Golf Trading Strategy

Golf Trading Strategy

In this article we look at some ideas, which may be used to trade the players on a betting exchange, rather than simply backing a player to win the tournament outright.

Golf Quick Starters

It’s important to note the first round tee times. By targeting a player, who has a habit of getting off to a strong start, money can be made y backing the player before the tournament begins, and then, laying off after the first round.

Many players are predictable in how they play the four rounds. In general, players who begin with smart starts, coupled with a morning tee time, provide great opportunities to trade. Playing conditions in the morning are generally much better than the afternoon conditions. The greens are softer, and more importantly, the weather conditions are generally more forgiving.

Laying Players in Contention on a Betting Exchange

Similar to the above pointer, you can look towards the end of the third day of a tournament to attempt to isolate a player, who has proven in the past not to handle the pressure of the fourth round. Playing in the fourth round of a golf tournament is a different ball game from the first, because there is the added pressure on those at the top of the leader board. Intense media coverage in the country or state, in which the event is being played, may distract a player, causing a below par performance on the last day.

Some players are notorious for cracking under the pressure, and this means dollars in the bank for us! Conversely, other players revel in pressure situations, carding their best rounds on the last day. Further from this, certainly some players demonstrate that they play best coming off the pace to clinch a win (such as Stewart Cink who has shown that he is adept at storming home in the final round), and others, on the other hand, are good front runners.

Such trends can really result in gold mine situations for those golf punters, who can identify such trends in the different players. Golfers are reasonably consistent in this regard, leading to trading opportunities. This all may be discovered by studying past performances of the players, and will certainly help you in your golf betting.

Laying the Rougher Type Players

If your betting bank permits, laying players at decent odds (up to 70.0), before the first round, can provide good opportunities for profit in the long run. Naturally, you still have to do your homework, to give yourself every possible opportunity, to isolate a player performing poorly. With the rougher type players, even if they have a good first round or two (excluding a course record type score), the price of the player will not shorten to any great extent, in relation to the first or second round scores, as compared with a popular player who began with a good start. This is because punters still would not consider the player to be a genuine chance of winning the event.

Here, the idea is hoping the player(s) you have laid, begins with a poor start, and fingers crossed, misses the cut, meaning that you have an automatic winner. If, however, the player does get off to a reasonable start, you have the option (which is a wise one), to cut your losses, and back the player back locking in losses. If the players, you chose to lay, begin with poor starts, more times than not, you will be building your betting bank!

A word of warning though: after a few successful trades, do not fall into the trap of getting carried away and laying players indiscriminately, without studying the form. If you consider using this strategy, you must exercise discipline! You must cut your loses, if the player(s) you have laid, begins with a threatening start.

Golf Hole and Player Statistics In-Running

Player statistics, and in particular, hole statistics, are invaluable tools, if you are betting while the round is in-play. You will notice which holes it is possible to pick up a shot, and which holes it will be tough to simply make par. Naturally, some holes are tougher than others on a course. If a player has played the first six holes, which may be the toughest six holes on the course, and is one over, then there may be an opportunity to back the player, with the thinking, that if he is hitting the ball well, then he should pick up possibly three or four shots in the remaining 12 holes.

In the first, second and the third round, you can look back on the player’s performance over the holes in question to draw assumptions. You may find that particular player continually plays well on certain holes.

If you marry this analysis with the individual player’s statistics, then most definitely, you should be able to find a golf betting edge. For example, you may notice that the player has a great long game, which he can reach the par fives in two shots. You may assume that if the player has shot low on the par five holes in previous rounds on the course, and if he is playing well enough, then you may predict that the player might do the same again.

As another example, you may be on the third round leader. In the fourth round, as our player would be teeing off in the final group (since he is the leader), you may find that a couple of the players in the preceding groups begin with handy starts, shooting -2 through four or so holes. This may or may not be an excellent start, depending on the strengths of the players, and the types of holes that that they have played. If the first four holes are the easiest on the course, and are averaging well below their par throughout the tournament, then basically, you would expect the leaders to shoot low through these holes. This is extremely handy information for a golf punter who bets in-running.

Laying the First Round Leader on a Betting Exchange

Always consider laying (depending on your individual player form analysis that you have carried out) the first round leader, as it is mentally draining on a player to have to lead a tournament from start to finish.

