Golf Betting Sites
Betting on golf is an unpredictable business and it’s not unknown for winners to come from a starting price of 100/1 – or even longer. This can be true, even in the major events, as we saw when Darren Clarke took the Open Championship in 2011 so this is arguably the toughest of all to pick a winner.
The prospect of landing at a very high price does, however, make things very attractive to all punters and there are other markets too, including a range of each way options that can cover Top Five or Top Ten finishes. With so many variations in odds, it’s vital that you get value for money from your bets and here are the best UK bookies to offer that.
It’s worth looking at Unibet for a number of reasons but their pricing is a standout. Take a look at the main odds comparison sites and you’ll see this bookmaker at the top on a regular basis. Choice of golf markets is good too but it’s those prices that see them head to the top of our recommended list.
The welcome offer at Unibet is more fluid than at most bookies. At the start of 2019, it was a refund on losing opening bets up to £40.00 but do check this point because it can change very quickly.
bet365 appear on the lists for any sport simply because they offer the biggest range of live betting markets. The same principle applies for golf and for any tournament on the European and PGA Tours, you can expect to see a heavy advertising campaign promotion their latest prices.
Those prices are very strong too but perhaps the main reason why customers sign up here is the welcome offer which promises a huge matched deposit up to £200. That’s tough to beat among established UK bookies and is reason enough to head over here.
bet365 are also strong when it comes to listing a big range of markets, including the more obscure ones and ante post value is there too, making this a very attractive package overall.
They may not be the most familiar name to punters in some parts of the world but PWRbet are strong on mainland Europe where they are the first choice for many. Popular European sports are taken very seriously and golf is no exception with an extensive choice of markets for events on the main two Tours.
The value is good in terms of competitive odds and as of February 2019, it all starts with an excellent welcome deal that promises a 100% match on an opening deposit up to 50 Euros.
Unlike other bookmakers, William Hill have promotions that aren’t specific to any one sport. You can, therefore, use some of these deals on golf tournaments including their popular acca offer. Ongoing offers are part of a strong all-round package and they add to value that can be found in everyday competitive odds.
Hills are an established brand but they don’t like to sit still in the digital age and those offers, coupled with great odds and a choice of markets makes them a strong choice for the modern golf bettor.
888 are another outlet that ticks all the relevant boxes in regards to value for money but one reason why the sportsbook is enjoying an increase in sign ups is the fact that this operator is one of the most active for enhanced odds promos.
This is the type of deal for new customers which gives a price boost on a certain event so, for golf, it could take a favourite for the Masters such as Rory McIlroy and lift his price by a number of points. These can be very generous at times while 888 will also provide strong odds every time and their list of side markets for golf is comparable with most bookies.
Many punters like Coral because it has a great range of live streamed events and for golf that’s no exception. So, if you are away from the TV and like to watch the action after placing a bet, this could be your best first choice.
Away from the live coverage, Coral also have enhanced odds promotions as well as a standard welcome bonus and those price boosts could come in when any of the four majors – or the Ryder Cup – crop up on the golfing calendar.
Of the newer bookmakers to get involved with golf betting, LV bet come highly recommended. They are yet to be picked up by the really big odds comparison sites but don’t let that put you off because the prices here are exceptional and can compete, certainly in the more popular markets.
As of February 2019, the welcome offer here is a generous 50% match on opening deposits up to £50.00 and unlike other newer bookies, there are a number of ongoing promos too. The benefits therefore lie in value with great odds and regular price boosts.
The EnergyBet sportsbook seems to carry the same betting software as LVBet so both operators will usually provide the same competitive golf odds. There is little to choose between the two companies so many customers like to sign up with both in order to claim the two generous welcome deals.
Price boosts and regular deals are also available and once again, it’s those excellent golf odds that make this bookmaker really stand out.
Golfing markets offer more than punters might expect and here is our guide to the most common and also the more obscure.
Outright Winner Bets
Of the many bet types available in golf betting, this is the most obvious and the place where most bettors start out. With the outright winner market, we are simply betting on the golfer who we think will come through to lift the trophy at the end of the tournament.
There are long prices available and even the favourite will only ever be as short as 6/1 so there can be good profits to be made. However, for many, golf champions are tough to predict but thankfully there are lots of side markets to consider.
Versus the Field
A versus the field bet is quite common in horse racing and it can be applied to golf as well. This is more common in the live markets and will tend to come in when a player is way ahead of the field with two rounds, or less, to play.
By taking a versus the field bet against the favourite, you are effectively staking on anyone other than the tournament leader to come through and win at the end of the four rounds.
