Golf is equally loved by the elites and blue-collar workers alike. From those that play at high-cost country clubs, to those that are on the course at 5 A.M. at their public links, the vast majority of the world likes their golf. Now, with online sports betting legal, fans of golf can get their golf betting fix whenever they want. But how do you bet on golf? With such a large field pf players at the beginning of every tournament, and with only one winner per tournament, golf has its own unique style of betting.
When it comes to betting on golf, it is actually quite easy for the most part. The most popular bets are outright, finishing position or Top 5/Top 10, or First Round Winners. All three are straightforward because of the nature of golf’s individual aspect and lends to a fun way to bet and see how everything plays out over the four days of a gold tournament.
The Different Golf Betting Games
Golf betting in the U.S.A. is about to take off. With the seeming return of Tiger Woods and a slew of capable golfers like Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas (et al) all vying for the No. 1 ranking, it is time to learn the golf betting odds at your disposal.
The Outright Golf Bet
The most popular of the golf betting games out there is the outright. The outright is as simple as they come; choose which player you think is going to win the tournament. Like any non-spread and non-Over/Under bet, the odds for outright betting will be displayed with a plus sign (+) or a minus (-) sign. In golf, before the start of the tournament, every player in the field will be a (+), meaning whatever number you bet, that will be your payout via $100. So if Justin Thomas is +325 to start a tournament, if you bet $100 and Thomas wins the tournament, you will get back $325 plus your original $100 for a total of $425.
At certain points of the tournament, players might become heavy favorites because they are completely dominating the field. At that point, they could flip to a (-). If that occurs, the number next to their name is the amount you have to spend in order to win $100. So if Thomas has a seven stroke lead and sits at -200, you would have to bet $200 to win $100 on the bet.
The Finishing Position Bet or Top 5 Top 10 Golf Bet
While outright golf bets are all about which player is going to win the tournament, there are also popular golf bets where you can hedge your bet. One of the most popular golf gets is the “Finishing Position” bet or “Top-5/Top-10” bet. In these two cases, instead of trying to guess which player is going to win the tournament, you can place a bet if a player—or multiple different players—are going to finish in the Top 5 or Top 10 of the tournament. Just like the outright winner bet, bets on the Finishing Position/Top 5/Top 10 bets are all on the (+/-) variety of odds.
Unlike the outright winner bet though, the odds are a little shorter because obviously you have more leeway to nail your pick. And no, you do not get any bonus if one of the people you bet on to finish in the Top 5 or Top 10 wins the tournament. However, if you want to bet on multiple players, you will have to do so on an individual bases as most sportsbooks won’t let you combine two Top 5 picks, or a Top 5 pick and a Top 10 pick into a parlay.
The First Round Winner Golf Bet
One of the other popular forms of golf betting games is the First Round Winner golf bet. Most of the time when you are betting on golf, you are doing so over the course of the four rounds, but golf bettors looking to get in on some early action can actually bet on just the very first round of the tournament. In this case, they do not have to pick who is going to win the tournament, but rather, which golfer is going to be at the top of the leaderboard after the first round.
In this case, as in the cases of the other forms of golf betting, this bet is an outright bet and therefore the odds are all standard (+/-) and work just like the Finishing Position bets and Outright Winner bet.
Other Forms of Golf Betting
Not all golf matches are the same. Sometimes there are golf tournaments—like the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup, and the Accenture Match Play tournament—where matches are played head-to-head, either individually or in groups. In that case, the odds will work similar to football, basketball, and baseball moneylines where there will be a favorite with a (-) next to their name(s) and an underdog with a (+) next to their name(s). Seldomly you will also see spreads in this format, in which you will have to guess which player/group will win the match by how many holes.
Also, sometimes you will see sportsbooks post Group Odds, where you can choose which of the three golfers in a regular tournament will win their individual group, regardless of the actual leaderboard. This bet is usually only available for the first day or two of tournaments before groups in tournaments get broken into couples.