While golf’s four major tournaments are special in their own right, there’s just something about the Open Championship, aka The British Open. Perhaps it’s the locale. This year’s edition takes place at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, England.
Or maybe because it’s on a links course, which makes for a decidedly different type of game. You’ll notice that in the odds for the Open, it takes a certain kind of golfer to excel in this type of setting. That has a wide-ranging impact from the active golf futures market down to live betting.
We’re going to cover everything you need to know about the final golf major of the year right here. From the best sports betting sites to place your bets to the type of wagers, we share all you need to know about betting on golf.
The Open Championship is an exceptional tournament. You’re going to want to take the time to get up to speed. We’ll begin by taking a look at the top spots to place your bets legally and safely.
Legal sports betting continues to expand across the US, with a growing number of states now offering legalized betting on sports. These are currently the top states with regulated sports betting markets:
|State||Online / Mobile||Retail|
|New Jersey Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Pennsylvania Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Colorado Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Indiana Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Iowa Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|West Virginia Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Virginia Sports Betting||Yes||No|
|New Hampshire Sports Betting||Yes||No|
|Illinois Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Michigan Sports Betting||Yes||Yes|
|Tennessee Sports Betting||Yes||No|
While we still have some time to go before the Open Championship tees off, you can always weigh in on which golfer you think will win it all. That’s thanks to the futures market, which is quite active for golf’s majors.
As you can see, there are some variances in the odds for the current 10 consensus favorites. It can happen due to market action, as some books may attract more or fewer golf wagers on certain players.
When talking about golf odds, it’s not uncommon to wonder what Vegas has to say. Since Las Vegas remains the sports betting capital of the world, folks are accustomed to treating odds that emanate as being the best.
We concur that the odds from Vegas are great, but you’re going to find that the other major operators in other states are right in range. You can check on the Vegas odds as part of your research, but just know that you’ll be getting comparable prices at our recommended operators.
The phrase “hitting the links” is a common part of the golfing lexicon, but the meaning, in this case, is a bit different as “links” refers to the type of course.
A links course is the oldest style of a golf course, and the term traces its roots back to the earliest days of the sport in Scotland. It’s derived from the Old English word “hlinc,” which translates into “rising ground, ridge.”
Links courses are typically situated in coastal regions and include several dunes, but they’re generally devoid of trees.
The true links courses are located across the pond, hence the home of the Open Championship. Links courses are more natural than the majority of the manufactured courses here in the US. The style of play is generally closer to the ground, as coastal winds can have an impact on the way the ball bounces.
The unique style of course at the Open means that anything can happen throughout the four-day tournament.
While there will be plenty of legitimate contenders in the field, there’s a handful of contenders who seem to be in a better position than the rest:
If you scroll further down the futures market odds board, you’ll find several intriguing golfers who could surprise at the British Open. Here are four names to keep in mind as you get set for the tournament:
There are several ways that you can get in on the action at the Open. Here’s a look at the main wager types you’ll come across and an example for each:
Finishing Position: Beyond the futures market, you can place a bet on the outright winner of the tournament or for a golfer to finish highly, such as in the Top 10 or Top 20. Odds will be listed for each golfer in the field, such as:
Each Way: This is a bet on a golfer to win the tournament or to place in the Top 5.
Leader of Round: You can zero in even further and place a wager on which golfer you think will be the leader for specific rounds of the tournament.
Group Betting: This is a wager on which golfer you think will perform the best from a group put together by the sportsbook.
Two- or Three-Balls: These bets are similar to group wagers, but they revolve around two or three golfers.
Head-to-Head: Golfers will be paired up by sportsbooks in individual matchups. You can decide which one you think will post a better score.
Golfer Versus Field: This is a bet that’s typically available on the tournament’s bigger favorites. You decide if you like them to perform better than the field.
Nationality of Winner: To open up additional opportunities that cover several golfers at once, you can pick the home country of the tournament champion.
