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Free Golf Bets and Golf Betting Tips
Football may be known as the beautiful game, but there is certainly an argument that golf is equally deserving of that title. From the beauty of a perfectly honed swing, to the serenity of a ball in flight and the simply stunning golfing locations around the world, we can think of few better ways to spend a Sunday evening than by watching the final round of the week’s big golf tournament.
Running virtually all year round, with the break between seasons being just about non-existent these days, golf fans are certainly well catered for when it comes to regular exciting action. As appealing as it is a spectator sport – particularly in the larger tournaments where vast sums of money and a place in the history books are often on the line – golf, as with most other sports, is that bit more exciting if you have a betting interest on the action. Here we take a look at the sport in general and the betting opportunities it presents.
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The World Of Golf Betting
As mentioned, golf is virtually a year-round game these days, with a number of tours taking place around the World. The Challenger Tour and Nationwide Tour are geared more towards the younger up and coming players, with the Ladies PGA and the Australasian Tour being just two other examples. All can be bet on, but by far the two biggest tours – when it comes to both quality of player and betting interest – are the PGA Tour, which is predominantly based in the USA; and the European Tour. Both tours have tournaments running on an almost weekly basis, providing plenty for the prospective golf punter to sink their teeth into.
As with other sports – such as tennis for example – there may be many tournaments in golf, but not all tournaments are created equally. Whilst the sums on offer on the major tours are now so vast there really isn’t any such thing as a small tournament, there are nevertheless four events in the calendar which stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Known collectively as “the majors”, it is success in these flagship events which is the ultimate metric by which a players career is judged. They all make for a thrilling spectacle, and all are hugely popular betting heats. Let’s take a closer look at the four most sought after prizes in the game, including a few pointers for zeroing in on the most likely contenders for victory.
The first major in the calendar, The Masters, takes place each year in April. It is unique amongst the four majors in that it is played at the same venue every year, namely Augusta National Park. When you have a setting as beautiful and steeped in history as this venue in Georgia, why move the tournament anywhere else?
Due to this location factor, this is often the most popular of the majors from a betting perspective. If ever the phrase, “horses for courses” could be applied to golf, then it is surely here. Players to have performed well at Augusta National in the past should be your first port of call when seeking the winner of the current years event. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should rule out the newcomers though, particularly if they are long off the tee and accurate around the greens. Those two attributes, allayed to a hot putter are the most important prerequisites for success in the years opening major.
Taking place in June each year, with the final round scheduled to take place on Fathers Day, the U.S. Open has no fixed home but instead rotates around famous traditional courses such as Bethpage State Park, Pebble Beach and Southern Hills. With this being one of the championship level events of the year though, you can be sure that whichever course is in use will be set up in such away as to maximise the difficulty level, be that through pin placement, narrowing of the fairways or otherwise.
The game seems to be evolving towards the really big hitters overall, but that is not necessarily the case in the U.S. Open. Here accurate rather than powerful hitting, and solid play from tee to green is the order of the day.
The Open Championship
July’s Open Championship is unique amongst The Majors in that it is the only event not to be played in the United States. The type of course also provides something of a different challenge, with all ten of the venues regularly used to host the open being “links” courses. In golfing parlance, a links course is defined as being close to the sea and open to the elements. You won’t see any wind-blocking trees on a links course.
The weather can play a significant role in any golf tournament, but particularly so at The Open. As such, a quick comparison between tee-off times and the weather forecast may pay dividends in identifying players who will avoid the more treacherous conditions. It goes without saying that previous strong form in links events counts as a significant plus.
Currently staged in August – but due to move to May in 2019 – the PGA Championship is another to move around various locations in the United States. There is certainly more variety to the types of course used though when compared with the more traditional venues of the U.S. Open. Not that these historic venues don’t feature on the PGA Championship roster, but so too do the likes of Whistling Straits, which in some ways bears more resemblance to a European links course.
With less tricky play required than in the other majors, the courses are often set up to facilitate low scoring. As such it can take a lot for the outsiders to make up the ground on the higher class players towards the head of the betting markets. If there is one Major in which to stick to the more obvious contenders, it is this one.
The Ryder Cup
This guide wouldn’t be complete without a mention of one of the most famous team sporting events in the world. Taking place every two years, The Ryder Cup sees a team of the top talent from the USA take on the best of the European performers. Individual glory is, for once, secondary here, with the sides doing battle for points in a bid to lift the famous trophy.
When it comes to betting on this event, options range from a simple wager on which team will emerge victorious, to which player will secure the most points for their team.
Having taken a look at the highlights of the golf season, lets now investigate the various ways we can invest our cash on one of the world’s most popular sports.
Types Of Golf Bet
This is a simple as it sounds. Namely a bet on a player to win a specific tournament. The fields in golf tend to be vast, with 100+ runners being the rule rather than the exception. One benefit of such a large field though, is that the odds on offer are correspondingly great. Pick the winner of a golf tournament and you will more than likely be handsomely rewarded. It certainly isn’t unusual for even the favourite in a golf tournament to start at double figure odds.
As with many other sports though, there is also the safer option of an each-way outright bet. An each-way bet is in effect two bets. One bet on the player to win the tournament, and another bet on the same player to finish “placed”. The win part of an each-way bet will pay out at the full odds listed, with the placed element paying out at a specified fraction of those odds, usually a quarter or a fifth. Let’s take a look at a £10 each way bet at 16/1, paying a quarter odds for a place, as an example.
