Once an exclusive pursuit reserved for the upper crusts of Western society, golf is now one of the world’s most widely played sports.
And with major events such as the Masters, the British Open, the USPGA Championship and the Ryder Cup drawing millions of viewers year after year, it also offers some wonderful opportunities for punters all over the globe.
The question is: which online bookmakers lead the field when it comes to betting on golf tournaments?
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How to bet on golf tournaments
Before you start splashing any cash, you need to sign up with a licensed online bookmaker. Each of the sites above is safe, secure and fully regulated, offering outstanding customer service and competitive odds across thousands of daily sports betting markets.
Once you complete registration, add some funds to your online betting account. The best bookies support a range of trusted payment methods, including Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Paysafecard and direct banking. Most deposit methods are configured for instant processing so you can start punting straight away.
You have an account, you have some money in it (and any bonus bets you might have opted-in for), so now it is time to see what’s on offer and start betting. Head to the ‘Sports’ menu (usually located on the left-hand side of a bookmaker’s desktop homepage) and scroll down until you find the ‘Golf’ section, where you can view all available markets for upcoming events.
Golf betting markets at online bookies
Golf bookmakers run a wide array of market types all year round for the PGA Tour, European Tour, Web.com Tour, LPGA Tour, Champions Tour, Australasia and more. Some of the most popular golf bets on offer include:
Outright winner – This one needs little explanation. If your pick wins the tournament, you win the bet. Golf outright bets are often quoted with an each-way element that pays at reduced odds if your player finishes in the top five.
Position markets – Instead of backing a player to win, you can instead wager that he or she will finish within a certain number of places from the top of the leaderboard. Popular position bets include top five, top 10 and top 20.
First round leader – This is a high-risk wager that has proven extremely popular in major tournaments. A full field packed with potential early bolters makes first round leaders harder to pick than outright winners, although the payouts are significantly greater.
Betting without the favourites – When there are one or two standout contenders, bookies may run a market that eliminates them from the equation. Thus, even if the top pick gets up, you can grab better odds on someone to finish second or third than you would backing the favourite to win.
Top player by nationality – Most golf betting sites run tournament books that pit players from the same country against one another. That means you can bet on Adam Scott to finish as the top performer from Australia, Rory McIlroy to be the best from the UK, Henrik Stenson to outplay the rest of the Swedes, and so on.
Handicap betting – Not unlike playing handicaps in golf, this type of market grades a player within a certain number of shots of the eventual winner. If your pick has a -3.5 betting handicap, for instance, then they must finish no more than three shots behind the champion for the bet to salute.
Match and group bets – Rather than wagering on the overall outcome, you can turn a strokeplay event into a head-to-head contest between two players. All you have to do is pick which of the two will finish higher on the leaderboard. When three or four players are involved, it becomes a group bet.
Futures bets for major golf tournaments
All leading golf bookies run long-range markets on tournaments and certain other outcomes, sometimes as much as a year in advance. You can back winners in the big tournaments and team events, pick a certain player to win a major before the year is out, or even bet on the money-list standings for the top pro tours.
Top golf futures betting categories include:
- US Masters
- US Open
- British Open
- USPGA Championship
- Ryder Cup
- Presidents Cup
- Solheim Cup
- FedEx Cup (PGA Tour points leader)
- Race to Dubai (European Tour points leader)
Best online bookie for golf: our verdict
Each of our approved online bookmakers offers excellent desktop and mobile betting products for both men’s and women’s golf, but a special few have that little something extra that makes them stand out from the crowd. These are our top three golf betting bookies.
What gives CrownBet the edge is a clever and easy-to-use layout for tournament betting. A simple grid showing all popular markets for each player allows you to browse outright odds, positional markets, first round bets and more without having flick between several different pages. Navigating through tours, events and future options is a breeze, while the prices are always among the best in the business.
This is a great all-round sports betting bookie, no matter your game of choice. Sportsbet’s golf markets are extensive and up-to-date all year round, offering near-limitless options from the United States, Europe, Australia, Asia, South Africa and more. You can also indulge in a number of major specials and novelty futures that you might not find elsewhere.
If you want a huge spread of betting options that cover all manner of pro golf events worldwide, Bet365 might be the sports bookie for you. This is especially true of niche tourneys that might not draw as much global interest as the majors or the internationals. If a rival bookie is offering a single outright market, you can bank on Bet365 to open up three or four more.