How to Bet on Golf Online: Beginner's Golf Betting Guide

Learn everything you need to start betting on golf today.

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Golf is a beloved sport that captures the attention of millions of fans in the United States. Golf also presents exciting betting opportunities. Whether you want to learn how to bet on golf or enhance your understanding of this thrilling game aspect, this beginner’s guide is tailored just for you. From deciphering golf tournament formats to exploring popular bet types and implementing effective strategies, this guide will give you the knowledge and confidence to easily engage in golf betting.

The Different Types of Golf Bets

Outright Winner

The outright winner market is a popular bet: You predict which golfer will win the tournament. It requires selecting the golfer with the lowest overall score throughout the event. 

For example, when you bet on golf, you might place an outright winner bet on Brooks Koepka to win the PGA Championship. If Koepka finishes with the lowest score among all the participants, your bet wins.

Top Finish

In this bet, you predict which golfer will finish within a specific position range, such as a top 5, top 10, or top 20 finish. It doesn’t matter if the golfer doesn’t win the tournament as long as they achieve the specified position. 

For instance, when you bet on golf, you could bet on Jon Rahm to finish in the top 5 at the Open Championship. If Rahm finishes the tournament in one of the top 5 positions, your bet wins.

Golf Futures


Head-to-head betting involves selecting one golfer to outperform another in a pairing or matchup. The bet focuses on which golfer will score better for the designated round or tournament. 

For example, you might bet on Justin Thomas for a better score than Patrick Reed in a particular round of the Master’s Tournament. Your bet is successful if Thomas finishes with a lower score than Reed for that specific round.

Golf Tournament Matchups

Like head-to-head bets, tournament matchups involve selecting a golfer to perform better than another golfer throughout the tournament. You are comparing the scores of the two golfers for the entire event. 

For instance, when you bet on golf, you could bet on Rory McIlroy to have a better overall score than Bryson DeChambeau in the Players Championship. If McIlroy finishes the tournament with a lower score than DeChambeau, your bet wins.

Prop Bets

Prop bets in golf involve wagering on specific outcomes or events like the PGA Championship within a tournament. These can vary widely and include bets on hole-in-ones, clear shots, or the performance of individual golfers on a particular hole. 

For example, you might bet on whether there will be a hole-in-one during a specific round or whether a particular golfer will hit the fairway with their opening tee shot. The outcomes of these prop bets are determined by the specific conditions and golf events occurring during the tournament.

Round Leader

This bet involves predicting which golfer will lead the tournament after a specific round, usually the first or second round. You select the golfer you believe will have the lowest score after that round. 

For instance, you could bet on Jordan Spieth to be the leader after the first round of the Masters Tournament. If Spieth finishes the first round with the lowest score among all the participants, your bet wins.

Group Betting

Group betting allows you to bet which golfer will perform best among a selected group of players. The group can consist of a few golfers or a larger set of participants. 

For example, you might bet on Dustin Johnson to have the lowest score among a group that includes Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, and Collin Morikawa in the Ryder Cup. Your bet is successful if Johnson finishes with the lowest score among that group.

Each-Way Odds

Each-way betting combines an outright winner bet and a top-finish bet. It enables you to wager on a golfer to finish in a particular range of positions (typically the top 3, top 5, or top 10) and win the competition (outright). If your selected golfer wins the tournament, both the “win” and “place” portions of your bet are successful. 

If your golfer (Tiger Woods) doesn’t win but finishes within the specified range, the “place” portion of your bet is successful. For example, you might place an each-way bet on Tiger Woods in the U.S. Open. 

If Tiger Woods wins the tournament or finishes in one of the top positions specified by the sportsbook, both the “win” and “place” parts of your bet are successful.

Golf Parlays

Golf parlays, or accumulators, combine multiple individual bets into a single wager. All individual bets within the parlay must successfully win a parlay bet. It offers higher potential payouts since each bet’s odds are multiplied. 

For instance, you could create a parlay bet by combining the outcomes of an outright winner bet, a head-to-head bet, and a prop bet. If all three individual bets within the parlay are successful, your parlay bet is successful, resulting in a higher payout than if you had placed each bet separately.

Golf Specials

Nationality Bets

Nationality bets involve betting on the nationality of the golfer who will have the best performance or finish highest among a specific group of golfers, usually those from the same country. It allows you to focus on the performance of golfers from a particular country rather than their overall placement in the tournament. 

For example, you might bet on the best-performing American golfer in a specific tournament among a group that includes Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Brooks Koepka. Your bet will be successful if the American golfer with the best performance is from the selected group.

