Golf betting guide

Golf iconPlace football to one side and golf is one of the best markets for long odds winners, and for very good reason.

Golf’s four Majors and the Ryder Cup are among the biggest events on the golfing calendar, and with its certain degree of unpredictability – after all its results largely come down to a combination of individual skill, form and fortune – good odds are usually available across the sport’s diverse range of markets.

While much of the discussion within the sport ultimately revolves around who is the world’s ultimate golfer, Irishman Rory McIlroy or American Jordan Spieth, they by no means sweep up all golf’s silverware in a Formula One-style procession.

Anybody can win in this most unpredictable of sports, as demonstrated by Zach Johnson’s victory in the 2015 Open. The American ripped up the form book to deny Spieth a hat-trick of Majors and tearfully collected the claret jug following a three-man play-off.

It goes without saying, then, that an eye on the outsiders, and a willingness to bet each way, can help secure success when placing your money on golf.

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Golf betting markets

Like with most other popular sports, punters now have a wide range of options available to them when it comes to golf betting.

If you have a particular hunch you can back an individual player to bag a tournament, although in the unpredictable world of tournament golf it is often worth betting each way to turn the odds slightly in your favour – even the best golfers can get caught in a trap from time to time and see their title challenge tumble away with it!

Another popular option is to select two players and back one to finish with a better score than the other in what in practice essentially works as in the same manner as selecting the winner of a football or rugby match.

It’s also always worth keeping your eye on prop bets, like the nationality of the winning player for example, and, for the more confident of bettors, examining the option to lay – or back a golfer to lose – on sites like Betfair and BetDaq.

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The golfing calendar

What better place to start than with the Ryder Cup, a biennial matchplay event that sees the best golfers from Europe face off against their counterparts and transatlantic foes from America.

Europe are the reigning champions having won at Gleneagles in 2014 courtesy of some stunning Jamie Donaldson iron play, but they will have to be at their best if they are to retain their hard-earned title at Hazeltine, Minnesota in September.

Before golfing royalty head to the northern edge of the United States they will compete on an individual basis for the four Majors – the US Masters, US Open, British Open and USPGA Championship.

Each of these events is shrouded in rich tradition, particularly the Masters which is held at the legendary Augusta National. In golfing circles it is considered a real badge of honour to have even visited the Georgia layout – and that’s before you discuss attending the championship itself.

The rest of the golf season is encompassed by the PGA Tour and European Tour, responsible for elite tournament golf in America and Europe respectively.

The larger prize pots on offer Stateside have ensured that many of Europe’s leading players, such as McIlroy and Ian Poulter, have set up camp across the Atlantic, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for when they return for the European Tour’s larger events, including the flagship BMW PGA Championship, to gain ranking points in the Race to Dubai and secure their place on the plane to the Middle East for the dramatic end-of-season finale.