The win part of this bet will pay 16 x £10 =£160 plus your £10 stake for a total of £170.
The place part pays 4 x £10 = £40 plus your £10 stake for a total of £50.
Should the golfer win the tournament, you will obviously receive both the win and place parts of the bet for a handsome return of £220.
Should your selection place, you will receive only the £50, which nevertheless represents a solid return on your investment.
“Placed” in golf generally refers to a top five finish, keep an eye out for bookmakers special offers though, as many firms pay out on the first six – and sometimes first seven or eight.
In the early stages of a tournament – usually the first two rounds – golfers often take to the course in groups of three players. Bookmakers will create a market on who will fair the best over the 18 holes the three players play together. (Groups are changed at the end of each day).
With only three runners, the odds available for three-ball bets are significantly shorter than the outright winner market, but it is that bit easier to pick a winner. Due to this factor many punters prefer this type of bet, and it is always possible to attempt to boost returns by placing three-ball accumulators.
Another benefit of three-ball bets is that, as the three golfers will be playing at the same time, variations in conditions throughout the day, wind, rain etc, are unlikely to have a bearing on the outcome of your bet.
After the first two rounds have been completed and the cut has been made – in golf tournaments, the field is trimmed by removing the lowest ranked players after the first two rounds, this is known as the cut – players will tend to go out in groups of two for the final two rounds. A match bet is simply a bet on which player in a two-some will shoot the lowest score over the 18 holes which they play together.
Other betting options are often available, with markets such as “Top U.S. Player”, “Top European Player”, “Top British Player” etc regularly on offer. Other common markets are those for a “top ten” or “top five” finish. Ideal for those looking for a less risky option than backing a player for the outright win.
That’s a little look at the types of bet on offer, but what exactly should we be looking for when making our selections?
Golf Betting Strategies/Important factors
As alluded to in our betting pointers for the majors, previous good form at a particular course can be well worth a second look. All of the players on the major tours will have their strengths and weaknesses; strengths and weaknesses which are likely to leave them well suited to certain courses, and likely to struggle on others. Take a look into the results from previous years to help narrow down your shortlist.
Look Into The Statistics
From a look into the characteristics required for success at a particular course, you may decide that the number one pre-requisite is driving accuracy or distance from the tee for example. But how do you go about finding the players who best match the criteria you are looking for? Thankfully when it comes to golf we are well served in this department, with both www.pgatour.com and www.europeantour.com providing a plethora of statistics on each and every player, from driving to putting and everything in between.
Value In Youth?
Golfers tend to have just about the longest careers of any sportsman, their strengths and weaknesses therefore soon become well known, making it that bit easier for the odds-compilers to price them up. One possible angle to obtain a good value bet is to keep an eye on the young players coming through the ranks. A youngster boasting solid stats will often be available at a much bigger price than the more familiar names ahead of him in the market. But in some cases, todays youngster with solid stats is tomorrows star name.
Trends and Patterns
Look for patterns in a golfer’s performance. Do they do better at a certain time of year? Does their performance improve when playing closer to home? Do they solely perform well in the most prestigious events, and seem to lack motivation in the others? The list of possible trends is almost endless, but golfers are human beings after all and will often have their own individual tendencies which it may prove profitable to latch onto.
Free Golf Bets
What are Free Golf Bets?
Whether you are new to golf betting and looking to dip your toe into these exciting waters, or a more experienced punter simply seeking that bit of extra value; one thing never to be passed up is a free bet. Thankfully due to the competition amongst bookmakers online, you are never too far away from a free bet if you shop around.
The most common form of free bet is the new customer offer, which the vast majority of online companies provide as a thank you to signing up for their site. These free bets may take the form of a matched deposit, e.g. deposit £10, receive a £10 free bonus; a matched free bet, e.g. place a £10 bet and receive a £10 free bet in your account to use as you choose, or sometimes there are no stipulations attached. This latter type are generally awarded as a reward for loyalty to a particular site.
How Do Free Golf Bets Work?
A free bet works in almost exactly the same way as a standard bet, with one exception; the total returns from a free bet will not include the stake – which is fair enough really as the stake was after all free anyway. Let’s look at a comparison between a standard win bet at 5/1 and a free bet at 5/1 to illustrate the difference.
Placing £20 of your own money on a 5/1 winner would return £100 in profit (5 x £20) plus your £20 stake money, for a total of £120.
Placing a £20 free bet on a 5/1 winner would result in the same £100 profit, but this time no stake would be returned.
The profit for the bets is therefore identical, but the free bet does of course have the benefit of not having to risk any of your own cash.
You can pick up free golf bets with deposit from any good bookie. William Hill Golf, for example, runs a bet £10, get £30 promotion, subject to the usual terms and conditions. Not a bad start, especially if you’re betting ahead of one of the majors or just getting started betting on golf.
Using Your Free Bet on Golf
When we receive a free bet, our immediate thought is how to use it to generate an attractive return. This is where betting on golf holds the advantage over a bet on a football match for example. With only three possible outcomes, the odds generally available for a football match, will be invariably shorter than the often attractive odds available for a golf tournament.
We would far rather place a £20 free bet on a golfer at 16/1 than a football team at say, 6/4.
The only other thing to note with free bets is that there may be certain turnover requirements before you are able to withdraw any profit made from the bet, so be sure to check the terms and conditions.