Golf has always been a popular game with scores of fans around the world but the rise of golf betting has taken interest in the sport to a new level. PGA Tour, lower-level tour and international golf events run nearly every weekend of the year now and that brings plenty of golf betting opportunities along with them.
If you’re a passive golf fan, you can bet on a tournament winner from time to time and call it a day. If you’re a more passionate golfer (and fan) you can consider a wide range of PGA golf bets every week from the top 10 finishers to the score of your favorite golfer vs. another golfer, to live “next shot” bets and more.
You can also get out the crystal ball for the four Majors and pick your winners well in advance (at very good prices) thanks to a vast futures odds market for the Masters, PGA Championship, US Open and Open Championship.
With major technological advances in golf coverage and the volume of golf events increasing exponentially, live golf betting has also taken off. Golf bettors have taken notice with hundreds of thousands more spent on golf bets each year compared to the last.
In years past, betting on golf required a trip to Las Vegas or taking your chances with an offshore sportsbook. That’s no longer the case. In May 2018, the US Supreme Court weighed in on a case involving the legality of sports betting.
In a nutshell, the justices decided that it was a matter for the individual states to decide. Several states have picked up the ball and ran with it, and they now have a thriving sports betting industry as a result.
Golf bettors in legalized states will find that they have plenty of legal sportsbook options. Even better, they can bet on the PGA and smaller tours when and where they would like via sports betting apps or legal and regulated online sportsbooks. Here is a partial list of where you can bet on golf legally online in the US:
The most significant events on the PGA golf calendar naturally attract the most interest. On the PGA Tour, these four tournaments are, of course, the Majors. These events have a select line-up of the most prominent names to the field plus who has played well lately or placed well in past events.
Majors draw the most attention when it comes to golf betting and, thanks to golf futures odds, you can weigh in on the winner of the events before they even take place.
For example say the Masters, one of the four Majors, is still a few months away. Let’s say you like the way one golfer has been playing thus far but he hasn’t captured a lot of attention. As a result, he might have some long odds to win the Masters. You can place a bet on him to win at these long odds and cash-in a nice payday if he wins.
It’s similar to how NFL bettors will place bets on the winner of the Super Bowl for the coming year. That’s another very active futures market and one which provides a chance at an excellent return if your hunches prove correct.
Check the live odds below for the latest odds on the next PGA tournament. Click on any odds to go directly to the sportsbook and start the process of making your bet.
As mentioned, golf’s four Majors attract the most betting and viewing interest. These events are rich in history, stacked with the world’s best golfers and played on the most breathtaking golf courses on the planet. What are these signature events and when do they take place? How can you bet on all aspects of them? Let’s take a look.
Still the most popular of all golf’s events, the Masters is a massive highlight for sports bettors. Typically the first Major on the calendar, the 2020 Masters ran in the second week of November.
The 2021 Masters will return back to its usual spot in the Spring and new champion Dustin Johnson is expected back to defend his green jacket.
In 2020 Johnson blitzed his way to his first green jacket with a record -20 under par performance. In 2019, Tiger Woods completed a comeback for the ages in winning the Masters, the fifth time he has won this prestigious event in his legendary career. He’s second on the all-time list for Masters’ wins, behind only Jack Nicklaus and his six victories.
In 2020 the PGA was the first Major on the PGA schedule due to the Coronavirus lockdown earlier in the year. 23-year-old Collin Morikawa dazzled with a final round 64 and a tee shot on 16 at TPC Harding Park that will be remembered for decades.
Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey tied for second while Tiger Woods tied for 37th. Here is the current schedule for the 2021 PGA Championship.
If you want to make a futures bet on the 2021 PGA Championship, check our full page for updated odds.
Held across the pond in the UK, the Open Championship has a history that can match up with any of the other majors. Sadly, due to Covid-19, the Open Championship was postponed for 2020 and won’t be played again until 2021.
If the US Open is the toughest to win, then the event that’s also known as the British Open isn’t far behind. Ireland native Lowry celebrated the biggest win of his career in his home country, as last year’s edition in Portrush, Northern Ireland. Harry Vardon holds the record with six victories at this event, the last of which came in 1914.
While the Masters is held in high esteem, the PGA’s US Open can also stake its claim as the biggest event of the year for golfers.
The 2020 US Open fit that billing to a tee with a difficult course (Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, NY) navigated under par by only the best. In this case it was Bryson DeChambeau, who was the only player to finish under par at -6 despite, confoundingly, not hitting many fairways—usually considered essential at a US Open.
DeChambeau’s dazzling display earned him $2,250,000. Assuming next year’s PGA season begins as planned, the 2021 US Open will return to its typical dates in mid-June.
