An Introduction to the World of Profitable Golf Betting
Golf betting is a betting area, which has been growing remarkably in popularity over recent times. Online betting exchanges and the general growth in online betting have played their roles in fuelling the growth. Matched bets on Betfair alone in the outright winner market on both European and USPGA tournaments each week, exceed one million dollars. Punters also can now not only back players as one would do with a bookmaker but also lay players they believe will perform below market expectations.
Personally, golf is one of my favourite sports for betting for two main reasons:
- I have enjoyed great success betting on the golf for quite some time. The bank account is proof enough to me personally, that there is great money to be had, IF punters are willing to put in the time and effort. You will discover shortly, why it is, that golf lends itself to profitable betting. Money is not the only motivation however.
- I love the game, which makes the business of betting on the golf that much easier, as generally, it is not a chore to do the great amount of work required to get the results.
In my opinion, golf is, by far, one of the best sports for betting.
There are simply so many opportunities to find value especially in the player match bets, which we will cover in a later part of this betting series.
A golf tournament is played over four days (with the occasional exception of a three round tournament) with many swings in the betting odds along the way, meaning golf is a great sport for trading the prices. You may like to lock in guaranteed profits or you may like to simply take ‘insurance’, which we will cover further in this series of articles.
I am not sure why it is that many golfers are natural punters. Those who play golf themselves would be well aware of this. Many a social game has easily turned into a spirited game of ‘skins’.
This series of articles are not intented to be used as a definitive guide to golf betting. In saying that though, I am sure it will help with your golf betting; even if it is only something you read in this series which sparks a totally new and original approach. Detailed in this series are the opinions and techniques that I have used to provide me with some very nice steady profits.
Handicapping golf is a sport, which is really unlike any other. It is not necessarily an advantage for a punter who is new to golf betting to be a golfer themselves. It can be argued that a punter who has no pre-conceived concepts of the game of golf will not have to break any false beliefs. Club golf is naturally 100% different from professional golf.
For those who are new to the game, or for those who are unfamiliar with the professional golf tours, below serves as an overview of the game at the professional level.
The professional golf tours are basically an all year event. There is a break of some six weeks over the Christmas period for the two main tours in the world, the European Tour and the USPGA Tour. Even though the two tours do take brief breaks over the Christmas period, there is no shortage of golf for betting over this period.
As mentioned above, there are two main golf tours throughout the world: the European Tour and the USPGA Tour. As the names imply, the USPGA tour is the American tour and European tour is naturally played throughout Europe. There are a number of other golf tours throughout the world, which basically, may be thought of as the ‘reserves’ or the ‘seconds’. Examples include the Japanese tour, the Australasia tour and the Nationwide Tour. There also are the ladies tour (LPGA) and the Champions Tour for players over the age of 50. Personally, I really look at the two main tours only, because I do not have the time to look at the other tours, and there are far fewer bookies offering prices on these tours, which generally means that the bookies are offering less competitive prices, and generally, will have low maximum bets.
During the season, there will be an event a week for each of the tours with only a few exceptions. Therefore, I look at both the European and the American (or USPGA tour), each week, for betting possibilities. Each tournament will start on Thursday (with a few exceptions), going through the four rounds with the final round ending on Sunday.
A couple of things worth knowing:
- The Cut: After the first two rounds, there is the ‘cut’, where the top performing half of the field at that point, will play the final two rounds. On average, there are 140 – 150 players who will commence each tournament. Players who after two rounds finish tied for 70th or lower, will make the cut. The exact number of players who play the third and fourth rounds is never known exactly as it depends on how many are tied for 70th.
- Tee Times: The players are allocated times at which they will tee off on the first two days. They play in groups of three for the first two rounds, and for those who make the cut to play in the last two rounds, they will be in pairs.
Basically, the field is split into morning and afternoon tee times. For example, if a player tees off in the morning on the first day, he will be allocated an afternoon tee time on the second day. After the first two rounds, where approximately half the field will be cut, the tee times for the third and fourth rounds are allocated according to the player’s position on the leaderboard. As a result, the players now are paired with players who are in very similar positions on the leaderboard.
If there are three players on the same score, they will be paired with two players who scored the lowest in the previous round. The players lagging down the bottom of the field, will tee off first with the leaders teeing off last.
- Other events: Throughout the golf season, there are a number of events which are a little different from the above format. For example, there are ‘match-play’ events, where players are paired together, with the aim of beating their opponents over one round, with the winner progressing to the next round. They are then paired again with another opponent, with the winner once again going through to the next round, until there are only the two players left to shoot it out.
- Psychology: Although psychology plays a very important role in any sport, it is especially true in golf. A golfer with personal problems could spell disaster. These days, it is rare for a professional golfer not to consult with a professional sports psychologist on a regular basis.
- Statistics: One resource, which I believe you must get your hands on if you can afford it, is a book by the name of Elliott’s Golf Form. No, I am no relation to the author Keith Elliott.
The publication is an annual publication and is a like a brick full of thousands of valuable statistics, reviews of past tournaments, detailed player profiles and many more golden gems of information. All the praise I can give this fine publication will still not do it justice. If you are to bet on golf and can afford the book (around 30 pounds), then you must get your hands on a copy!
The aforementioned is a brief account of how a golf tournament is played to find the eventual winner. Golf appeals to many punters, purely because of the fact, that it is possible for punters to back contestants, at big odds, who present really good chances of playing well. Anything under 100/1 is generally considered in the market, unlike a horse race, where anything above 20/1 has very little chance. The favourite in a golf tournament quite often is priced at 10/1 or even longer in the betting.
As in any sport, the aim is clear and unambiguous! We are playing the betting game to make money! Regardless of which sport you choose to focus on, there is only one thing you must do to become exceedingly successful, and of course profitable, you must back players at odds greater than their true chances of winning.
That’s it! Do that consistently and you WILL turn a profit. The difficult part is assessing the prices; pitting your judgement against the other punters and bookmakers; and making informed skilled decisions. Hopefully, this series of articles will help you on your way to becoming a highly successful and intelligent golf punter.