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The Different Types Golf Bets (Understanding You Can Bet on Golf)

Updated March 25th, 2022
Published March 8, 2019

Golf is the ultimate sport to bet on in terms of finding tremendous value. Where other sports require more money to be placed on individual games to win lots of cash, golf offers the ability to win big. Of course, that comes at a price, given that it can sometimes be quite tricky to correctly select a winner in a field of 156 golfers.

Thankfully, there is a myriad of betting options available on golf such as tournament winner, first round leader, head-to-head, hole in one odds, top nationality, and much, much more.

With several golf tournaments each week, including big-time major events, there is always something to place to a wager on. We’ll get you primed on some of the popular golf bets available to and show you how to potentially make your money work for you.

Golf Tournament Winner Betting

Betting on the winner of a particular tournament is the most common and the most straight forward type of golf bet.

Say, for example, Jordan Spieth is the favorite to win this year’s Masters. Bookmakers have listed his odds at +1000. That would mean in order to win $500 you’d have to wager $50, plus you’d receive your stake back to total $550. If Henrik Stenson’s betting line was +5000, then a $10 wager would also pay out $500, plus the stake wagered. If any of these odds are confusing to you, check out our guide on to how to read and understand sports odds. 

The longer the odds, the better the potential payout, but you’re wagering on a golfer who’s considered less likely to win. For this betting option, a player must emerge victorious to win the bet.

Each-Way Golf Betting

This is a double down wager, of sorts. You’re betting a golfer wins or finishes high. It depends on what each-way betting options the bookmakers have set, but usually, it’s a top-5 finish. Think of it as two separate bets; one bet is to finish first, and the other bet is for them to finish in the top 5.

Say the book has an each-way listing and you think Matt Kuchar always contends at majors and you want to bet on him, but aren’t super confident he’ll end up winning the event. If his odds are +5000 and you place an each-way bet at $10, your wager doubles to $20, but the bet works for him winning and/or finishing in the top 5. The top 5 finish payout is a fraction of what he’d earn if he outright won.

For example, a $10 tournament winner wager on Kuchar pays out $500 if he wins. An each-way bet doubles to $20 but covers him finishing in the top 5. Instead of the $20 bet to win paying out $1,000, you get a quarter of the odds on him placing in the top 5. A quarter of $500 is $125. So the each-way bet pays out $500 plus $125 plus the stake of $20 for a total of $645.

First Round Leader Betting

First-round leader betting is pretty straight forward. Before the event, odds will be posted on which golfer will have the outright lead after day 1. If you think Charley Hoffman always gets out to a quick start in tournaments then this could be the perfect way to win some cash.

After each round, typically odds will be posted on 2nd, 3rd, and final round leaders upon the conclusion of play each day.

Top Nationality Betting

You have several choices you can make just on the specific golfers from a specific region whether you’re betting on top Asian, top Australian, top USA player, and so on. Depending on how many players from that region are competing, it could be a two-person wager or upwards of 20.

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Odds vary depending on if one of the players is a heavy favorite over the others. If the bet is on the top Australian golfer, you might see Marc Leishman as EVEN money ($100 bet pays out $100 plus the original stake for $200 total), but a hypothetical long shot could be +2000 ($100 bet pays out a $2,100 total.)

Match Play Betting

Most events do not use the match play betting format, with the exception of the annual Dell Technologies Match Play, the Ryder Cup, and the Presidents Cup. Each of these events alternate years with an American team competing against an international team. In the Dell Match Play, you can wager on golfers squaring off head-to-head all the way through the conclusion of the tournament.

In the heated Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup, you’ll most frequently find USA vs. Europe and the USA vs. the World team matches, with betting options to boot. You can bet on which team will emerge victoriously, and/or which golfers will win specific matches, like the Dell Match Play.

Head-to-Head Betting

With head-to-head betting, you can place wagers on specific golfers to defeat their playing partners for the day, which golfers will win certain holes during the round, or you can even bet on Tiger Woods doing better in a particular event than Dustin Johnson, for example, plus many more similar options.

Top 5/10/20 Betting

Do you like a particular golfer, but don’t think they have the chops to actually win? At reduced odds, you can wager on whether they’ll finish in the top 5, top 10, or even top 20.

Feeling extra confident? Place a bet on all three, and if your golfer finishes in the top 5 you’ll win three times over! Since earning a top 20 finish is easier than winning a tournament, the betting lines are lower for that bet.

Hole-in-One Betting

This one is self-explanatory. Think someone in the field will get a hole-in-one that week? Place a bet on it and if they do, you cash out.

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Being that a hole-in-one is slightly less likely to happen, the odds are lower so more money is to be made if it does happen. A +160 line for yes and -200 line for no is common, depending on how many golfers are in the field. A $100 bet on yes pays out $260 total whereas a $100 bet on no would pay out $50 plus the original stake for a total of $150.

Futures Betting on the Big Golf Events

The big betting events for the men are the Masters, PGA Championship, US Open and Open Championship. Read on for a brief overview of each event.

The Masters

The Masters is steeped in tradition as the only repeat venue every year at Augusta National. With a limited field and plenty of past data to bank on, this tournament provides bettors with plenty of built-in knowledge. Knowing the typical trends to watch out for when betting on The Masters can be extremely beneficial, as covered in this Masters betting guide.

PGA Championship

This has moved from its customary August slot up to May for the first time in 2019. Contrary to the popular belief that this is one of the “weaker” tournaments, this event almost always produces fireworks.

US Open

Considered the toughest test in golf, this tournament tests professional golfers’ mettle and will. It is, without question, the most controversial of the major golf events, often the questionable course setup becomes the focal point for the week.

Open Championship

Also known as the British Open stateside, this is the oldest major in golf and also the most unpredictable. Watch out for wildly differing weather patterns for golfers teeing off in the morning or afternoon groupings the first two days. Golfers drawing the short straw tee time with poor conditions often find themselves knocked out of the tournament.

Other Big Golf Events

The LPGA has five majors—the ANA Inspiration, US Women’s Open, Women’s PGA Championship, the Evian Championship, and Women’s British Open. There are a slew of other top-notch events around the world on the PGA, LGPA, European Tours and even the five Champions Tour majors (golfers over 50 years old.)

Betting on Golf Never Lacks Options!

There are plenty of different types of golf bets to be made virtually every week of the year. The PGA, European Tour, and the LPGA Tours are most common, but there are additional listings for golf events around the world as well.

As always, we have you covered if you’re curious about what betting options are available to you.

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