Odds Shark Top Sportsbooks
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

How to Bet on Golf

How to Bet on Golf

It’s a good time to be a golf bettor with the sport giving young stars like Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas a chance to shine.

There’s also women like Brooke Henderson and Sung Hyun Park who are becoming household names, making the LPGA exciting to watch too. From the Ryder Cup to the Masters to the US Open, golf gives bettors something to wager on year-round. There’s also that Tiger Woods guy. You may have heard of him.

Whether you’re a first-time golf bettor or a seasoned pro, getting a firm understanding of how to read golf odds can help you make smart bets.

Basic Odds and Betting Options

The most common type of golf bet is to wager on which golfer will win a tournament. Let’s say Happy Gilmore is a real person and a favorite in every tournament he plays in – like Tiger Woods in his prime. A line for Gilmore would look something like this: +700.

This indicates that Happy is a 7-1 favorite to win the tournament and you would need to bet $700 to win $100. Because he is the favorite, this bet requires you to wager more money on him.

However, if you were to bet on a long shot in the tournament, you would need to wager less and you’d see a larger payout if you won your bet due to the golfer’s odds being longer.

Golf Props

Golf is unique for many reasons, but one of them is the significant number of betting props available.

Sportsbooks go all out for major tournaments, offering odds on things like whether there will be a hole-in-one, OVER/UNDERs on the winning score for the eventual champion and odds on golfers to make or miss the cut, to name a few. Similar to other sports, props are a fun way to enhance your betting experience.

For these examples we’ll use Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, one of the best golfers on the planet:

  • Will McIlroy’s first-round score be OVER or UNDER 70.5?
  • Will McIlroy hit a hole-in-one?
  • Will McIlroy place in the top 10?

Nationality Bets

This type of bet involves betting on the country a player is from instead of the player themselves. For example, sportsbooks will sometimes list props such as “Nationality of the eventual champion.” If Dustin Johnson, an American, goes on to win that tournament, bettors who selected a U.S.-born player to emerge triumphant would cash.

You can also make bets surrounding players from the same country. Books will offer odds like “Which Australian player will have the lowest score?” If Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Adam Scott – all Aussies – are playing in the same event, you can wager on which man will finish with the better score of the bunch.

Three-Ball/Head-to-Head Bets

The majority of golf events start in groups of three, so sportsbooks will give bettors the option of picking whichever golfer they think will have the best score of the group in the specified round.

Three-ball bets will be decided at the end of that round, so bettors won’t have to wait until the tournament is over to collect their potential winnings.

If at least two of the members of the group are tied for the lowest score after 18 holes, the three-ball bet is lost.

Head-to-head matchup bets are especially fun because they pit two players against each other based on the individual rounds as well as the overall tournament matchups. If Justin Thomas and McIlroy are both in the field at a tournament, their odds to win the matchup would likely be even at -110 apiece.

Live Betting

Match bets are wagers that you place on who will shoot the lowest score out of a two- or three-ball group. You can also make match bets on two individual players who are playing the same course but in different groups.

Live betting has been one of the fastest-growing forms of wagering across all sports in recent years, and it’s no different in the golfing world. Unlike team sports, live betting in golf can come down to a single swing of the club to either make or break your bet.

Let’s say you’re betting on the final round of the Masters, and two players are tied for the lead on the 18th hole — the difference of one stroke can lock in a win or guarantee a loss.

If you have an inclination on who you think is going to win, you can place a live bet on that golfer before he even tees off to increase the stakes. Live betting can be done throughout a tournament, and it’s a nice alternative if your pre-tournament wagers failed to come to fruition.

Futures

Golf future betting is a great way to lock in your picks well before an event begins. It’s an excellent method to capitalize on value months in advance, as your bet won’t be subject to any further odds moves the sportsbooks make before the tournament.

If a player you think is going to go on a hot streak is +5000 to win the Masters in January, you can bet him immediately. If he plays well down the stretch and is +3000 before play begins at Augusta National, you’ll still have him at the +5000 number.

It can be frustrating to see the money tied up in your account months ahead of time, but the potential payoff can certainly be worth the wait.

Golf Betting Strategies

One of the great things about golf is that on any given weekend, a new star can be born. The elite golfers will often be at or near the top of the leaderboards, giving bettors a good chance to make a small profit by wagering on them.

However, there are dozens of golfers right below the elite tier who can come away with a tournament win if they are getting the right bounces and sinking their putts.

Bettors should always be studying the field and getting to know as many golfers as they can. Aside from your top picks, you could also find some value picks who are primed for upsets with huge payoffs.

Even if you have your large bets on one or two favorites, you could also place smaller bets on live +3000 or +4000 plays that would pay off well even on small wagers.

This knowledge will be especially helpful in smaller tournaments. Many of the top golfers skip the smaller tournaments, providing excellent betting opportunities for golf bettors who have a deeper understanding of the field.

These pages will help you handicap your golf bets:

Odds Shark’s Golf Pages
  • Betting News: All the golf betting news necessary to give you an edge when placing your wagers on the PGA Tour.
  • Odds/Futures: A comprehensive list of every golfer and their odds for upcoming tournaments.

Where to Bet on Golf

Now that you’re up to speed on the various ways to get your money in on the links, it’s important to find the sportsbook that’s right for you. Finding the right book can be daunting at first, but that’s why we at Odds Shark are here to make it a seamless experience.

How to Sign Up at a Sportsbook

To start, head over to our Best Golf Sites Betting Page. Once you’ve decided which sportsbook you’re going to go with, click the Join or Sign Up prompt to carry you through the registration. From there, you’ll be asked questions such as name, date of birth, email and address.

See Odds Shark’s Best Golf Sites

Deposit Options

Next, it’s time to make a deposit. Most sites will offer a Welcome Bonus, which often matches your initial deposit up to a pre-determined amount. Some even go as far as matching 100 percent up to $200 for first-time depositors.

Along with excellent customer service, our recommended top golf betting sites also offer easy cash-out options.  

To get your money in, you can choose from deposit choices like Bitcoin, credit cards, PayPal or e-transfer/online interac. Signing up at a sportsbook is a fairly simple process that only takes a few minutes. All of the books we recommend are safe and secure to make transactions with.

Check out our reviews of the safest and best online sportsbooks to bet on golf by visiting our best golf sites page.