Golf Betting Guide 2024

Posted by Joe Ellison .

Thanks to the creation and launch of the LIV Golf Tour, the PGA just wrapped it’s most controversial and dramatic golf betting season of all-time. At the end, Rory McIlroy was your FedEx Cup champion, while Scottie Scheffler not only won 2021-22 Player of the Year, but raked in the most prize money. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to bet on golf, how each type of wager works, and, if you follow golf, it’s not difficult to become a fairly successful bettor right out of the gate.

Top Golf Betting Sites for US Players

Our gambling experts have created a list of the best sites for golf betting online in the United States:

Top Rated Online Sportsbook
#1
BONUS
$750
  • Rollover: 5x
  • Games: all betting markets
  • Min Deposit: $10
  • Max. Cashout: n/a
Payout Speed 24-48 hours
#2
BONUS
$750
  • $750 Welcome Bonus
  • Min. Deposit $10
Payout Speed 48 Hours – 5 Days
#3
BONUS
$500
  • Rollover: 3x
  • Games: all betting markets
  • Min Deposit: $10
  • Max. Cashout: n/a
Payout Speed Less than 24 hours (Bitcoin) 15 days (check)
#4
BONUS
$1000
  • 100% up to $1,000 on crypto
  • Min. Deposit $10
Payout Speed 24 hours to process; minutes to transfer when you use Bitcoin
#5
BONUS
$3000
  • Cryto Bonuses
  • Min. Deposit $10
Payout Speed 48 Hours to 15 Days

How to Place a Golf Bet

Register and Deposit

Register and Deposit

Once you’ve chosen a sportsbook, the next step is to register for a free account. This should only take a few minutes and some basic information such as your name, email and address. Once you’ve logged in, head to the cashier to make your first deposit. Be sure to collect any welcome bonus which you are eligible for.

Research Your Bet

Research Your Bet

Perhaps you’ve already got a bet in mind, but if not, spend a little time finding out what odds are available on site. Take a look at current news surrounding the event and see if any players are ill or injured, or if they’re having a particularly good season. If you need a hand, you can always check out our latest betting picks.

Place Your Bets

Place Your Bets

Head back to the sportsbook and find the event. Click on the bet you’d like to make, and fill in the generated slip with your stake. Be sure to double check the betting slip to make sure all the information is correct before confirming. Congratulations – you just made a golf bet! Now sit back, relax and wait for the tournament.

Golf Bet Types

Bet on the outright winner of the match

This type of golf bet is as simple as the name—Bet on the outright winner of the golf match.

Betting on the outright winner is the simplest way to take part in golf betting games online. All you need to do in order to receive a payout is to predict who’s going to take the event. As you’d expect, online sportsbooks are well aware of the fact that not every player has the same chances of claiming the championship trophy. Consequently, each player is assigned different golf betting odds, which reflect their skill level/current rankings and give you some idea of what the potential returns on your investment might be.

Outright Winner Golf Betting Example

When you click on the list of outright winner markets, you’ll see golf betting odds like this:

  • Rory McIlroy +150
  • Jon Rahm +200
  • Brooks Koepka +250
  • Dustin Johnson +450
  • Justin Thomas +500
  • Rickie Fowler +600

If you’ve ever tried betting the moneyline on other sports, the first thing you’ll notice is the fact that there are no negative/clear favorite lines here. This is due to the nature of golf.

2/3 Ball Betting

Bet on who will win match-ups in each round of the event

Bet on the winner of match-ups throughout the entire event, and win if your golfer has the lowest score in his pairing.

Two and three-ball bets are more manageable than going for the outright winner, as you need to guess who will win individual matchups throughout each round of the event. In order for the bet to be successful, your golfer is required to have the lowest score in his pairing or group in a single round.

However, most sportsbooks will require the golfers to complete three holes or more for the relevant wagers to stand. Two and three ball betting is often picked over betting the outright winner by bettors who like to minimize the variance and risk. Making the right prediction with this type of bet is considerably easier, but the payouts are significantly smaller than outright tournament betting.