Hole-in-One Bet

This bet involves predicting whether a golfer will hit a hole-in-one during the tournament. It’s a challenging bet to win since hole-in-ones are rare, but the potential payout can be substantial.

Let’s say you decide to place a Hole-in-One bet on a specific golfer, let’s call him Player A, in a major golf tournament. The sportsbook offers odds of +500 for Player A to hit a hole-in-one during the game. You wager $10 on this bet. If Player A manages to hit a hole-in-one at any point during the tournament, you will win the bet. In this case, your potential payout would be $10 x 5 = $50, which includes your original stake.

Margin of Victory Bet

This bet requires predicting the margin of victory by which the tournament winner will surpass the runner-up. You can place bets on a specific range, such as a one-stroke victory, a playoff, or a more significant margin.

Suppose you want to place a Margin of Victory bet on a golf tournament. The sportsbook offers different margin ranges and their corresponding odds. You decide to bet on the margin of victory being a playoff. The odds for this outcome are +1200. You place a $20 bet on this option. If the tournament ends in a playoff, you will win the bet. In this case, your potential payout would be $20 x 12 = $240, including your original stake.

How Does Live Betting on Golf Work?

Live betting on golf allows you to place bets on a PGA Championship or another match while it is in progress. Unlike pre-tournament betting, where you place your wagers before the event starts, live golf odds allow you to take advantage of the changing circumstances and adjust your bets based on ongoing action. 

Here’s how live betting on golf typically works:

  • Updated Odds: As the golf tournament progresses, online golf sportsbooks update the odds in real time to reflect the current performance of the golfers. The odds will change based on factors such as the golfer’s position, their performance in recent holes, and the overall dynamics of the tournament.
  • Available Markets: Live betting offers a variety of markets to choose from. You can bet on outcomes such as the winner of the next hole, the leader after a certain number of holes, whether a golfer will make or miss a putt, or the margin of victory for the eventual winner.
  • Timing and Availability: Live betting odds and markets may vary depending on the sportsbook and the golf tournament. Some offshore sports betting sites offer comprehensive live golf betting options for major golf tournaments, while others may have limited offerings for smaller golf events.
  • Fast-paced Decision Making: Live betting requires quick decision-making, as odds can change rapidly during a golf tournament. It’s essential to stay engaged, monitor the tournament closely, and react promptly to favorable odds or potential betting opportunities.
  • In-play Statistics and Analysis: To make informed live golf bets, it’s helpful to have access to live statistics and analysis. Betting operators and online golf platforms often provide real-time data, including golfer statistics, hole-by-hole performance, and live leaderboard updates, enabling you to assess the current state of play.
  • Bet Placement: Placing live bets is similar to placing pre-tournament bets. You select your desired market, choose the golfer or outcome you want to bet on, enter the stake amount, and confirm the bet. The odds will be adjusted based on the current circumstances, and if your bet is successful, you will receive the corresponding payout.
  • Early Cash Out: Many sportsbooks offering in-play golf betting provide an early cash-out feature. This allows you to settle your wagers before the result of the bet has been determined for insurance to help secure wins. The best cash out sportsbooks also offer early cash-outs for pre-game wagers, but this feature is more popular for live betting.

Golf Betting Strategies

Research Player Form and Course Fit 

If you want to learn how to bet on golf, one of the most effective golf betting tips is thoroughly researching player form and compatibility with the course they are playing. Analyze recent performances, such as top finishes, consistency, and the ability to adapt to different course conditions. Consider factors like driving accuracy, putting proficiency, and past success on similar courses. For example, if a golfer has a strong track record on links-style courses and is in good form, they might be a favorable betting option for an upcoming tournament on a similar course.

Pay Attention to Course Characteristics

Understanding the unique characteristics of a golf course can provide valuable insights when placing bets. Consider factors like course length, grass type, bunkers, water hazards, and weather conditions. Some golfers excel on longer courses, while others thrive on shorter ones. 

Certain players may have a history of struggling on courses with tight fairways or challenging greens. You can make more informed online sports betting decisions by examining how course characteristics align with a player’s strengths. For instance, if a player has a solid short game and is playing on a course with challenging greens, they might have an advantage over others.

Golf Moneyline Bets

Analyze Historical Golf Tournaments and Course History

Examining a golfer’s historical performance at a particular tournament or course when learning to bet on golf can help make informed bets. Consider how well they have performed in previous tournament editions or on the same course. Some players consistently excel at certain events due to favorable course setups or personal affinity for the tournament. 

For example, a golfer who has won a tournament multiple times or has a consistent track record of high finishes on a specific course might be a strong betting candidate for that event.