If you want to bet on a player to win the 2021 US Open, odds on key players will be posted at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook & BetMGM Sportsbook at the beginning of the 2021 PGA season.
If you’re comfortable betting on football or basketball, betting on golf can take some adjustment. At first glance, the different kinds of bets can seem like foreign concepts. The best place to start is with the golf betting basics and work your way up. A clear understanding of the main concepts and types of golf bets will help position you to make smarter bets as you go.
In golf, you bet on the performance of an individual, unlike the major team sports. Like team sports, though, you’ll still be doing research on past performance and current trends before making your bets.
Let’s take a look at the basic types of golf bets you can place:
While there are distinct differences between betting on teams and individual sports, there is also some crossover. In fact, you’ll find that solid research skills translate well as you expand your horizons into different areas of sports betting.
If you have a knack for breaking down contests or events in another niche, there’s a chance you’ll catch on quickly as you look to branch out into new areas.
One of the most significant developments in the sports betting world over the past few years has been live betting. Also known as “in play” betting, these are bets you can place as the action unfolds in real-time.
As a golf tournament plays out, you can react to what’s going on by placing some live bets. This market moves fast, so odds and opportunities will vary. Options include a head-to-head matchup of two golfers, or how many strokes it may take a golfer to complete an upcoming hole.
You can enjoy live betting online or via the mobile app of your choice. Since golf tournaments typically begin on a Thursday and go through Sunday, there could be a lot of unforeseen developments along the way.
In-play betting via a mobile app allows you to bet as the event happens, no matter where you are in one of the legalized states.
Prop betting is another way to get some skin in the game. It is different from worrying about which golfer is going to win or place. In short, prop bets are side wagers on events that may or may not happen during a tournament.
Offerings will vary by sportsbook and event, but you’ll find many similarities with the more experience you get. For example, you may see prop bets on the following:
Prop bets can open up a new world of possibilities outside of your standard win and place bets. Be sure to check out the menu of offerings for upcoming tournaments at your sportsbook of choice.
While the majors get the most attention, that’s not all there is to see when it comes to betting on golf. The tour calendar is full of events that run from September through August.
The action intensifies in the spring and summer months with numerous events that are smaller than the Majors but attract plenty of interest.
For each of these events — and all of the others on the PGA Tour — you’ll find a full range of betting markets. You should note that most golf betting action will come on PGA Tour events. You may find action on lower-level tours such as the Senior and European circuits as well.
The LPGA, or Ladies Professional Golf Association, runs a full calendar of events as well. While prize pools are slightly smaller than on the men’s side of the equation, the competition is just as fierce.
You should note that LPGA events don’t attract as much betting interest as the PGA Tour does so you may have limited options. However, you can find some good value opportunities in a sport that doesn’t receive as much attention from oddsmakers.
For another wrinkle in golf betting, select match-play events occur throughout the year. In these events, you’ll find head-to-head opportunities, so a change-up in your approach is necessary.
In stroke-play events, the general goal is to find the winners and those who will play well. For match play, it’s all about the matchups. Which golfer in a pair will outperform the other?
Quite simply, it’s like betting on the winner of an NBA game. You’ll have a favorite and underdog for each matchup, and moneyline odds to go along with that.
The Ryder Cup is perhaps the most popular match-play event in the world. Teams from Europe and the US go head-to-head every two years, with the venue changing each time.
The daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry has come a long way since the early days. The various innovations contribute to its explosive growth.
Included on that list is DFS golf, a game that continues to grow in popularity. The two largest operators, DraftKings and FanDuel, offer games for the weekly PGA tournaments. Here’s how they compare to each other:
As with sports betting, the major events attract the most interest; however, there’s a loyal and devoted player base anytime there’s an event.
The goal is to build the highest-scoring lineup from a pool of golfers scheduled to compete, all while staying under the salary cap. Traditionally, the games will span the entire four days but you can also find DFS for single rounds and weekends.
You can find various game types such as tournaments and 50/50s, at different price points with the chance to win real money prizes. For the biggest events, such as the Masters and US Open, prize pools for the major tournaments can be massive.
Here’s just one example: In 2020 DraftKings is running a $2.5m guaranteed DFS special for The Players with a $1m prize for first.
As with all other kinds of sports betting, the odds are a significant factor when it comes to golf. There are favorites and longshots to win each tournament. Your job is to find the winners and potential value plays that may win or place. For the 2020 Sentry Championship, for example, these were the starting odds for the five favorites:
Oddsmakers deemed Rahm and Thomas as the most likely to take down the Sentry. They have shorter odds than the field as a result. You’ll find odds listed for all of the players in the field each week, ranging from low to high.