One of the most significant developments at online and mobile sportsbooks in recent years has been the advent of live betting. These are bets that you can place after an event has already gotten underway.
They open up the potential for new profit opportunities or to hedge your initial bets, and also help to enhance the overall entertainment value. However, the market and odds move fast, so discipline and strong bankroll management are essential.
Offerings will vary based on what’s happening at the Open, but here’s a sampling of the more common live betting opportunities:
To fully take advantage of all that live betting has to offer, a sports betting app is the way to go. The fast-moving markets and the fact that the tournament plays out over several days means you have to be at the ready as developments unfold.
You’ll be able to more efficiently take advantage of what comes up when you have a mobile sportsbook within reach. Additionally, some operators have live streaming capabilities and provide live tracking of each shot.
You can further immerse yourself in what should be a stellar Open Championship and give you even more confidence in the wagering opportunities you find most appealing.
Each golf tournament on the yearly calendar has its unique characteristics. All courses are not created equal, and that can impact the play of even the top pros. As such, it’s essential to approach each event with a clean slate.
The Open Championship is no different, especially due to the links-style of the course. Quite simply, some golfers can excel in this environment and others who are poised for a rather long four days.
So how can you spot those who may be in line for a great tournament? Research is your friend, and you can drill into several key areas, such as:
Just like any other sport, there are also plenty of different stats you can dig into as part of your research. Among the most useful to consider are strokes gained, Top 10 finishes and cuts made percentage for the season as a whole.
DFS golf was initially thought of as a niche offering. However, explosive interest has moved it into the realm of most popular offerings. DraftKings and FanDuel both offer contests for every tournament on the docket.
The major golf tournaments attract the most users, and they have the biggest prize pools as a result. The largest tournaments will see top prizes of a cool $1 million. Yep, you can earn some serious coin playing DFS golf.
Of course, that takes some doing. Tournaments with massive prize pools will attract tens of thousands of users. To make some noise on the leaderboard, you’ll need a lineup that knocks it out of the park.
On both of the major operators, the goal is to build a lineup of six golfers that you think will score the most fantasy points during the tournament. Golfers earn points based on how they perform, as well as on their finishing position.
For an added wrinkle, there’s a salary cap that you need to stay below. You can’t just pick the six favorites and call it a day. You’ll need to scan through all the golfers in the field at various price points and find the optimal plays.
To do so, you can follow the same essential research points as you would when setting up your wares: course history, recent form, stats, etc.
There are also DFS lineup optimizers to be found online, but just know that others will be doing the same.
For tournaments, you’ll need to have at least a little uniqueness to your lineup to finish highly. That’s not the only way to play DFS, as you’ll find game types, such as 50/50s, head-to-heads and leagues, among others.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to wait for the Open Championship to try out DFS golf. There are contests available whenever PGA tournaments are going on. The best way to get up to speed is by playing through a few events.
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s edition of the Open Championship:
The Open Championship will be easily accessible on TV. You can also find NBC and Golf Channel versus various streaming providers. Consult the websites for both networks for streaming options via their respective mobile apps.
Also, keep in mind that you can get live feeds of the tournament through certain sportsbooks.
For further confirmation on the difficulty of the Open Championship, consider that there hasn’t been a repeat winner since Padraig Harrington turned the trick in 2007 and 2008.
Here’s a look at the previous 10 winners:
|Year||Golfer||Course||Total Score||To Par|
|2019||Shane Lowry||Royal Portrush - Northern Ireland||269||-15|
|2018||Francesco Molinari||Carnoustie - Scotland||276||-8|
|2017||Jordan Spieth||Royal Birkdale - England||268||-12|
|2016||Henrik Stenson||Royal Troon - Scotland||264||-20|
|2015||Zach Johnson||St. Andrews - Scotland||273||-15|
|2014||Rory McIlroy||Royal Liverpool - England||271||-17|
|2013||Phil Mickelson||Muirfield - Scotland||281||-3|
|2012||Ernie Els||Royal Lytham & St. Annes - England||273||-7|
|2011||Darren Clarke||Royal St. Geroge’s - England||275||-5|
|2010||Louis Oosthuizen||St. Andrews - Scotland||272||-16|
Over the past decade, Stenson’s -20 at Royal Troon stands as the top score. Mickelson’s -3 for the title in 2013 at Muirfield is the lowest.
