Betting on golf is increasingly prevalent with the expansion of legal sports gambling across the US.
The sport is one of the most popular sports betting options worldwide, as golf features international tours as well as many foreign stars.
The emergence of online sports betting apps has also made betting on golf events more engaging. Live wagering is now one of the preferred methods to bet on your favorite golfer.
Golf betting at online sportsbooks for 2020
The most-viewed tour is the PGA Tour, which consists of the world’s most famous tournaments, like The Masters and the US Open.
Golfers can compete every week in a new event and are awarded money and points based on where they place. While there are several important tournaments, the four majors every year include:
- The Masters
- US Open
- Open Championship (British Open)
- PGA Championship
Besides live betting, placing a futures wager on which golfer will win a given matchup is one of the most common ways to bet on golf.
The PGA Tour schedule lasts nearly an entire calendar year, starting in mid-September and concluding with the tour championship in late August. The end of the season finishes with the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which determines the year’s overall champion.
You can also get action down on the European tour along with the Champions Tour, which used to be known as the Senior Tour.
With more states offering legal sports betting, golf wagering could have its biggest year yet. The Masters, the tour’s most prestigious event, gets the season into full swing in early April.
This year’s Masters, however, will take place November 12-15 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Where can I legally bet on golf online in the US?
|State||Is sports betting legal?||Is online sports betting legal?|
|Delaware||Yes||Yes, launch undetermined|
|Mississippi||Yes||Yes, on-property only|
|New Mexico||Yes, at multiple tribal casinos||No|
|North Carolina||Yes, pending launch||No|
|Tennessee||Yes, pending launch||Yes, pending launch|
|Washington DC||Yes, pending launch||Yes, pending launch|
How to bet on golf online
Betting on golf online is convenient if you live in one of the states above that offers legal sports betting. States with online sports betting usually offer multiple betting apps, including DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.
Registering for most mobile platforms is typically the same and should take a few minutes to complete. To sign up, you’ll have to enter some basic information such as:
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Social Security number
Although eligibility requirements do vary slightly between different states, they are mostly similar.
In order to place golf bets, you must be at least the minimum legal age in the state you’re betting. While most states require bettors to be at least 21 years or older, some only require bettors to be 18 years old.
The other requirement is that you have to be in the state where it’s legal to place sports bets. Every online sportsbook will use geolocation technology to determine where you are at the time of betting.
All the top sportsbooks above offer a wide variety of golf betting options. You’re able to wager on all of the major championships, as well as every tournament in-between.
These online sportsbooks will provide odds for PGA events, as well as some LPGA and Champions Tour events.
Some online betting apps also feature a browser-based website where you’re able to wager. These typically have similar formats to their apps and will include the same betting markets.
If you don’t want to download the app, you’re often able to access the sportsbook through your mobile device’s browser too.
Offshore sportsbooks present serious risks
Not only are offshore sportsbooks illegal, but they’re unreliable compared to the new mobile apps in the legal US sports betting market.
Every legal sportsbook is completely secure and regulated, so you do not need to worry about your money. They provide plenty of banking methods so that you can deposit and withdraw funds conveniently.
Offshore books are risky and don’t give you any protection like this. They also don’t provide any sort of legal or regulatory protection if you happen to run into an issue on the sportsbook.
Golf happenings in New Jersey, West Virginia
The PGA Tour hosts events in both NJ and WV almost annually.
With recent adjustments made to the tour schedule, the season begins in September with A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. The event used to be held in July.
Although NJ doesn’t feature a yearly PGA Tour outing, it does partially host The Northern Trust tournament played in August as part of FedEx Cup Playoffs. The event alternates between sites in the Garden State and other courses around the area. It will be held in Boston this year.
Bettors in PA and IN have seen some PGA Tour action in the past, as well. Both states have played home to the BMW Championship, another playoff tournament. It was last held in PA in 2018, while it played in Carmel, IN, in 2016.
Basics of golf betting
Unlike other sports, wagering on golf can be a little more complex to new bettors. Let’s break down all the basic types of golf bets you’ll find at sportsbooks.
The most common way to bet on a golf tournament is to choose who you think will win the entire event.
