Before we head into the clubhouse for a couple of drinks, let’s take a look at our ten golden rules for betting on golf. These tips are vital for avoiding fundamental errors that can lead to needless hemorrhaging of your bankroll.
1) Study the course – All golf courses fall into three different types: Links, parkland and desert. These courses all have their different quirks, which can either complement or go against a player’s preferred style. Each individual course, meanwhile, has its own number of bunkers, and varying lengths of hole, amongst other various factors. When selecting a player for a win/each-way bet, make sure they are playing at a course that ties in well with their core strengths. A course that consists of various short-to-medium length holes will complement a player that is well-known for accurate stroke play, while the mean, longer courses play into the hands of power players who can put themselves in strong positions via huge tee drives.
2) Tournament history – This can be particularly useful when picking out a winner, as well as a winning nationality at an event. Even just a brief look at the previous winners of a tournament can go a long way to influencing your decision ahead of the upcoming event. You may notice that the last x Masters majors have been won by left-handers. Could that play into the hands of a Phil Mickleson or a Bubba Watson? Tournament history and player form are simple fundamental research techniques that anybody looking to be successful at betting on golf should be doing daily. Better yet, sign up to one or two of the many golfing blogs and news sites out there that will put together all the information for you.
3) Player form – In the build-up to the majors it’s imperative that you study the form of the players heading into the tournament. Momentum and form are huge factors when deciphering who is going to perform well on any given week, and the difference between a player who is striking the ball cleanly and somebody who can’t find their rhythm is truly huge. Study stats such as cut percentage to see if players have been performing consistently enough to reach the sharp end of recent tournaments. This stat should help you pick out decent each-way bets in tournaments that boast large fields.
4) Weather conditions – Weather will of course influence all outdoor sporting events, and the effects of weather can influence golf in both small and large ways. For example, a ball won’t travel as far in cooler conditions, mainly due to the difficulty a ball has travelling through the more dense colder air. This kind of condition will affect the power players who look to impose themselves with big drives. Wind, meanwhile, can also play a huge role in causing erratic ball movements that can destroy a bet in a single stroke. Check the local weather reports for the day and tread carefully.
5) Betting with the best odds – Now, it can be easy to get stuck in your habits and do all of your betting in one place. Not only is this a lazy approach to sports betting, it also means you are potentially missing out on the best odds and promotions across the market. Make sure you’re using Betting.com' odds comparison tool to shop around for the best prices for your punts.
6) Patience is a virtue – One of the biggest temptations when it comes to betting on golf is to cash out your bet too early. If you are waiting up to four days for a bet to settle, it can be appealing to take the money and run when a cash out option is presented to you on the back of a promising opening day’s play from your pick. While these cash outs do give bettors the chance to secure profit, they are a great way for bookmakers to claw back their potential losses, so be prepared to stick to your guns and don’t be afraid to play the long game for those higher returns.
7) Track your bets – This is especially important if you are just making your first steps into betting on golf. As you’re starting out, you’re sure to be experimenting with various different markets and bets, to see which ones you get the best return on. Bettors tend to have great memories of what markets they win on, but can often be more forgetful when it comes to picking out the patterns in their losing bets. Tracking your bets will ensure you identify your mistakes as early as possible and allow you to eradicate them before they cause long-term bankroll damage.
8) Set your own odds and sniff out the value – This takes us back to a Betting.com favourite that is value betting, which is where a punter will put together their own odds, based off their own calculations and hunches, and compare those odds with those provided by the bookmaker. If there is a large disparity between the odds you have listed and the bookie’s odds, then you have what you would call a value bet. This strategy can often unearth some hidden gems that can go on and secure some huge profits.
9) Tournament winner bets for show, each-way bets for dough – If you’re entering the golf betting world via football or tennis betting, for example, the most natural bets to dip into will probably be the Tournament Winner markets, as they’re the easiest to understand and often carry the highest potential returns. While these bets provide the biggest rush when they come in, more often than not, they won’t, and these bets should not form the foundation of your overall golf betting strategy. Instead, try to use your knowledge to pick out the much safer each-way and top ten bets. Those markets are generally much less erratic, and it means you will benefit from backing consistent performers that are in form. A golfer could go months without winning a tournament but be in great playing form, and the best way to maximize your returns from that purple patch is to bet smarter.
10) Pictures tell a tale – Try to make sure you are only betting on tournaments that you can watch. Not only is it more entertaining to be able to watch your bet unfold, you can pick up changes in weather, momentum and other factors that can sometimes seem insignificant, but if leveraged correctly, can be capitalized on in the form of profitable in-play bets. If the wind strength picks up, you may be tempted to cash in a bet to avoid sudden gusts blowing away your chances, or a player could be choking on the back nine as he/she closes on victory. If that’s the case, you have the perfect chance to lay the player on a betting exchange and reap some lucrative rewards.