Introduction to Golf Betting

Those of us lucky enough to play golf will understand the wild swings in form our mediocre talent affords us. They’ll agree how humbling the endeavour can be, when one can shoot 40 points [1] one day and yet struggle to make a 3-foot putt the next. It’s a game of ridiculous extremes given how repeatable a golf swing is (or at least should be) and the relative lack of physical pressure one is under when playing.

The same can’t be said of professionals though, right? After all, they are the best 2,000 odd specimens on the planet… Well, I contend that their performances are equally volatile. Sure, they are unlikely to shoot a hundred but 80s are frequent occurrences on tour, and 90s aren’t unheard of. The variance of their 18-hole totals may not be as wide as you and I, but predicting their 72-hole score presents an equally difficult challenge.

So, with that introduction, why even consider betting golf?

Because Golf Betting is Unique

Why is it unique?

A combination of the following factors make the prospect of betting on professional golf unique for punters:

  1. Tour events are very large field competitions (typically 156 runners) where players compete against the course (par) rather than directly against one another[2]
  2. Competitions typically take place over four days with approximately half of the field eliminated after two (known as the cut)[3]
  3. Betting between rounds is not considered ‘in-play’

More Angles to Find and Edge

When comparing this with other sports, golf provides intelligent bettors with some very interesting angles.

Where the racing codes offer vast amounts of high-paced, high-risk product, golf offers opportunities more akin to financial portfolio management. Unlike the head-to-head, low payout markets associated with most sports, golf can offer lottery type odds where even clear favourites often go off at double-digit prices pre-event. Golf offers volatile price swings favoured by traders, yet events are multi-day and slow-paced meaning it’s not purely a race of the fastest fingers.

In short, golf offers the intelligent bettor multiple ways of developing an edge. In the following four articles of this series I hope to help you discover yours.

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