Consider Head-to-Head Matchups

Analyzing head-to-head matchups between golfers can provide valuable information when placing bets. Some players may have a psychological advantage over others or perform exceptionally well when paired together. Review their head-to-head records and evaluate playing styles, course compatibility, and past encounters.

For instance, if one golfer has consistently outperformed their opponent in head-to-head matchups, it might be worth considering when placing bets involving those players.

Stay Updated on Player News and Injury Reports

Keeping abreast of player news, injury reports, and recent developments is crucial for effective golf betting. Injuries or changes in a player’s physical condition can significantly impact their performance. Stay informed about any potential injuries, withdrawals, or recent changes in a golfer’s preparation for a tournament. This information can help you make more accurate predictions and avoid betting on players whose health issues may compromise them.

Consider Weather Conditions 

Weather conditions are significant in golf and can affect a player’s performance. Attend to weather forecasts and how certain players historically handle adverse weather conditions. Some golfers excel in windy conditions or on rainy days, while others struggle. 

For example, a golfer known for their accuracy and ability to shape shots might have an advantage in challenging weather conditions. Consider weather forecasts when placing bets and how they might impact different players’ chances of success.

Golf Betting Odds Explained

Understanding the odds, whether outright winner odds or any other golf bet type, is crucial for making informed decisions when sports betting. Golf betting odds represent the probability of a specific outcome and determine the potential payout. Here are some common types of golf betting odds and how they work:

Fractional Odds
Fractional odds, or traditional odds, are commonly used in golf betting. They are presented as fractions, such as 5/1 or 7/2. The first number represents the potential profit, while the second indicates the wagered amount. For example, if you bet $10 at odds of 5/1, you would win $50 in profit plus your initial $10 stake.

Decimal Odds
Decimal odds are another format used in golf betting, especially in international markets. They are expressed as decimal numbers, such as 6.0 or 3.5. The decimal odds indicate the total payout, including the initial stake. For instance, if you bet $10 at odds of 6.0, your total return would be $60, including the $10 stake and $50 in profit.

Moneyline Odds
Moneyline odds, or American odds, are prevalent in the United States. They are represented by a positive or negative number, such as +400 or -150. Positive odds indicate the potential profit on a $100 wager, while negative odds represent the amount you need to bet to win $100. For example, if you see odds of +400, a $100 bet would yield a $400 profit, and if you encounter odds of -150, you will need to bet $150 to win $100.

Prop Bet Odds
There are also prop or proposition bets in golf, which involve sports betting on specific outcomes or occurrences within a tournament. These can include bets on a player’s performance in a particular round, the number of birdies or bogeys they will make, or whether there will be a hole-in-one. Prop bet odds can vary widely depending on the specific nature of the bet and the likelihood of the outcome.

Golf Betting Options

How to Place a Golf Bet: Golf Betting Made Easy

1. Select a Reputable Sportsbook

When venturing into golf betting, choosing a safe and reputable sportsbook that offers a wide range of golf betting markets, competitive odds, and a user-friendly platform is critical. Look for well-established sports betting apps and websites with valid licenses and positive customer feedback. Also, ensure the sportsbook provides comprehensive coverage of golf tournaments and offers favorable odds for the events you’re interested in. Our sportsbooks reviews are a great starting point to gather this information.

2. Create an Account and Deposit Funds

Once you’ve selected a sportsbook, create an account by providing the required personal information. This involves completing a registration form and verifying your identity. Afterward, proceed to deposit funds into your betting account. Golf betting sites offer deposit options like credit/debit cards, e-wallets, or bank transfers. You can even find crypto-friendly betting platforms, and many sportsbooks have low minimum deposits, making sports betting accessible for all. Choose a method that is convenient for you.

3. Navigate the Golf Betting Section

After creating your account and funding it, navigate to the golf betting section of the sportsbook. Most online sportsbooks for real money have a dedicated section for golf betting, where you can find a list of upcoming or major tournaments and available betting markets. Explore the different tournaments and browse the available betting options to identify the ones that suit your preferences.

4. Choose Your Desired Bet Type

In the golf betting section, you’ll encounter various bet types. Familiarize yourself with the different options, such as outright winner, top finisher, head-to-head matchups, and prop bets. Consider the rules and payout structures for each bet type to determine which aligns with your betting strategy and provides the desired level of excitement.

5. Select Your Bet and Set the Stake

Once you’ve decided on the bet type, select the specific golf event or golfer you wish to bet on. Review the available odds for your selection and consider factors like player form, course suitability, and relevant statistics. Enter the desired stake amount for your bet, representing the money you are willing to wager. All operators cap the maximum stake for a single bet, so we suggest choosing a high-limit betting site to ensure your wagers aren’t restricted.

