When betting on golf the most common type of tournament you will be betting on are stroke play tournaments, these are individual tournaments over four days Thursday-Sunday usually with 100 plus players in the field. There are many different types of markets that are offered during the course of a tournament, there are some that you will either enjoy and feel as though you can make some good selections from and some that you may think are too hard to select for not a good enough return.
Outright and Each-way bets
The most popular type of bet in golf is picking the outright winner of the tournament. The odds are usually determined based on the world golf rankings and form going into the tournament, and odds vary from tournament to tournament. When there are 100 plus players at an event it might seem a difficult task to pick one player to win, that is when people then elect to place each-way bets, which is much more attractive for people wanting a bit more reliability with their bets, and a smarter move for customers who select players that are very consistent, but don’t quite manage to win.
When betting each-way, half of your stake is placed on the outright win and the other half is placed on the player being placed. What it means by ‘placed’ is that the bookmaker will offer ¼ the odds if the player comes in the top 5, depending on the bookmaker they may enhance the place terms and offer ¼ odds if they come in the top 10 - especially for the major tournaments mentioned previously. At the Masters 2020, SkyBet offered place terms up to 11 places. This gives you the customer, more of an opportunity to win and less pressure of having to pick the winner of the tournament.
The important factor to take into consideration when betting on outright winners is whether they have won before or not, there is a lot to be said for experience and knowing what it takes to close out a golf tournament. The amount of pressure that the players are on, from financial gain, crowd pressure, personal pressures a lot of guys can crumble, even the best players in the world.
Betting on the cut
After two rounds of the tournament, the field is cut in half where the lowest scoring players do not go through to play the final two rounds, which is described as ‘missing the cut’. The players that make the cut then go on to play the final two rounds to determine who the winner of the tournament is. This is in fact a market that some bookmakers offer, you can place bets on who you think will make the cut and the players that you think will miss the cut. Granted the odds will not be high for the top professionals to make the cut because they usually make the cut week in week out, but it might be the route to take for the, not as established players who are maybe playing in their first tournaments.
Round one leader
To follow on from outright betting, instead of selecting a player that will win at the end of the four days, some bookmakers have the option of picking the leader at the end of round one, it does not matter what happens after this as this bet counts only towards day one only. This is something that might appeal to some customers if they know that some players get off to really good starts, but maybe struggle to finish off and complete the tournament at the top of the leaderboard.
Top 5, 10 or 20 finish
These markets are exactly what they say on the tin, you are putting a bet on players that you think will finish in the top 5, 10 or 20. Customers are able to utilise these markets if they know a player is very consistent and is playing good enough golf to finish inside the place you have selected, but this will also be reflected in the prices of these players. Again there is no pressure on to pick a winner, just a player or players that you think will place, in the majors some bookmakers offer top 30 because the strength of the field is higher, the standard of the players is higher and therefore more difficult to pick players that will feature in the top 30 on the leaderboard.
These types of markets select two or more players to go against each other, they don’t have to be playing in the same group but a matchup the bookmakers would think is a tight contest, in which the winner will be the player who shoots the lowest score. For example, if the world ranked No.1 player v the world ranked No.2 player are playing, who are in theory are the two most consistent players in the world and it should be an exciting match. This market can take place over the first round, or the whole tournament but other than how the players match up against each other nothing else in the tournament matters for this bet.
Unique ‘Top…’ bets
Usually only seen in the majors where more markets are available, Top Amateur or Top Nationality selections are open to being bet on. Similar to outright betting you are placing bets on a player that you think will perform best and shoot the lowest score in the tournament from a particular subcategory, not against the whole field. For example, if there are 10 Englishmen in the field, you are selecting who you think will shoot the best score of the tournament out of those 10 men, everyone else in the field is irrelevant for the purpose of this bet.
Popular with customers is the market of whether there is going to be a hole in one at the tournament, for this bet, it is just a choice of ‘yes’ there will be a hole in one or no there won’t, not specify whether you think a certain player is going to have a hole in one during the tournament. With the knowledge that hole-in-ones are very rare and unlikely the odds are usually high for this market.