their latest performances. For every golf tournament, the favorites display a positive odd by carrying a plus sign before the number.

So if the favorite player A has an odd of +100 and he does win the match, you could win $110 if you placed a bet of $10 on him. This is how the bets of winner market work. In matchup bets, the odds work more like the typical sports bets. If Mr.A has the odds of -140 to finish with a greater score than Mr.B, then you can earn $171.43 by placing a $100 bet on Mr.A. If you had bet on Mr.B to win and his odds were at +120, you would win $220 for a bet of $100.

Major events

Major golf events take place almost all around the year except for the period of December to February. Let us walk through these events conducted across the world: 

US Masters

The Augusta National Golf Club of Georgia hosts this tournament in early April. This takes place in the south-east course private to the golf club. Since its establishment in 1934, the tournament has been going on for more than 80 years. Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth both made records here at the score of 270 in 1997 and 2015 respectively.

US PGA Championship

This tournament is organized by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America or PGA. It used to take place in mid-August but will now happen in late May from next year. Brooks Koepka has recently made the record aggregate score of 264 here.

US Open

US Open is hosted by the USGA or United States Golf Association. This takes place on the weekend of third Sunday of June. It has been held regularly since 1895 and is one of the longest-running tournaments in golf.

British Open

The R&A of the United Kingdom conducts this tournament in late July and has a par of 71. However, it is scheduled to be held in May from 2019. The Italian golfer Francesco Molinari is the current champion of British Open.

Golf Favourites

Although Golf is a highly unpredictable game, there are a few players who have established themselves as the best bets for the punters.

Rory McIlroy

This guy currently stands at number 8 in global golf rankings set by OWGR. He has been consistent in his performance over the years. He had the good fortune of lifting the PGA trophy twice (2012 and 2014) and the WGC trophy twice (2014 and 2015). Besides, he finished first in the championships of Deutsche Bank, BMW and DP World Tour. He was also the number one player on the OWGR site for a total of 95 weeks! 

Jon Rahm

The Spanish golfer Jon Rahm is currently 6th in the world. He finished first recently in the Hero World Challenge of the USA tour. He has been showcasing his talent for the past few years and have really shone since 2017. 

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas hails from the USA and has been one of the best performers in the last two years. He has managed to score among the topmost finishers in each of the last 10 games he participated in. The latest ones among them are Hero World Challenge, the CJ Cup, CIMB Classic, TOUR Championship and BMW Championship. 

Jordan Spieth 

This is a young American golfer who is taking the world by storm by winning 14 titles including PGA Championship, PGA Tour Player of the Year, PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and the FedEx Cup Champion. Along with being the number one player on OWGR, he also appeared on Times as one of the 100 most influential people in 2016.

Adam Hadwin

This Canadian golfer mainly plays on the PGA tour. He has won a total of 12 times in his career including the titles of PGA, and the Canadian tour. In this year alone, he has had 3 top-10 finishes, followed by T-3, T-6 and T-9 finishes so far.

Golf Betting “FAQ”

Q: Can the sport of golf happen in teams? 

A: Even though two players can play as a team in foursomes, it is not a common scenario for the bettors. Golf betting applies to individual plays only. You have to choose one or more independent players to bet on instead of a team. 

Q: How is betting on golf different from other sports betting? 

A: It is different because prediction is harder here and calculations are almost useless. You never know who will get to be the winner as the golfing courses are huge and complex. So betting here requires much more thoughtful strategies and luck.


Gamble on your instincts and luck with the help of player statistics in the betting world of golf. Start at the bottom and make your way up if you are new to all these.

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