Top Three Finish Betting

Bet on which golfer will be in the top three

Top three golf betting games are very similar to putting your money on the outright winner. However, in this case, you are wagering whether the golfer will manage to place in the first three of a tournament or not. As you’d expect, the golf betting odds offered on bets of this kind are somewhat lower. As a result, you should always compare the prices between the two in order to get the best odds and return on your investment.

Wager on multiple golf odds & outcomes on a single ticket

Parlay your bets – Place multiple bets on golf, on a single ticket.

Parlay wagers are no different from the combination bets offered in football or basketball. Basically, a parlay allows you to put multiple bets on a single ticket. However, there is a catch here, as all selections have to be correct in order for your parlay to payout. Consequently, if one of your predictions on a four-selection parlay is wrong, and the remaining three are right, you still won’t receive anything. The more selections you include, the higher the potential return on your real money sports betting investment will be.

Futures Betting

Wager on the outcome you predict for a future golf event.

Betting on golf futures requires you to predict the outcome of a specific event well in advance, rather than individual weekend bets. This means that the odds offered on wagers of this kind tend to be very high. For example, most sportsbooks allow you to bet on who will win the Ryder Cup or who will place on top of the PGA Tour Money List, well before the events begin.

In the end, the specifics vary according to the sportsbook so you should keep that in mind when making your deposit if you’re interested in making this kind of long-term commitment. It also pays to check out the safest online sportsbooks, so you can trust your money isn’t going anywhere.

Proposition Betting: Bet on Golf Props

Bet on different factors of the golf match, besides the final score.

Bet on different factors of the golf match, besides the final score. Think of these bets as something you can have a bit more fun with, things like if players will wear a certain color or use a specific type of club.

Proposition Betting Example

Some examples of golf props you could make are ‘fun’ things like, “what color t-shirt will the tournament champion be wearing?” and “what will the caddie’s cut of the winner’s purse be?” However, these types of props are typically reserved for high-profile tournaments like the Masters, so maybe keep these types of props until big-name events, like the PGA Tour or Ryder Cup.

Nationality Betting

Bet on a player from a specific country to win.

Bet on players from specific regions or countries in the odds to win the match.

A nationality bet is a wager on a player from a specific country or region to win the tournament outright, or that a certain player will finish first from their country or region.

For example, you could bet on Louis Oosthuizen being the top South African player in the Masters. If he beats all other South African players, your bet would cash. You could also bet on how many players from the United States finish in the top 10. These types of bets vary between sportsbooks.

First-Round Leader Bets

Wager on the favored player to lead in the first round of a tournament.

For those new to professional golf tournaments, they are made up of four rounds of 18 holes. Most tournaments have four rounds, usually played over four days (Thursday – Sunday, barring inclement weather). This allows for 72 holes of play.

In a first-round leader bet, you are placing a bet on the person that will have the lowest score of all the players after 18 holes of play. This is usually quite a hard bet to cash, and as such, you’ll get some great golf betting odds. The drawback is tournaments usually start off with about 150 players and an unknown player can simply catch fire tear it up the first day.

Versus the Field Bets

Bet against the favored player in a tournament

A versus the field bet will come along once a tournament has started and a player is breaking away from the pack. The bet here is whether anyone can catch the leader, so you’re betting on anyone else other than the leader to go all the way

Sportsbooks often hold this bet until the morning of the final round and it is also a popular and frequent choice for live betting when the tournament gets down to its final holes.

Live PGA Betting

What is live betting golf?

What is live betting golf?

The best online sportsbooks offer live betting on a number of sports including the PGA. This means you can place a wager after the round or tournament has started. Live odds change on the fly and could provide the bettor with a better return than if you placed a bet before the tournament started.

Why to bet golf live?

Why to bet golf live?

Anybody who follows the sport knows that golf is a maddening experience. The same holds true for those who bet on the PGA. By embracing live golf betting online, you’re allowed some time to pick up the flow of the action and how golfers are performing on the course. In other words, you aren’t betting blind.

How do I start live betting?

How do I start live betting?

