Six Variables To Consider With Your Golf Betting

Whether you’re building a golf model or just looking to manually punt on the golf each week, it pays to know which variables influence results. Plus there’s a lot of micro opportunities within the four days of a tournament.

As a professional golf trader, I love to bet on two-ball matches each round or players to finish in the Top 10/20. I also like to back and lay during an event, using the following variables, as I can find value in the in-play market.

Six variables that influence golf

1. Weather

The weather is almost the most important factor. Not just how it influences the style and scrambling demands, but also the tee times.

For example, past British Opens have shown that weather can impact a players chances to contend a tournament depending on what side of the draw they are on.

2. Current form

A player’s current form carries a lot of weight in golf.

I like current form to be an overall scoring average/position average over a recent period of time. I like the previous four to six events. You should also look for players that are playing with niggling injuries and are clearly out of form as they are often great “lays”.

3. Horses for courses

Players often show a general liking to courses or styles of courses. For example, Henrik Stenson has made a lot of his career prize-money in the Middle East. Phil Mickelson has always loves the west coast Swing on the PGA Tour. Bubba Watson at Riviera, Justin Rose scoring average at the Masters. The list continues.

You can get a significant edge if you know which players do well, at which tracks. Plus, it’s just as hardy if you know which venues they typically struggle at.

4. 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th round scoring averages

Often we see a pattern form with players that indicates if they are a quick beginner, slow beginner, fast finisher or slow finisher. Round by round scoring averages can be downloaded from the PGA Tour website and should be kept in a folder at home. Great for two-ball match betting or placing lay/back bets before and during an event.

5. On course vs in the clubhouse

Often we see that players on the course have a huge advantage over those in the clubhouse.

You’ll notice this topic in as there are good trading opportunities with players that are still on the course.

Here is an insight with two examples – In the 2017 Career Builders Harold Varner (-7 under first round morning), $15 to lay. Varner was a great lay because his score didn’t carry a lot of weight on a compressed leaderboard that is conducive to low scoring. The afternoon players in round 1 have the chance to play two rounds before Harold goes out on the course for his afternoon 2nd round. During the afternoon play Day 1 Harold was already out to $25 sitting in the clubhouse. He drifetd even further before teeing off in round two.

Another more recent example was Justin Thomas at the 2018 Mexico Championship. Thomas holed his second shot on the last hole and sat in the clubhouse on $1.12 with two players that could have still challenged him on the course. Both players were playing a very birdie-able par five. Phil Mickelson won that event!

6. The course (and how it plays)

A golf course is made up of 18 holes. Usually there are easier sections and more difficult sections. Sections of a golf course provide great trading opportunities.

At the 2016 Masters, Jordan Spieth came to the 12th at Augusta trading at approx $1.60 to win the tournament. He hit his ball into the water twice and cost himself the tournament. If Jordan had of hit the green in regulation on his first shot, would his odds have changed a lot? Chances are not, because 99% of leaders on that hole are trying to hit over the bunker. The upside for a poor tee and then to re-back was huge and created a large “green book” for trading. Jordan later admitted in an interview he should have stuck to his game plan and played over the bunker, he lead was minimising and he wasn’t thinking clearly. Amen corner!

Also, some online bookmakers are very slow in updating their markets in-play. There is often an opportunity to ring a corporate bookmaker and place a back bet and then place a lay bet with Betfair and easily pinch more than 10%.

2016 Richard Bland in Switzerland is still one of my best Arb’s. $12 with Sportsbet after holing his second shot on a par four, yet $4 to lay on Betfair. For arbing, you should always have a corporate bookmakers market showing on a seperate iPad or other device to that of the Betfair market.


Even though only one player wins a golf tournament, there are plenty of great betting opportunities over four rounds of a golf tournament. They might be influenced by tee times, weather,preferred courses, injuries, fast starters vs slow starters in two balls, and many more. Use the six variables discussed above to find strategies that work for you.

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