This bet is typically made with a futures wager before the start of a tournament. However, online sportsbooks now offer updated odds to win almost every event after each round.
Versus the field
Another way to bet on golf is to wager on a specific golfer and how they will fare against another group of players. This wager is typically based around one of the tournament’s favorites.
You’re able to bet on the favorite to win or take your chances with the rest of the field of participants. Sportsbooks will also provide odds for a player against a smaller group of given golfers.
Head-to-head wagering is also a standard for betting golf events. Sportsbooks will offer lines for who will shoot a lower score between two golfers. Often, you’ll be able to find multiple head-to-head matchups for the tour’s best players in each tournament.
A lot of sportsbooks provide odds for head-to-head pairings for every round, in addition to the entire event.
Each-way betting is similar to placing a futures bet on someone to win an event but allows you to select where your golfer will finish. You can bet on a player to place in the top three, five, or 10 at most sportsbooks.
Betting on the first-round leader can make the first 18 holes of any tournament exciting.
Instead of taking which golfer will win the entire event, you’re only wagering on who will be the leader after the opening round. These odds are usually similar to the initial odds offered to win the tournament.
Group matchups are organized just like head-to-head bets but include a few golfers as opposed to just two. These will usually consist of groups of three or four golfers of similar quality.
Most sportsbooks will allow you to bet on a group matchup for the duration of the tournament, as well as individual rounds.
Generally, every golfer will have more favorable odds within a group matchup compared to just two players because there’s more competition. Some sportsbooks will even let you bet that every golfer will shoot the same score and their results will end in a draw.
An interesting way to bet on golf is through prop bets. A lot of the popular online sportsbooks available today give plenty of prop options, including picking the best golfer from each nationality.
You’re able to select who among the American golfers will finish highest in a specific tournament. Betting lines will usually include several other nationalities like Australian, English and Irish.
Another twist to this prop is choosing that a player from a specific country will win.
If you believe that Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods have the best chances in an event, then you could bet that the winner will come from the US.
Golf futures are very common and should be available at every regulated sportsbook in the US. Like with futures wagers in other sports, you place a bet on a certain golfer before the tournament begins with hopes that they will win the event in the end.
Futures are the most popular for golf tournaments because even the best players have favorable odds for bettors. Golfers like Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka are among the best in the world and are still listed around +1000 for the biggest tournaments.
Other futures options exist for golf, too. Before the season gets underway, you can wager on lines like who will win player of the year, rookie of the year, or who will be crowned the FedEx Cup Champion.
Live golf betting
Live betting is now one of the most popular ways to bet on all sports, including golf.
The growth of online apps has allowed sportsbooks to expand their live offerings and now feature a wide selection of live betting options.
With live in-play wagering, you can bet on a golf tournament even after it already started. You’re able to see how players are performing before you commit to a certain golfer or matchup bet.
Sportsbooks will allow you to bet on who will win the tournament at almost any time. They will continually update their pre-round odds to reflect the play and scores already posted on the leaderboard.
Some books may offer other live odds for head-to-head player matchups and even props on, for instance, how a golfer will finish the next hole.
The top sportsbooks available in each state offer live betting for golf.
Placing a wager by using a mobile betting app couldn’t be easier. Most online platforms showcase their top live betting markets right on their home page.
By simply selecting the golf event or specific matchup you want, you’ll be able to see all of the live options available.
Once you find a line you like, you need to act quickly though. Live odds update rapidly and can change with every shot.
Golf prop betting
Besides the more common wagers found for every golf tournament, you can find some propositional bets as well.
These are harder to come by depending on the sportsbook; however, most apps include props for at least the major tournaments.
As noted previously, betting on nationality is an intriguing option that varies from the norm. Most other prop bets are either regarded as tournament or player props.
You can choose whether there will be a hole-in-one, by how many strokes the champion will win, if the tournament will go to a playoff, or which golfer will post the best score in a given round.
Betting on golf majors
There is no question in the game of golf that some tournaments mean more than others. Every season, the four biggest tournaments are considered the majors. These consist of:
- The Masters
- PGA Championship
- US Open
- Open Championship (British Open)
Betting The Masters
- Date: November 12 – 15, 2020
- Location: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA
- Prize Pool: $11.5 million
- Defending Champion: Tiger Woods
The Masters is one of the most famous golf tournaments in the world and truly marks the start of the season in early April.