Head to Head Matchup Bets
This is a betting concept that is proving very popular in other sports such as formula one and it’s another simple one to follow. With a golfing matchup bet, we are putting two or more golfers together and betting on which of them we think will return the lowest score over the tournament or in a single round.
At the start of any tournament, golfers are grouped together – usually in threes. For example, we may see Tiger Woods, Ian Poulter and Jon Rahm playing in a three-ball. The matchup bets will usually be specific to those groups so in this case, we are betting on whether Woods, Poulter or Rahm will return the lowest score.
Odds to Finish in the Top 3, Top 5 and Top 10
There are three separate markets here and they combine to offer an alternative to the traditional each way betting that we find in other sports. It’s a simple concept to follow and, depending on which of those markets you choose, your chosen golfer needs to finish in the top 3, 5 or 10 for a profit to come in.
Many golfers return high finishes on a consistent basis without actually winning a tournament and your research can help to identify those likely candidates.
The two main Tours – European and PGA have overall competitions that run for the length of the season. In Europe, the trophy is simply handed to the highest money earner and this is known as the Race to Dubai.
In the US, the best golfers through the season reach a series of tournaments known as the FedEx playoffs. The winner of the overall prize is then crowned with the FedEx Trophy. Betting markets are open for both competitions and these are known as Futures Bets.
A prop bet is called a side market in some parts of the world and it relates to any outcome in a tournament that doesn’t necessarily affect the overall result. We’ve already covered the more popular of these such as the matchup bets but there are more options as we will now discover:
First Round Leader
Some golfers can start a tournament very quickly but they may lack the stamina to last the whole four rounds. Research will show who these players are and with that in mind, punters can consider backing them in the First Round Leader market.
It’s as simple as it sounds: the man or woman who leads the field at the end of the first round in the designated tournament will win the bet and deliver the profit.
Top in Specific Category
Some of the golfing prop bets are a little obscure but a number of sportsbooks offer markets for the top golfer in a certain category. This is usually based on nationality so you could bet on top South Korean, top Englishman, top Swede and so on.
Alternatively, a smaller set of bookies might offer a market for the top left hander. Once again, these are considered to be prop bets as the winner of the category may not go on to win the overall tournament.
Other prop bets might be available on whether there will be a hole in one in the tournament, whether it will finish in a play off or if a certain player will make the cut. These options are a little more obscure and not all bookmakers will offer markets for them but they have limited availability for those who want to get involved.
Live / In-play Betting
Golf is a long sport with tournaments scheduled to last four days. Lots can happen in that time to affect a result and this is why it’s a perfect sport for live betting. Those in-play markets open as soon as the first tee shot is struck and they will stay open until the final putt is sunk at the end of the fourth round.
The majority of bets that we’ve covered in the above round up will still be open and the most obvious of these involves the outright winner. The Top category bets should also be open and depending on the bookmaker, there may also be matchup bets available as the tournament progresses.
As with any sport, the main appeal with live betting lies in the odds which can lengthen as the tournament develops. So, if you know that a golfer is a strong finisher but a slow starter, then his or her price might drift after the first round to something much better than the ante post equivalent.
If live golf betting is likely to be important to you, make sure that your chosen sportsbook has a large set of in-play markets.
With the exception of a brief break around the festive period, golf is a year round sport so there are dozens of professional tournaments to bet on from January to December. The two main pro circuits are the European Tour and the PGA Tour which covers North America. European events can now extend into Asia while the PGA is confined largely to the United States with additional events taking place in countries such as Canada and Mexico.
There are other circuits such as the Sunshine Tour in South Africa while the Ladies LPGA Tour is also very active. Betting lines can always be found for the two main tours but those markets extend whenever the biggest tournaments come along.
Just as tennis has four Grand Slams, golf has four main tournaments each year and these are referred to as the Majors. They start with the US Masters in April and then carry on to take in the US Open, The British Open and the USPGA. The British Open is more commonly abbreviated to the Open Championship but bettors will see both options used.
It’s helpful to understand this information because this is when the golf betting companies are at their busiest. Markets will open early, odds will be extra competitive and there will be some excellent offers dropping in which will add to the value. Those are the Majors but the sport has more big events to enjoy.
The Ryder Cup comes along every two years and it has become a titanic battle and the biggest team golf event in the world. The best players from Europe and the United States pair together and battle out over three days for the right to lift this famous trophy.
