Overview of Golf Betting

How Golf Betting Got Started 

Like most sports that are older than 100 years, betting at one point was an accepted and common practice that served to make the game more interesting for spectators. However, during the mid 18th century, it is said that there were betting restrictions placed on the sport by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. These restrictions were set to limit the involvement of the aristocratic class and ensure fair play. While golf betting may not be as popular or widespread as other major sports, there is still a healthy community around it.

Positive Legalization and Future Outlook 

In the United States, golf betting has taken off as a result of the spread of legal sports betting. So you can expect more golfing fans to join in overtime. Even states like New Jersey, that had a headstart in this industry, are now stepping up their casino offerings and welcome bonuses to stay competitive amongst the sea of new sports betting businesses. What all this means for golf betting is that there will likely be more opportunities and platforms dedicated to this niche than ever before. 

Most Common Betting Types

There are many types of bets that are available for golf. Some are similar to other bets you may be familiar with, others are completely unique to the game as golf is very different from other popular sports. 

Overall Winner: As the name implies, in this type of bet you are selecting which golfer will win the tournament overall. 

Head to Head: This is a popular betting type that keeps the game interesting. Sportsbooks will offer odds that represent who they believe will shoot a lower score between any two golfers. You will get to anticipate how two golfers will fare against each other in a tournament. 

First-Round Leader:  Tournaments will always have one golfer that pulls ahead in the beginning. Instead of betting on which golfer you think will win overall, you are placing a wager on which you believe will be the leader after the opening round is over. 

Versus the Field: You will normally encounter this type of bet later on in the tournaments. Here, you are betting on anyone to win except for a specific golfer from the list of options. This is a fun type of wager that you won’t find in many other sports. 

Prop Bets: Prop bets are unique types of bets that keep the game lighthearted and intriguing. These types of bets can vary wildly and offer options that you wouldn’t normally expect to be able to bet on. An example of a prop bet is: 

“Will there be any hole in ones during the first round?”

Nationality: Betting on specific nationalities is a type of prop bet. Here, you will be able to select which nationality will win the tournament. If you were to select Ireland for example, this means if any Irish golfer present at the tournament wins overall, your wager is a winner. 

Some of the Wildest Bets in Recent Golf History

Over the years, we have seen some substantial bets in the world of golf, especially with the internet spreading these tales far and wide. So be prepared with your trendy look and let’s take a look at some memorable moments.

$163,000 Parlay:

In 2019, an impressive betting slip made the rounds in the Twitter communities centered around golfing. The four event parlay was calculated to have around 8,500-1 odds and paid out £126,875.88 on a £15 wager. It was a spectacular bet, and it depended on Xander Schauffele to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions on 22/1/2019, Tiger Woods to win the Masters on 11/1/2019, selecting Rahm’s season bonus, and Brooks Koepka to win the PGA Tour’s money title on 5/1/2019. 

From $1 to $679,894.66:

In 2020, it was reported that one player had managed to turn $1 into $679,894.66 with a crazy 20-leg parlay bet. Among those picked to win were Patrick Reed, Richie Ramsay, Scott Hend, and Robert Rock. 

Golfers who Won the Masters With Long Shot Odds

In the past two decades we have seen some thrilling long shot winners at the Masters. This demonstrates that anyone has the potential to win it all, and it is always worth looking through the list of talented individuals and keeping an eye out for undervalued picks. 

2007 Zach Johnson at +12500 (125/1)

At the time, Johnson was ranked #58 in the world. Most weren’t paying attention to him, and certainly didn’t expect him to win the event. He birdied three of his final six holes to ultimately triumph over the favorite, Tiger Woods. 

2008 Trevor Immelman at +15000 (150/1)

One of the most incredible feats in recent memory came from Immelman in 2008. Only 10 golfers at the tournament had worse odds than Immelman, but that didn’t stop him from sweeping the event with +15000 odds. At 28 years old, he stole the win from the undeniable favorite, Tiger Woods.