Golf Odds and Betting | How to Bet on Golf

Golf Odds and Betting

Golf is exceptionally popular, and there are approximately 15,000 courses in the US alone. What's more, the American PGA Tour is the most prestigious tour in the sport, attracting the best players from all around the world to compete. 

Now that sports betting is legal in Ohio, you have the perfect opportunity to place wagers on the biggest and best golf competitions, from the British Open to the Masters at Augusta National. So, without further ado, let's dive into our golf odds and betting guide, so you know what your options are when betting on golf. 

Scottie Scheffler takes a putt on the green in the ninth hole

How to Bet on Golf

As an individual sport, betting on golf is different from betting on team sports like American football and baseball. After all, the outcomes that you're betting on are concerned with the performance of one person and one person alone! 

But the good news is that there are so many markets and options for betting on golf, and once you get the hang of some of the terms, it's really simple to follow. Some of the golf bets that you can place include: 

To-win bets 

Each-way bets 

Head-to-head bets 

Futures bets

Round totals bets

Prop bets

Live bets

The golf season has four majors per year - The Masters, The US Open, The PGA Championship, and The British Open. These events attract the most viewers and have the most extensive betting markets. 

But there are golf tournaments in play every week, from the PGA Tour to the recently formed and controversial LIV Golf Tour.

So, now that you know the basics, let's take a look at our in-depth golf odds and betting strategy so you can pick a winner when the action gets underway this season. 

Golf Odds and Betting Explainer

To win bets

In golf, the most common bet type is choosing which player will win an upcoming competition. For instance, here's what the odds for the upcoming Masters' Championship at Augusta National might look like: 

Scottie Scheffler +900 

Rory McIlroy +1,200 

Justin Thomas +1,300 

Here, world number one Scottie Scheffler is the favorite to win the competition. His odds show that if you were to bet $100, you would win $900 in profit should he collect the green jacket. 

For most golf tournaments, the favorite is typically priced between +800 and +1,200, but it really just depends on the strength of the field.

Each-way bets

Given that the field in a golf tournament is made up of dozens of players that are all in with a shout of winning, picking one winner can be a little challenging. 

As such, an each-way bet is viable, as it splits your bet into a "win" and "place" bet. This means that the sportsbook will pay out a percentage of your winnings if your selection finishes in the top 3 or top 5, for instance. 

So, if you back Scheffler to win the Masters with an each-way bet and he finishes fourth, you would still win a percentage of your bet. When fields are tight, each-way bets are a great option to consider. 

Head-to-head bets

If you don't like the idea of backing one player against the entire field, you can opt for head-to-head betting in golf. This is similar to a moneyline in other sports; you simply bet on who you think will post a higher finishing position in the tournament.

For instance, you could set up a head-to-head bet between two of your favorite players, Bryson DeChambeau (-120) and Tiger Woods (+140). 

The sportsbook has Bryson as the favorite to finish ahead of Tiger in this head-to-head, perhaps due to Tiger's issues with injury in recent times. 

The great thing about a head-to-head golf bet is that it only matters how the players fare against one another, and their performance against the rest of the field is immaterial. 

They could both miss the cut - Tiger with a +6 and Bryson with a +4 and your bet would still be relevant, making it a great way to bet on major competitions in particular.

Futures bets

We've touched upon this already, but one of the best ways to bet on golf is to pick the winner of an upcoming tournament. 

Instead of waiting for the competition to arrive in the calendar, you can place golf futures bets well ahead of time, be it for a team event like the Ryder Cup or for each of the season's four majors. 

Just be mindful that golfers dip in and out of form throughout the season and experience injuries, which can lead to withdrawals. 

Still, you can usually get excellent odds when you back golfers for tournaments later in the season, making it a great golf betting strategy if you think someone is destined to have a great season.

Round totals bets

Totals betting in golf is known as round totals. The sportsbook will set a projected final score for a specific player, and your job is to decide whether they will finish under or over that round total.

For instance, Cameron Smith's first-round total might be set at 69.5. So, if you think he's capable of shooting 69 or better, you would bet the under. If you think he's out of form and is likely to shoot higher than 69, you would bet the over. 

Remember, golf is unique in that a lower score is actually better than a higher score, so a score of 65 is better than 70, for instance. This can be confusing if you haven't watched a great deal of golf, so bear it in mind before making selections on your betting slip.

Prop bets

As is the case with all sports, prop betting is an excellent way to wager on the action that isn't necessarily tied to the final outcome. 

So, in golf, there are so many player and field prop markets, including: 

Abraham Ancer to make the cut? 

How many strokes under/over par will DJ play Amen Corner at the Masters? 

The number of holes-in-one in the entire field? 

The total number of putts for Phil Mickelson in Round 1 (over/under)? 

You can find prop bets for most golf tournaments, but the four majors typically offer the best variety and choice for sports bettors. 

Live bets

Similar to prop bets, live bets keep things interesting as you tune into the golf. The main difference is that you can only place a live bet on a player once they have hit their first tee shot. 

Live betting is also known as in-play betting, and the markets change from hole to hole in golf. For instance, you could bet on a player's score on the upcoming hole or whether they will birdie or even eagle the upcoming par five. 

One of the reasons that live betting is such a good option in golf is that it allows you to respond to the way the field is performing, and you can capitalize on a certain player's excellent form. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there betting on golf?

Yes, you can bet on a huge range of markets in golf, as explained above. The easiest way to get started is to bet on the winner of an upcoming major tournament, but you can also place prop bets, totals bets, and even live bets on most tournaments throughout the year. 

How do golf odds work?

The odds in golf are given as a positive or negative number. In most markets, the odds are positive, which indicates how much you will win if you place a $100 bet. If you see negative odds, the number given shows how much you need to bet in order to win $100.

Can you bet on the PGA Tour?

The PGA Tour is the most prestigious tour in the world of golf, and you can place bets on its weekly tournaments throughout the season. However, you can also place bets on other tours, including the LIV Tour, Champions Tour, and the European Tour.  

Is golf betting legal?

Provided that sports betting is legal in your state (as it is in Ohio), then betting on golf and every other sport is perfectly legal and permitted. 

What are live odds in golf?

Live odds allow you to bet on golf once a player has teed off. You can bet on a whole host of live markets, from whether they will make a birdie or bogey on their next shot to how many shots under par they will score for their round. Live betting is a great way to keep things interesting throughout a golf tournament.