For example, odds for golfers at the Sentry start at a low +470 to an eye-popping +50,000. You’ll find a similar listing of odds when you dig into a future event.
It’s a similar story when you’re looking at other kinds of golf bets, such as top 10 or top 20 finishers in a tournament. For head to heads, groups and various prop bets, it’s a little different. Let’s take a look at the odds for a head-to-head matchup at the Sentry using a ⅔ balls format as an example:
As you can see, Johnson is a pretty big favorite here. To break down this head-to-head matchup, you’d want to approach it like how you would bet on a game:
As you gain experience with golf betting, you’ll come to find that the odds aren’t that hard to understand. Also, you’ll get to the point in which you’ll see those potential value opportunities, for example, such as a point spread that seems off in an NFL game.
For more on other “niche” sports you can bet on at US online sportsbooks, check our page here:
The traditional PGA Tour event stretches over four days, from Thursday to Sunday. It can be challenging to be in front of the TV for that long; however, you have options if you are on the go.
You can find live streams of PGA events online and via mobile. Some of them will come right from the sportsbooks themselves. The advent of live betting and sports wagering, in general, has been a catalyst on this front. We can assume that there will be a lot more to come here.
For your safety, stick to the legal and regulated US sites we recommend. If they offer a stream for an event you’re interested in, you’re good to go. If not, check out PGA.com for information on how and where you can legally and safely stream tour events.
There are hundreds of golf terms, some even the professional sometimes forget. Here are just a few of the basic terms you might hear. There are many sites online offering the full index.
While there are only a handful of states operating with legal sports betting both online and in-person, there are more to come. Several states are close to making it a reality, while others are in the planning stages. Here’s where things stand in the following states:
It’s no surprise to see the man largely responsible for promoting the sport of golf to the American masses is also its highest all-time earner. Tiger Woods has brought in a cool $122.5 million through an incredible 120 wins to his name.
When you wager each way on a player, you are actually placing two separate bets.
The first bet is on the player to win, with the second for your chosen golfer to complete the tournament in one of the leading places offered. A top five or top 10 finish is generally the norm.
The second bet is usually placed at a quarter the odds given. So, in effect, your stake is being doubled; even if the player doesn’t win but still finishes in the top places, you’ll get money back. Hence, the each-way title.
The beauty of golf is that some odds on players in tournaments are actually far too long in truth, making this sport perfect for hedging a bet later on in an event.
Explained simply, this could work well if you are placing a stake on a player to win before the tournament begins.
It’s possible that your selection’s odds could have lengthened considerably by the end of the second day, even if he or she makes any cut.
The golfer could still win, of course, and you could leave things to fate. But should the player be one or two shots in front of the field at the halfway point, in order to make sure you get money back at the end of the event, this is when you should consider hedging your bet.
You’d do this by placing money on a player or players very close behind. It’s important to work out how much you could win by doing this and balance any wager against the odds of it all falling into place.
The simple truth is while there are many golf tipsters out there, unlike, e.g., horse racing, it’s much more of a challenge to wager with a system in golf for many reasons.
The field is always large in golf, of course, and the weather and conditions can play a part alongside a player’s form. And, it’s a fact, things can go wrong on the course itself.
OK, so some players play better at specific courses, but, in many events, the favorites rarely win.
You could, in theory, follow the highest earners who do well in the majors, but the best way to approach golf betting is to study as much form as possible and follow the game for trending clues, like strokes gained and strong iron and driving performances.
Explained simply, match bets will involve, e.g., wagers positioned on who might shoot the highest score in a three-ball grouping, or the lowest score in a two-ball grouping.
A matched bet might also involve a virtual head to head of two golfers playing the same tournament but in different groupings.
In other words, forget about winning the championship. It’s a case of one golfer having a better card than the other. If the player you choose finishes better than the other, you’ll win your bet.
When it comes to betting on rounds, individuals will bet on which player they think will perform best in that particular round. It could be the first right through to the fourth in a 72-par event, of course. This can be a great way of making a profit without necessarily getting the winner of the championship.
First-round betting is becoming very popular and ideal in following players who can start well in tournaments, but might find the pressure on final round day too much when in a good position.
You’ll hear the term frequently; you may even know friends who play the game often boasting about their handicap.
It’s a numerical gauge of just how good a player is over a single round of golf. This is all done across recent play and demonstrates the number of strokes a player should be able to take either below or above par.
When we talk about stroke play, a golfer’s handicap is utilized to provide a net score from the total of strokes played across a tournament or competition. This means golfers of differing skill levels can perform against one another on a level playing field.
A male golfer’s handicap will go up to a maximum of 36. Female players have a maximum handicap of 40.