We’re not looking for an individual winner here just the name of the team who will win the Ryder Cup. There is a possibility of a draw too with 28 points up for grabs so tournaments can, and have, finished with a 14-14 scoreline.
Because there are points involved, there are some additional markets here that are unique to team golf. Players can bet on how many points a team will score and what the final winning margin might be. Once again, the magnitude of the Ryder Cup means that there will be extra markets, great odds and a host of betting promotions from around the more dedicated golfing sportsbooks.
The Walker Cup is another team event played on a bi-annual basis. This time it is contested between teams from the United States and a combined Great Britain and Ireland side. It’s similar to the Ryder Cup but this is a competition for amateurs and as such, it doesn’t quite have the intensity of its professional counterpart.
This also means that the bookmakers aren’t as active but as golf’s popularity grows, betting interest on the Walker Cup is also on the rise.
The Solheim Cup is a competition for female golfers and it mirrors the Ryder Cup. Teams from Europe and the United States battle it out in a biannual contest for the right to be crowned champions.
Not all ladies golf events attract betting markets but the Solheim Cup is the pinnacle of team tournaments so this is a definite exception.
Like all sports, golf has a language all of its own which is fun for those in the know but it can be confusing for those that are just starting to take an interest. Don’t be put off by golfing slang as it’s really very easy to understand and to help you on your way, here is a guide to some of the more common terms:
- Ace: Meaning a Hole in One – a hole that is completed in just one shot
- Albatross: Also known as a double eagle, a player records an Albatross when they complete a hole in three shots under par. This would mean taking two strokes to hole out at a par 5 and it’s exceptionally rare.
- Beach: Also referred to as ‘finding the sand’, this term is used whenever a player finds the bunker.
- Birdie: Refers to a hole completed at one under par: This can come through holing out in two shots at a par 3, three shots at a par 4 and so on.
- Bogey: A term that all players want to avoid: A bogey is coined when a player completes a hole in one over par.
- Carpet: The green has a number of alternative names but carpet is arguably the most common. If a player hits the ‘carpet’ it merely means that the ball has landed on the green.
- Cup: The cup relates to the actual hole on the green that the players are hitting the ball into. That hole is dug into the green and under the rules of the game, it is to measure 4.5 inches in diameter and it is to be 4 inches deep.
- Cut: A cut comes in at the halfway stage of a tournament: Before a ball is hit, the organisers will decide how many players they want to compete in the final two rounds. For this example, we’ll say that it’s the top 50 so, at the end of those first two rounds, the top 50 golfers progress to the third and fourth rounds while the remainder are deemed to have ‘Missed the Cut’.
- Divot: The term divot isn’t specific to golf but it plays a big part in the sport. It’s the small piece of turf that is lifted when a player takes a shot on the fairway and anyone landing in a divot hole will find themselves in trouble.
- Draw: The draw is the movement of the golf ball from right to left (for right handed golfers).
- Eagle: This is a score of two under par at a hole – most commonly this will refer to a score of 3 at a par 5 hole.
- Fade: This is the opposite of a draw and for right handed golfers it means that the ball will move slowly from left to right.
- Fore: This is the shout that comes from a golfer when his tee shot goes astray. If the ball is heading towards a crowd then a shout of ‘fore’ should go up in order to alert spectators.
- Grounding: Grounding happens when the heel of the club hits the ground before striking the ball. Grounding the club in a bunker is not permitted so it’s worth keeping a note of this term.
- Lie: A lie purely relates to the position of a golf ball when it is on the ground. A good lie means that it’s sitting up and there is no trouble or long grass to impede the golfer.
- Out of Bounds: This area is beyond the usual course and if a player goes ‘out of bounds’ they will have to take a penalty.
- Pin: The pin is the flagstick in the green which is inserted into the cup.
- Rough: the rough is longer grass that borders the fairway. Ideally, players need to avoid this in order to ensure low scoring.
- Up and Down: A player is said to have got ‘up and down’ if they take two strokes to get in the hole when their ball is lying just off the green.
At first glance, it’s tempting to dismiss golf as a game where winners are hard to predict. Even the top tipsters struggle in a sport where some big outside punts often come through to claim tournament wins.
However, there is so much more to the sport than just the outright win markets and golf offers several ways in which punters can make a profit. Those Top 3, 5 and 10 finish bets are always popular and the prices remain reasonable so for many, this is where the real golf betting lies.
Matchup bets also provide a head to head option and the list of prop bets goes on with many ways to get involved. It’s a fascinating sport that continues to grow in popularity and this is the perfect time to get on board with a busy golf betting community.