6. Confirm Your Bet

Before finalizing your bet, double-check your selection, stake amount, and the potential payout displayed on your bet slip. Ensure all the details are accurate and in line with your intentions. Once you are confident with your choices, confirm your bet. Your wager will be accepted, and the corresponding amount will be deducted from your betting account balance.

Common Mistakes Made When Wagering on Golf Games

Neglecting to Research Golfers and Course Conditions
One common mistake in golf betting is failing to thoroughly research the golfers participating in the tournament and the specific course conditions. Understanding golfers’ strengths, weaknesses, recent form, and performance history is essential to making informed betting decisions. 

Course layout, weather conditions, and difficulty can significantly impact a golfer’s performance. Neglecting these aspects can lead to inaccurate predictions and potentially costly mistakes.

Betting Solely on Favorites
Another mistake is placing excessive emphasis on popular golfers or tournament favorites without considering other contenders. While well-known golfers may have a higher probability of success, they often come with lower odds, reducing potential returns. 

It’s important to assess the value in the odds offered and evaluate each golfer’s chances based on their recent form, course suitability, and overall performance. Overlooking other skilled golfers with better odds can result in missed opportunities.

Overlooking Head-to-Head Matchups
Head-to-head matchups in golf can provide valuable insights but are often overlooked. Analyzing golfers’ historical performance and head-to-head records against their opponents can offer a better understanding of how they match up against each other. 

Certain golfers may consistently perform well or struggle against specific opponents due to playing styles or mental factors. Ignoring these matchups can lead to missed opportunities or misguided bets.

Downplaying Injuries
One common mistake when wagering on golf games is downplaying injuries. Ignoring or underestimating the impact of injuries can lead to inaccurate assessments and misguided bets. Injuries can significantly affect a golfer’s performance, including their swing mechanics, power, accuracy, and overall gameplay. 

To avoid this mistake, it’s essential to stay updated on injury reports, consider the severity and implications of injuries, and assess how they may hinder a golfer’s ability to perform at their best. By factoring in injuries when making betting decisions, you can make more informed predictions and increase your chances of success.

Chasing Losses and Overreacting to Short-Term Results
Chasing losses and overreacting to short-term results is a common mistake in golf betting, as in any form of gambling. Maintaining a disciplined approach and avoiding making impulsive bets to recover previous losses is essential. 

In addition, overreacting to a golfer’s recent performance, especially if it was a single exceptional or poor showing, can lead to misguided bets. Consider the broader context, long-term performance, and overall consistency of golfers when making betting decisions.

Golf Wagering Options

Ignoring Course-Specific Factors
Each golf course has unique characteristics that can influence player performance. Course length, grass type, hazards, and greens can affect golfers’ strategies and skill sets. Ignoring these course-specific factors when analyzing matchups and making bets can lead to inaccurate predictions. Considering how the course suits each golfer’s playing style is essential, and examining their previous performances on similar courses is necessary.

Failing to Practice Bankroll Management
Proper bankroll management is crucial in any form of betting, including golf. Failing to establish a budget, allocate betting funds, and adhere to a staking plan can lead to excessive losses. It’s important to set a bankroll, determine appropriate stake sizes for each bet, and avoid placing bets that exceed a predetermined percentage of your overall bankroll. Responsible bankroll management helps mitigate the risk of significant losses and ensures a sustainable betting approach.

Golf Betting FAQs

What is the best way to bet on golf?

The best way to bet on golf is to conduct thorough research, analyze player form and course conditions, and make informed decisions based on your findings. Your choice of sportsbook is also essential, so take the time to compare sportsbook odds, markets, and usability. We recommend registering for a reduced juice sportsbook that offers better value golf bets to help maximize your winnings.

How do bets work in golf?

In golf, bets work by placing wagers on various outcomes, such as the winner of any major tournaments, a player’s performance in a specific round, or specific events within a round, like hole-in-one or margin of victory. The odds determine the potential payout, and if the bet is successful, the bettor receives the winnings based on the odds.

How does a 3 ball bet work in golf?

In golf, a 3-ball bet is a type of wager where you select which player out of a group of three will have the best score in a specific round. The bet is typically settled based on the scores at the end of the round, and the player with the lowest score among the three is declared the winner of the 3-ball bet. If two or more players tie for the lowest score, the bet may be settled as a push or have specific rules set by the sportsbook.

Is golf betting legal in the USA?

Yes, golf is a part of legal sports betting in the United States. Several states have legalized sports betting, including golf betting, thanks to the PASPA (Amateur Sports Protection Act) repeal. It is important to check your state’s specific gambling regulations and minimum age requirements to determine the legality of golf betting in your jurisdiction.

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