Guide to Golf Betting

Introduction to Golf

Often it’s the stars of a sport that bring attention to it by their remarkable achievements. Golf betting is popular across the world because of world-renowned players like Tiger Woods, who got his first hole in one at the age of eight, for instance. A hole in one or “ace in the hole” is something average players may never see in a lifetime!

There are other titans in the sport like Bobby Jones, who had a lot to do with the sport’s popularity in the early days leading to huge purses and lucrative professional careers, and worthy betting opportunities.

Contents

Main Rules

The rules include penalties for going OB, or out of bounds, and other infractions. Penalties will add points to your total.

In competition, players strive to use the least total strokes to finish an 18-hole course. Adding up the total strokes at the end of the course is known as “stroke play” and is the most popular way of scoring. The other scoring method is called “match play,” where players compete separately for each hole and win one point.

Architects design courses to add challenges to play. A course may have many different obstacles (or hazards), like water, sand bunkers, and the “rough” or uncut grass along fairways. The course hazards will affect the odds for gamblers looking for an edge in their betting strategies.


Main Competitions

Golf bets

The major championships, or majors, in golf are the four significant events of the year. Golf tours include them as essential stops because they’re well-recognized events with large jackpots and other perks for winners. Some of these events are “open,” meaning anyone may compete if they qualify. In reality, more than half of players are pre-qualified for events due to past performances in other tournaments and tours.

The Masters - Held in April

The Masters or The Master’s Tournament is the most prestigious, if not exclusive, of the four major golf championships. Once again, star power comes into play as the course, and the tournament was created by one of the most famous, internationally recognized sports figures at the time, Bobby Jones.

The Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, holds The Masters. The course was built in 1933 and had its first tournament in 1934. This tournament is invitation only.

Champions are awarded a green jacket, besides the cup and cash winnings. The last winner (Hideki Matsuyama) got over $2 million in the 2021 Masters Tournament. Winners are also invited to the tournament for life, are guaranteed entry into the other major championships for five years and automatic entry onto the PGA Tour.

PGA Championship - Held in May

The Professional Golf Association of America conducts the PGA Championship, which is part of the PGA, European, and Japanese pro golf tours.

It’s the only championship exclusively for professionals. Jim Barnes won the first championship in 1916 with an award of $500. In 2016, Jimmy Walker won $1.8 million.

Winners of this major can play in the PGA Championship for life and qualify for the other majors for five years.

US Open - Held in June

The first US Open was held in 1895 at the Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a nine-hole course, so they played it four times to give the competitors 36 holes to prove their skill. England’s Horace Rawlins won $150 and a $50 gold medal.

The United States Open Tournament is organized by the United States Golf Association. The winner earned $2.16 million in 2017. Winners are invited to all championships for five years and the US Open for ten years. Other perks include an invitation to the PGA Tour senior championships, the top four players are invited to the Masters, and the top 10 qualify for the next US Open.

The Open Championship (The British Open) - Held in July

The Open Championship (sometimes called the British Open) is the oldest and longest-running of the four majors. This championship is played on traditional links courses in Scotland. These are courses built near the sea in undulating land with dunes, grass, and no trees.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews continues to organize this event, starting in 1860 at the Prestwick golf club in Ayrshire, Scotland. They played three rounds of what was then a 12-hole course, and the winner was awarded a belt with a silver buckle (donated by the Earl of Eglinton). Today, players get the Claret Jug (introduced in 1873) and 18% of the purse.

In 1892 they played four rounds in two days, but today the championship now allows for 156 players playing four rounds in four days. Only the top 70 after the first 36 holes continue for the last two rounds.


Where to Bet on Golf

Modern online golf betting is a way of getting action and excitement out of certain tour events and major championships by making bets of all kinds. Many bets are on one of two possible outcomes.

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Popular Markets

  • Golf Props
    Golf betting props are bets about different events that may or may not occur during a tournament. Examples of prop bets include betting if there’s going to be an ace in the hole during the tournament or if a particular golfer will finish over or under a certain score.
  • Futures Bets
    These are bets made on events that’ll happen in the future. US Open golf betting, for instance, can be completed a long time before the event. You retain the odds offered by the bookmakers at the time that you place your bets – even if the odds change closer to the event taking place. Some casinos and sports betting companies will have reputations for providing time-sensitive futures data.
  • Live Betting
    You can make bets while a game is in progress. Live Golf betting could give you a chance to make up for lost futures bets. Your golf betting system may involve one or all of these approaches.
  • The Winner Market
    Here, you bet on who will win a tournament. You can also bet that a particular player will make it into the top 5, 10, and 20.
  • 72 Hole Matchup Betting
    Head-to-head or matchups are when you make a bet that one golfer will beat another. In this case, you’re betting that after 72 holes, one player will win in a specific matchup (of two players).
  • 18 Hole Matchups (Round Matchups)
    The same bet as above, for 18 holes only.
  • Three-Ball Betting
    Most players are grouped in threesomes for the first two days of play. You’ll bet on who you think will win the round between those three players only.
  • Two-Ball Betting
    Two-ball betting is betting on the pairs that play together during the last two days of the tournament.

Golf facts and history

Golf Betting

Some facts concerning golf may surprise you, like how Alan Shepard hit a couple of golf balls while moonwalking for the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. Golf has made it to the moon!

While modern golf, played with 18 holes, is agreed to have originated in Scotland, there are records of stick-and-ball games as far back as the Romans and even ancient Egypt.

The earliest mention of golf being played is in Holland in 1297; they called their game kolf. Ironically, the first record of the game in Scotland was when King James II banned the game for getting in the way of military training in 1457 (he believed archery practice was more important).

Some historians believe that a Chinese game called Chuiwan played as far back as 943 is the possible origin of golf. It’s argued that the rules are similar, and images depict a game apparently the same. This means the golf could have been introduced to Europe by the Mongolians before the Dutch started playing kolf.


Conclusion

In the early days of golf, wagering was conducted mainly by individuals in “matches” with each other. Famous golfers like Allan Roberson in the mid-1800s made a living betting on matches (as well as making and selling golf equipment). Another golfer who used golf for wagering was the famous Titanic Thompson (1893-1974).

After the first Open Championship in Scotland in 1860, more tournaments and championships followed, and these events have become modern golf betting opportunities.

There are now four major championships that you can bet on as well as many other tournaments. There are hundreds of professional players to follow and bet on and many exciting wagers to be made these days with the assistance of online golf betting bookmakers.


FAQs

How to bet on golf?

One of the main bets in golf is the winner bet, where you bet who will win a specific tournament. You’ll find a seemingly unlimited number of prop bets, like which player will par the course or if they’ll be a hole in one. With futures bets and live betting options, finding ways to bet on golf is easy.

What is a Nassau bet in golf?

A Nassau bet is a bet on which player, or team, will win the front 9, the back 9, and the full 18 holes. The takeaway is that this is three different mini-tournaments in one.

What is a three-ball bet in golf?

A three-ball bet in golf is a bet made that a certain member of a threesome in a tournament will win that round.

What was the first major tournament of 2021?

The first major tournament of 2021 was The Masters Tournament, held April 8-11.

Where is golf the most popular?

The game of golf is the most popular in Ireland, followed by Canada, the UK, and the USA.

Elica Martinova
Betting expert
Certified Betting Expert
Elica Martinova
Ellie is in charge of writing, editing, and publishing reviews in Bulgarian, English, and German. She has a long track record as a journalist and is passionate about writing. Also, she is quite experienced when it comes to bookmakers as well.