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There are many different options when it comes to golf betting. Spread betting means wagering whether you think a player will finish above or below the sportsbook’s spread price. 

Spread betting may seem complicated at first, but it can add an all-new dynamic to the wagering experience. Spread betting works the same way financial markets function, allowing you to bet whether a player finishes better or worse than the price.

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Golf Betting Odds & Examples

The first thing you need to know about golf betting is how to read the odds. The most popular one is the moneyline, which might look something like +200. 

In most betting events, having a positive number is the underdog, while the negative number is the favorite. Since golf only has one winner of an event, moneyline odds are positive numbers, and the lower number is considered the favorite. 

For example, check out the moneyline odds below:

MoneyLine Betting Example

TeamMoneyline
Jon Rahm+200
Rory Mcllroy+400
Patrick Cantlay+500

Rahm is considered the favorite to win an event simply because his odds are closer to zero. For every $100 you wager, and Rahm wins the event, you earn $200. 

The same math is applied to the other golfers. For Mcllroy, a $100 wager would net you $400 in return if he wins the event. 

How to Bet on Golf

Depending on the sportsbook of choice, the odds are generally going to be the same. This allows bookies to remain competitive to retain customers. 

Once you have found the bet you want to place, choose the right sportsbook for you. As you can see above, golf betting has several different  options to consider. 

Doing your research is the best thing you can do if you want to succeed at golf betting. The lack of research could leave you frustrated and short on money. 

Spread Golf Betting

The range of spread betting prices may allow the bettor options such as number of players making the cut. finishing under par, lowest score of any player, yardage distance of any holes-in-one or the number of eagles recorded in a tournament. 

The most significant difference between spread betting in golf and a more common fixed odds bet is how the bettor would back or bet against a player in a tournament. For each event, the bookmaker will offer a leaderboard spread, with the players gaining points depending on where they finish the match. 

By using these spreads, bettors can either side with someone they think will play well in the event, or bet against a player that may not do as well. For example, a bookmaker may give Dustin Johnson a leaderboard spread of 21-24 at a major tournament. 

If the bettor feels Johnson will finish in the top four places, they would “buy” on the spread. They would “sell” on the spread if they think Johnson will finish below the top four. 

Fine-Tuning The Betting Process

The more correct the bettor is with their wager, the more they can win. If the wager loses, they could stand to lose multiples of the initial stake. Wagering on Johnson (a $2 buy bet at 24) and if he goes on to win the tournament, the bettor would be awarded a number of points for that win. 

The winnings are calculated by figuring out the difference between the points awarded (80) and the buy price (24) and then multiplied by the amount of the wager (56 x $2).

Learn how to calcute your bets with our betting guides

However, fewer points if Johnson finished in second to fourth position, but if he ends the event outside of the top four, the bettor loses money. 

For example, a fifth-place finish would award 20 points, which would be calculated as an $8 loss (20 minus 24, multiplied by the original $2 bet).

This same method of buying or selling can be used on a variety of spread bets. Bettors may also use the system to bet on individuals to finish higher than another, no matter the final score.  

The spread is based on the number of shots by which the bookmaker thinks one player beats another player, with the winning player receiving 10 points, plus another three for every stroke above the loser.  

Making The Cut

The more the bettor can learn about golf, the better his/her choices in wagering. Knowing the specific players and courses put bettors in position to find value on the board. 

It’s difficult to say the best golf betting strategy, since bettors have different preferences. Trying different approaches to start is recommended, as the sport provides action throughout the year. 

It’s also advised to eventually specialize in one specific area of wagering.. 

Golf History

The early origins of golf are argued by many, but most generally agree that Scotland was the brains behind the game. Ball striking games can be traced back to the early 13th to 15th century. 

Golf acquired its name potentially from the Dutch words kolf or kolve, which translates to club. Moving onto the 15th century, Scottish dialect transformed the word to goff or gouff. By the time the 16th century came about, it was then spelled golf. 

The way that golf was played was not too different from now, but not as formal as it appears today. Back then, the courses were often livestock, very friendly get-togethers, and even had soldiers skipping routine training to get some time in to play. 

By 1894, the United States Golf Association was established. Then, 1895 featured the first tournaments: the U.S. Open, the U.S. Amateur, and the U.S. Women’s Amateur. 

Golf Betting FAQ

What is a Golf Playoff?

A playoff in golf happens when two or more golfers tie for the same score on the final round of play. The golfers will have to continue playing potentially a few holes to decide which one wins. The first to have the better score wins the event. 

What is a Birdie and Par in Golf?

A birdie is when a golfer makes one less stroke needed on a hole. Making par means that the golfer made the exact number of shots required on the hole. So if it is a Par 4, a golfer must sink the putt on the fourth shot to be considered par.

Why does golf use positive and negative numbers?

Since the point of golf is to get the lowest score, players will need to be under the par score for the course. If a player shoots five on a par four, they are one over par, or +1. If they shoot a three on a par four, this means -1, which is a good sign.

How many rounds of golf are for each tournament?

There are four rounds of golf for each tournament. After the first two rounds, cuts will be made, and essentially half the field is cut down with the best scores moving on.

What are bunkers and hazards?

Bunkers are also called sand traps, which are puts that have sand in them and are difficult to get out of. Hazards are a general term for something you do not want to hit your ball in, such as water, sand, or thick rough. 
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