Unlike the other three majors, the Masters never changes its location from year to year. Augusta National is one of the world’s most famous golf courses and hosts the world’s best golfers every spring.
Woods won the tournament again last year, earning his fifth green jacket. He trails only Jack Nicklaus for the most titles won at Augusta. Nicklaus won six times throughout his career, the last in 1986.
Arnold Palmer ranks third at The Masters with three titles.
Betting the PGA Championship
- Date: August 3-9, 2020
- Location: TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, CA
- Prize Pool: $11 million
- Defending Champion: Brooks Koepka
With the restructured PGA Tour schedule, the PGA Championship is now the second major of the year, played in May outside of 2020. The event was previously the final major played in August up until a year ago.
Koepka is the two-time defending PGA champ thanks to another win in 2019. He’s won four total majors, with two victories at the US Open too.
Again, Nicklaus is tied for most wins at the major with five. He shares that honor with Walter Hagen.
Betting the US Open
- Date: September 17-20, 2020
- Location: Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, NY
- Prize Pool: $12.5 million
- Defending Champion: Gary Woodland
The US Open marks the national championship of golf in this country. The tournament is known to be the most difficult of the four majors in terms of overall scoring. Often, the champion is only a few strokes under par.
Woodland took home his first major championship by winning the event in 2019. Last year’s tournament was held at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.
Several golfers share the record for most US Open victories with four. They include Nicklaus, Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, and Ben Hogan.
Betting the Open Championship
- Date: July 16-19, 2020
- Location: Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich, England
- Prize Pool: $10.75 million
- Defending Champion: Shane Lowry
The last of the four majors to happen is now the Open Championship, commonly called the British Open. It’s the only major golf tournament that occurs overseas, in England, Northern Ireland or Scotland.
Irishman Lowry claimed his first major a year ago by winning The Open at Royal Portrush.
Harry Vardon holds the record for most Open Championships with six. He earned his last title in 1914.
Betting on PGA Tour events, other tours
The PGA Tour season gets started in September and goes all the way through August. While there are only four major tournaments, there are plenty of other betting opportunities for golf fans.
Even though the major championships might include more betting options at sportsbooks, you can certainly find odds for every other tournament. At a minimum, books will offer odds to win each event along with some head-to-head matchups.
Outside of the four majors, the following are some of the most significant events on the golf schedule:
- The Players Championship
- The Northern Trust
- BMW Championship
- Tour Championship
- Memorial Tournament
- AT&T Byron Nelson
- Arnold Palmer Invitational
- Waste Management Phoenix Open
Sportsbooks will offer odds for these tournaments in the PGA Tour, as well as other lower-tier tours.
Professional golf includes several others, including the European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, and the Champions Tour.
Betting on LPGA
For bettors who prefer to wager on the women’s golf tour, the LPGA also has a sizable schedule.
Similar to the smaller tournaments in the PGA Tour, sportsbooks might not have an abundance of betting lines for the LPGA but should have the most popular odds available.
The LPGA season begins in January and concludes in November. Here are some of the top women’s events that don’t include major championships:
- CME Group Tour Championship
- CP Women’s Open
- Meijer LPGA Classic
- Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational
- BMW Ladies Championship
Betting on Match Play, the Ryder Cup
For both men and women, you’ll be able to bet on international golf events throughout the year.
Some of these events will consist of match play, as opposed to stroke play, like the majority of tournaments.
The Ryder Cup, as well as several others, include match play, which means players go up against a single opponent in each round.
Instead of counting the total number of strokes to their overall score, the only thing that matters is defeating your opponent.
These events will alter the betting lines provided by sportsbooks. You’ll no longer be able to bet on group matchups or round leaders but strictly focus on head-to-head wagers.
Golf live streaming
As you can bet on the go, you’re now able to watch golf on the go as well.
Many tournaments are available to stream online through different outlets, and some are even available through individual online sportsbooks.
As a result, you can view the odds for an event as the play unfolds. Streaming will be accessible through both your web browser and mobile device.
The expansion in streaming is tied to the growth of live wagering. Now you can watch real-time action on the golf course on the same betting platform.