Backing the Second and Third Round Leaders

This may seem slightly contradictory to the previous pointer, as one may assume that if it is difficult for a first round leader to lead throughout, it therefore, must be tough for a second or third round leader to hang on and finish off.

Strangely, the statistics don’t support this thinking. Second and third round leaders have an exceptional record of going on to win tournaments.

Live or Not So Live Golf Coverage?

Be very careful, if you have the intention of trading on Betfair, as the day’s play evolves. Although the idea of trading in and out of players, based on a good or bad shot, sounds good on the face of it, in practice, you have to tread warily; the reason being, that you are not the only one who is thinking of this.

Live coverage is rarely truly live, when it comes to the golf. At any one time, you may have up to 70 players on the course and naturally, many of those players would be taking their shots at the same time. The cameras will follow the leaders, who are scoring well, or the players back in the field. Shots are recorded, and are replayed as live coverage, when the time suits. Of course, the viewer sitting at home will not be aware of this, and that is where punters can fall into a trap, thinking they are watching live coverage.

The only way to beat the crowd is if you intend on capitalising on either good or poor shots is to be at the course following the players. You can either have a wireless device or simply a mobile phone to call through the bets to Betfair.

So unless you are at the actual course, please don’t attempt to capitalise on the events as they unfold on your television. Chances are that those punters on course have already moved the price on the betting exchange. You would not know, that it had already moved, unless you were to bring up the player’s trading history.

Closing Bets

Now that the betting game has changed for ever (for the better), closing bets on an exchange has become very popular. It may be debated as to whether this, in theory, is the best way to play.

In theory, the answer to whether you should lay off a bet on a betting exchange depends on whether there is still some value left in your bet. For example, you backed a player at odds of 50.0, and he has now moved to become the second round leader and has shortened into 6.0. Now, the question is, should you lay the player to lock in profits, or to recover only the amount outlayed? If you believe that the 6.0 represents a good bet, then you should hold your bet and not lay off. If you believe this price is ‘under’, as the true price in your opinion is more like 10.0, then you should lay off.

In theory, this is the best way to attack the betting decision, rather than immediately taking your profit as so many punters will do.

Now admittedly, that is in theory, and that should be considered very closely. However, every situation is unique, and practically, this may not be your best option. Why, you might ask? A lot depends on an individual punter’s risk profile. Many punters are happy to collect smaller profits often, rather than a big collect very rarely.

If you are an emotional punter, then I would suggest that you take the money. I would not attack the mathematics of backing and laying on an exchange.

Apart from your personal risk profile, there is another major factor which you must consider and that is bankroll considerations. The idea being, that if you are working with a low bank, or if you have wagered more than possibly you should have, then by all means, lay off your bet, and take your profit.

Trading on the Weather

Always keep an eye on weather conditions. If the weather is relatively calm in the morning, but you notice conditions starting to deteriorate, consider laying a number of the favoured players, who have to battle the afternoon conditions. In this instance, if the weather does turn sour, then the players who played in the morning and are now in the club house, are at a distinct advantage. There may be a three or four shot difference between playing in the morning and playing in the afternoon, providing you with, at the very least, a trading opportunity.

Also, the opposite is true – if a strong blustery wind is starting to pass late in the morning, this leaves the afternoon more conducive to low scores. Consider laying the morning leaders with the expectation that the afternoon players will either, better the current ‘clubhouse leader’, or at the worst, tie with the leaders. Quite often, the early morning leaders are over-bet with punters forgetting that the afternoon players are still to have a hit.

If the tournament is heavily affected by adverse weather conditions, be aware that it is possible that an event may be shortened to a 54 hole tournament (over three days). This will have the effect of strongly advantaging the players leading at the time, since the players trailing do not have as long to make up ground.

Although there are a good number of very handy trading tips in the above list, it is not by any means the only trading factors, which you may consider in your golf betting. They will, however, give you a very solid platform from which work. Hopefully, from the above knowledge passed on, you will be able to find a winner or two, and even if you do not make a mint, we hope that it improves your betting exchange trading somewhat.

In the fifth and final instalment of this golf betting article series, we delve into the different bet types which the bookmakers offer and most importantly, how to make the best of them!

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