A Beginner’s Guide to Golf Betting Online

Golf can’t exactly compare with team sports like NFL football, NBA basketball or MLB baseball in terms of overall popularity. But there’s no denying the fact that it has a loyal crowd of diehard fans located all over the globe. Consequently, many online betting sites offer a wide range of golf betting options. These range from betting on the outright winner of a given match to combination bets to golf futures.

Golf markets usually tend to differ from the betting options available for popular team-based sports. It only takes a few minutes to learn how each type of wager works. In fact, if you’ve been following golf for the past few years, odds are high you’ll become a fairly successful bettor right out of the gate.

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Golf betting online

How Do You Bet on Golf?

Golf bettors are a different breed than most other sports bettors. Generally, when sports fans are betting games, they leave it up to the pros or college players. If you bet on the British Open you also play golf betting games like “bingo bango bongo” with your friends, or make the high score of the round pay for a round of drinks after playing 18.

If you are new to online golf betting, our sports betting experts have put together a beginner’s guide with everything you need to get started. We have a list of betting options and breakdowns that will help you out when you go to your online sportsbook.

Golf Betting Online: Outright Winner

Betting on the outright winner is the simplest way to take part in online golf betting. 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 odds, which reflect their skill level/current rankings and give you some idea of what the potential returns on your investment might be.

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

Online Golf Betting

  • 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.

In our example above, betting $100 on one of the contenders that are least likely to win, such as Johnson, Thomas or Fowler is going to provide you with a chance to win between $450 and $600. However, if you bet on McIlroy, who’s expected to place high in the event and he ends up winning the entire tournament, you’ll get only $150.

2/3 Ball Betting

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

Top three-betting is 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 the tournament or not. As you’d expect, the 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.

A golf parlay allows you to put multiple bets on a single ticket. However, there is a catch here, as all selection has to be covered in order for your parlay to payout.

Parlay Betting

Parlay bets in golf 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 selection has to be covered 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 investment will be.

Golf Betting Online: Futures Betting

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 shop at one the safest online sportsbooks, so you can trust your money isn’t going anywhere.

Proposition Betting

Proposition bets, or prop bets, are wagers that don’t fall into any of the aforementioned categories. Props are a fun way to get a different type of action on the links and can provide you with an entertaining alternative compared to more serious bets. Most golf props are related to individual golfers, which means that in most cases you’ll have to guess whether someone will manage to score a hole-in-one, closest to the pin or who wins the hole.

In some cases, you can even bet on exotic props, such as “what colour t-shirt will the tournament champion be wearing?” and “what will the caddie’s cut of the winner’s purse be?” These types of props are typically reserved for high-profile tournaments like the Masters.

Nationality Bets

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

Types of Golf Bets
  • Outright winner
  • 2/3 ball
  • Top three finish
  • Parlay betting
  • Futures betting
  • Prop bets
  • Nationality
  • First-round leaders
  • Versus the field

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 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

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.

Golf Betting FAQs