The Open Championship traces its roots back to 1860. Willie Park Sr. won the inaugural tournament at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland with a final score of 174. In 1972, the historic Claret Jug was introduced and had been awarded to the winner ever since.
Harry Vardon holds the mark for most Open Championships won with six, the last of which came in 1914. Tom Watson holds the mark for most by an American-born golfer with five. He’s tied with three others for second on the all-time list.
There have been 20 British Opens since the turn of the century with 16 different winners. Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, and Padraig Harrington have won multiple Claret Jugs over that span.
Winning scores since 2000 have ranged from the stellar -20 shot by Henrik Stenson at Royal Troon in Scotland back in 2016 to the +3-carded by Padraig Harrington as he won at Royal Birkdale in England.
This will be the third time that the British Open has been played at Royal St. George’s over that time frame. Darren Clarke won in 2011 with a -5, three shots ahead of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, who tied for second place.
In 2003, it was Ben Curtis and a score of -1 that proved to be the best. Bjorn and Vijay Singh tied for second at Even.
You’ll be able to follow along with the Open Championship as it happens on broadcast partners NBC and Golf Channel, as well as on the PGA website and other major sports outlets. Additionally, sportsbooks will provide updated feeds and, in some cases, shot-by-shot performances.
As of now, venues have been unveiled for the next three editions of the Open Championship.
A links golf course plays differently from its American counterparts.
Links are typically in coastal settings with few, if any, trees and plenty of dunes. The course type favors play, which is more closer to the ground, as the coastal winds can impact the bounce of the ball.
Links is the oldest style of course and traces its roots back to the earliest days of the sport in Scotland. The courses are generally in a coastal setting with more of a natural landscape as opposed to the manufactured variety, which is in the US. You won’t see too many trees, but there will be lots of natural hills and dunes.
The 2020 edition of the Open Championship takes place on July 16 through 19 at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, England.
NBC and Golf Channel will provide television coverage in the states.
Harry Vardon is the leader on the all-time list with six Open wins, the last of which came in 1914. There’s a four-way tie for second place with five: James Braid, John Henry Taylor, Peter Thomson and Tom Watson.
Included on the stellar career resume of Tiger Woods is three wins at the British Open: 2000, 2005 and 2006. He’s among the top 10 choices on the futures odds board for this year’s edition.
Up until 2017, the tournament was generally referred to as the British Open.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews pressed for changes, and the efforts proved to be successful. The tournament is now officially referred to as the Open Championship.
This year’s tournament is being held at the Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, England. The course was established back in 1887 and was originally designed by Laidlaw Purves.
Royal St. George’s is a Par 70 course, which spans 7,204 yards. The course was established in 1887 and designed by Laidlaw Purves.
The Old Course at St. Andrews traces its roots back to 1552. It’s a Par 72 course, which spans 7,305 yards.
The winner of the Open is awarded a percentage of the overall prize pool, which rises through the years.
For the 2020 edition, the total purse is $10.75 million. In 2019, Shane Lowry was awarded $1.935 million for taking it down.
The winner of the Open Championship is awarded the Golf Champion Trophy, which is also commonly referred to as the Claret Jug.
The trophy has been awarded each year the tournament has been held since 1872. Winners get to hang on to the actual trophy until the following year’s British Open.
Each of golf’s four majors has a high degree of difficulty, so opinions vary on which is the toughest of them all. Many believe that the British Open is the most challenging due to the links course.
In 1867, Tom Morris Sr. won at the age of 46, a mark that still stands today. Interestingly, Tom Morris Jr. won the following year at the age of 17, making him the youngest winner of the Claret Jug.