Golf has a reputation as a serious, staid sport. It’s a reputation buoyed by the silence of spectators during play and the polite clapping that responds to a successful stroke. Add to that the peacefulness of playing a sport out in nature instead of in a crowded and brightly lit arena, and golf seems like the kind of sport where nothing too dramatic ever happens.
However, over the course of the past three years, golf has unexpectedly been at the centre of a major controversy involving the use of sports to repair the reputations of countries whose standing in the global arena is impacted by their human rights records. This isn’t a phenomenon limited to golf¾football has been dealing with a similar situation for many years now¾but it came as a surprise for golfers and fans alike.
The creation of LIV Golf by the Saudi-financed Public Investment Fund created a division in the golf world, with some players choosing to join LIV for massive salaries and some rejecting offers as a matter of principle. That principled stance lost much of its power when earlier this year the PGA was merged with LIV and all professional golf was essentially placed under the control of the Saudi Arabian Government.
With so much public attention being turned to the sport, more people have been introduced to golf and audiences have grown. This growth in interest has perfectly coincided with the opening of online sportsbooks to Americans. British golf fans have long had the option to bet on golf events, but the new international scale of sports betting has generated increased interest.
The short answer to the question do people bet on golf is a resounding yes. It may not be a popular a betting sport as football or horse racing but the nature of professional golf makes it an appealing sport for bettors. In this article, we’ll dig into why golf is a fun sport to bet on. We’ll follow that discussion up with some tips on how to bet like a pro.
Why do People Bet On Golf?
When people bring up betting sports, horse racing and football are the first ones that spring to mind and golf is barely a consideration for most people. Bettors in the know, however, understand that golf is a great sport for bettors.
One of the main reasons is that golf is a year-round sport. The PGA hosts events throughout the entire year around the world. This means there’s no extended period of downtime where you can’t bet. In addition, since golf is an international sport weather and climate can have a surprisingly big impact on player performance.
Lastly, there are a large number of courses that are used throughout the season and a big roster of players. Both of these factors lead to a lot of possibilities in terms of performance, competition, and potential upsets.
Serious sports bettors thrive on the uncertainty and the potential for scenarios to play out differently than the majority anticipate. Being successful at sports betting typically involves having in-depth knowledge of the sports and players, and golf provides plenty of material.
What do People Bet On in Golf?
The most basic sports bet is which team will win a game. When most people think of sports betting, this is the type of bet that they think of. Of course, it’s possible to bet on who will win a specific tournament or stage.
There are plenty of more interesting betting options as well. You can bet on specific players to place at specific events or on a player qualifying for an event. You can also bet on which player in a group that tees off together will have the best result after the first 9 or 18 holes. There are also matchup bets where two players are matched up and you bet on which will do better.
Prop bets are available in golf too. Prop bets can be on anything that happens during a tournament, not on the outcome. A common prop bet divides players up by nationality and lets you bet on who will be the top British, American, or French player, etc. Less popular because the scores can vary so dramatically from year to year, prop bets can be placed on things like how many birdies or eagles will be hit or what the overall score might be.
Choose the Right Sportsbook
The first step to any good betting career is to choose the right sportsbook. There are many factors to consider, including if you want to bet on a desktop (best connection) or mobile device (more freedom and accessibility). Thankfully, most online sportsbooks are either optimised for mobile or have an app.
When choosing between the leading betting apps, keep in mind that some sportsbooks specialise in certain sports. There isn’t a dedicated golf sportsbook, however, so choosing from any of the top betting apps should be a worthwhile option.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget is essential to safe and smart betting. Setting a budget and only spending within that budget makes it so that you only have to focus on your bet, instead of worrying about how much you’ve spent. It also makes it easier to not make spur of the moment, uninformed bets. If you know you only have so much to bet with, you’re much less likely to waste any of that budget on silly bets.
Pay Close Attention
As we mentioned above, sports bettors who take betting seriously understand the value of doing their research and staying up to date on all of the latest golfing news. If you’re following the news, you’ll have a good idea of which golfers are in the best form, which ones are in a bit of a slump, and which ones might be nursing an injury.
Keeping track of golfer stats is also very useful. This kind of research can show you if a golfer always has a slump in a certain month, doesn’t play well on certain courses, or tends to play better when a specific rival is also on the course.
Nothing is certain in sports betting but the more you know, the smarter bets you can place.