Golf is known for its unwritten rules, technical ability and stunning strikes. There’s nothing quite like it in it’s a weird and wonderful way. When was the last time you ate a snack while playing a sport, or smashed a ball 240 yards to land on the green the first hit and felt like a God? The unique sport has been around since the 15th century, where it first originated in Scotland and now has grown to become a global sport. Golf has not just become a professional sport but has been integrated into our social and business lives.
Golf is an individual sport played by hitting a ball with a club, starting from a tee and ending up in the hole at the other end on the course. The object is to get the ball into the hole with the least number of swings or strokes of the club. A golf course will have a number of strikes or Pars for the player is intended to make on that hole.
Golfers will use different types of clubs depending on where they are on the course, a total number of 14 clubs are allowed to be carried. In professional golf, a caddie will assist the golfer in carrying the clubs and suggesting which one to use.
One of the exciting aspects of the sport is the variety of terrain and the obstacles on the course. Each golf course is designed different, every hole will vary in length and terrain. Which makes the sport so challenging. Since the golfer has to finish the course with the ball they started with, if the ball goes off the fairway and into the rough or pond the golfer has to continue. There are many famous stories of Golfers breaking their clubs by trees as they go to strike the ball. All in the name of getting the shot.
Golf in the USA
Golf in the United States is played by about 25 million people, which is around 8% of the population. However, a recent study found that more than one-third (36%) of the U.S. population around 107 million people in total – played, watched or read about golf last year. It’s no surprise when America hosts 45% of the worlds golf courses, with 15,000 courses spread across the states. That’s a lot to choose from!
With an $84 billion golf industry, there are many pro’s who want to emulate the greats from America such as Jack Nicklaus – 18 major championship wins and Tiger Woods who’s currently on 15 major championships.
PGA Tour & Championships
The Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) Tour is the professional golf organizer in the United States and North America.
Established by the PGA of America in 1929, it has become the body for professional and club players for the annual flagship series.
The PGA Tour starts around mid-September and ends in late August announcing the tour championship. The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings become eligible to play in the Cup Playoffs, which is a series of three events over August. The FedEx Cup Playoffs determine the year’s PGA overall champion. With the most recent champion in 2019 being Rory McIlroy.
Some of the biggest competitions and tours are spread across the calendar month with it attracting world-class golfers from around the world to compete. The major tours are listed below:
- The US Masters
- US Open
- The Open Championship (British Open)
- US PGA Championship
- European Tour
- The Majors
- Ryder Cup
If you’re new to the sport, the golfing world can seem too technical or confusing. Having an understanding with some of the terms commentators may use on TV or radio will help you keep track how a player is performing and what’s happening in the game. We’ve listed some of the key phrases here:
- Approach Shot – golf shot that is made from a distance towards the green.
- Birdie – score on a golf hole that is one less than Par
- Bogey – score on a golf hole that is one more than Par.
- Eagle – score on a golf hole that is two less than Par.
- Fairway – This is the grass area of a golf hole between the Tee and the Green. Compared to the rough it tends to be mowed and makes it easier for the golfer to hit.
- Green – This is where the golf hole is, the grass is cut very short and has a smooth surface. Once the golf ball lands on the Green, players will putt the ball to the hole.
- Handicap – A handicap is a number or rating of a golfer’s ability, having a handicap advantage allows players of different skill levels to compete in the competition.
- Par – This is the score that’s intended for the golfer to strike the ball into the hole. Holes typically have a Par score of 3, 4, or 5. Par for golf courses varies amongst locations.
- Slice – This type of golf shot is when a golf ball curves dramatically in flight from left to right, typically considered as a miss-hit.
- Tee – The tee is where the first shot is taken and also the start of the golf hole. Players will use a peg within the confinements of the tee box to hit the ball, this is the only place where the player can line up the ball and hit from a peg.
Type of Bets
Tournament Winner – Betting on the tournament line is simply choosing on who will win the golf tournament. The unique aspect of Golf is that you will be choosing from hundreds of Golfers in the tournament, making it extremely difficult to predict the winner. But rewards on odds on picking the winner is high so if correct, expect a big payout.
Matchup Winner – Matchup bets are similar to group bets in other sports, you are placing a bet on who will win. For example, if the Moneyline has Tiger Woods at +170 and Rory Mcilroy at -140, Mcilroy is the favoured player and you would need to bet $140 to win $100. On the other hand, if you place $100 on Tiger Woods and he pulls off a win, you would win $170.
Round Leaders – With many competitions having different rounds in the competition, you can simply bet on the leader at the end of a round. For example, you can bet on Webb Simpson to win round one of the Masters. If he holds the lead by the end of day or round, you’ve won your bet. Odds for other rounds will often be released after the day of play is over, before moving on in the competition.
Golfer Nationality – Since this isn’t a team sports and more of an Individual sport, Golfer nationality is the closest to a cluster of a team bet. A nationality bet is a bet that a player from a specific country or region will win on top.
For example, you could bet on Cameron Smith being the top Australian player in the US Open. If he beats all other Australian players in the competition, you would win the bet. Depending on how many players from the region or country are in the competition, it could end up as a two-person wager or having more than 30 players in the mix.
Parlays – These are multiple outcomes being correct to win the bet.
A parlay bet requires all outcomes to be selected correctly, whether that’s on matchups or competition winners. Parlays are typically more risker than outright wagers but do offer better rewards if outcomes are all correct.
Futures – Futures bets are wagers made in advance on possible outcomes in the season. You can bet on who will win the US Open or whether the US team will win the Ryder Cup. You can place a futures bet on it! Futures are offered well in advance of any event with odds being adjusted as the time comes closer.
Prop Bets – Known as additional bets, Prop bets are related to specific outcomes in a tournament and not linked to the overall result. These can be based on tournament props or player props. Will Justin Thomas have the best score in round 1 of the US Open? Or a hole-in-one being recorded in the game. Prop bets are typically available for just about anything related in the game and are considered as a fun way to engage with the sport.
Live/In-Game Betting – This gives you the ability to bet on a tournament as it is happening. Odds will change throughout the day as the competition progresses. If you notice a golfer playing well by the 3rd or 4th hole, it could be a good bet to win a further round or outright winner.