Before you start live betting golf, be sure to read our sportsbook reviews and seek out which sports betting sites offer live PGA wagers and the best welcome bonuses and promotions. After you complete that step, sign-up for an account, make a deposit and get ready to live bet the next tournament.

Recommended Strategies for Golf Betting Online

Know the course

Know the course

It can pay to know the golf course the tournament takes place at. This is because different golfers bring different skills to a course, and if you’re knowledgeable about each golfer’s unique skills & strengths, this can give you an edge when it comes to reading odds from the sportsbook. For example, are they a better putter, or strong straight from the tee? Knowing this leads to more informed wagers.

Go Dutch

Go Dutch

In golf betting games, dutching is when you spread your wager across among different runners in a tournament. Dutching essentially means you create a stable of players to spread your stake and ensure a more ‘level’ profit. A strategy to build your stable is to consider each player's stats and mix your stable up with a variety of strengths, players at different tee-off times and even simply checking what the weather forecasts at various points during the event you’re betting on.

What is LIV Golf?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve at least heard of LIV Golf and the LIV Golf Tour. Founded in 2021, the first LIV Golf event was held in June 2022 with a loaded roster of elite golfers. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund lured names like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka to their new international golf tour by tossing hundreds of millions of dollars in their direction. Each LIV Golf tournament is only three rounds and every golfer earns a minimum of a six-figure payday even if they finish dead last.

As you can imagine, LIV Golf has been embroiled in controversy from the get-go and each golfer who joined the tour criticized for what amounts to a money grab. So many household names have left the PGA for LIV that Tiger Woods has attempted to play peacemaker between the two rival tours.

Can You Bet on LIV Golf Tour Events?

The short answer is, yes. However, because it’s a young tour with new players joining LIV on a regular basis, tournament golf betting odds are typically released closer to each event. This way the entire field of players is known prior to the start and odds can better reflect the competition.

Best Golf Online Sportsbooks

U.S. Golf Online Sportsbook Payout Speed Best Bonus
Bovada 24-48 hours $750
Everygame 2-5 days (avg.) $750
BetOnline 24-48 hours $1,000
BetUS 24 hours to 15 biz days $3,125
SportsBetting 24 hours to 15 biz days $1,000

Golf Glossary

Approach Shot

A shot made from the fairway or rough on to (or closer to) the green.

Birdie

Completing the hole in one stroke less than par.

Bogey

Completing the hole in one stroke more than par. A double bogey is completing the hole in two strokes more than par.

Eagle

Completing a hole in two strokes less than par.

Fairway

The short stretch of closely-mown grass between the tee and the green.

Green

The area of the course where the hole resides. The grass of the green is usually cut very short, allowing players to putt the ball.

Handicap

A numeric figure indicating a golfer’s ability over an entire round of golf. The lower the number, the better a golfer is.

Hole

The spot on the green where turf and dirt have been removed to create a literal hole in the ground. Players aim to get the golf ball into the hole. A typical golf course has 18 holes.

Hole-in-One

When a golfer hits the ball from tee into the hole in just a single shot.

Hook

A golf shot which moved significantly to the left for right hand hitters, or right for left hand hitters. It is usually a mistake.

Lie

Where the ball comes to a stop after each shot. A ‘good’ lie means the ball has landed on the short, easy-to-play grass of the green. A ‘bad’ lie means the ball has landed on the longer grass of the rough. A ‘sidehill’ or ‘uneven’ lie means that the ball has landed on a hill, meaning the player will have to take the next shot with the ball above or below their feet.

Par

The number of shots that an expert golfer would be expected to complete the hole in. Generally speaking, the par on a hole is 3, 4 or 5. The average par for a full 18 hole course is 72.

Rough

The area of the course which is not the fairway. The grass of the rough is longer, making shots more difficult.

Slice

A golf shot which curves far to the right for right hand hitters, or far to the left for left hand hitters. It is usually a mistake.

Tee/Tee Box

The area of each golf hole from which the first shot is taken. Also used to refer to the wooden peg which the ball is placed on for the first shot.

Golf Betting Online FAQs

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Joe Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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