It doesn’t matter what the sport in question is, the basic principles of betting success apply – an intimate knowledge, extensive research and a dollop of luck, in equal measure, are what is required.
Golf is an intriguing sport to wager on because when you understand the unique conditions that govern each tournament, you will have a significantly greater chance of being profitable in the long run. And don’t forget, there are huge odds winners every year on the PGA Tour – Adam Long was priced at 500/1 when he won the Desert Classic in 2019!
Think of it as (cliché alert) making a cake – you need all of the ingredients in the recipe to come together in the right quantities. If they don’t, you won’t have a cake befitting your afternoon cup of tea.
So, build your own simple model by applying these basic principles:
Location, Location, Location
When you are betting on golf with Betfair, as an example, there are odds on many competitions, so knowledge is important. Take the PGA Tour; it will be of huge benefit if you wager on players that have thrived in that part of the world before.
While the PGA Tour does travel to locations outside of the United States occasionally, the bulk of the Tour is player in the U.S. However, there are notable disparities in golf played in California to that of Florida, while Texan golf is different in nature to that played in New York, and so on.
One of the main reasons for that is the type of grass used on the surfaces of the greens and rough (more on that shortly), but other factors include the strength of the wind, the humidity in the air and the moisture in the ground – as well as, naturally, comforts like feeling at home.
Phil Mickelson, for example, is one of the most decorated pros in PGA Tour history, and yet the bulk of his wins have come on the West Coast. Tiger Woods, on the other hand, has won 12 major titles on U.S. soil but only two of them have come at a venue west of Oklahoma.
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
For newcomers to golf betting, this is one of the most curious aspects of shortlisting potential tournament winners.
There are different strains of grass that are typically native to different parts of America, and these have a huge bearing on how a golf course plays. The three main types of grass are Bermuda, Bentgrass and Poa Annua, and each has their own unique characteristics as to how a golf ball will run across them, how they react to hot weather and so on.
Often, you find Bentgrass and Poa Annua to the west and Bermuda in the south and east, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule with some PGA Tour host courses using Bermuda in the west and so on.
It’s really interesting to build a spreadsheet (don’t worry, there are kind people doing this on the internet already) that shows which players perform better on the various surfaces – former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson is an outstanding Bermuda player but struggles more on Bentgrass and Poa Annua… there are many other examples out there.
The Distance Game
With the advances in golf club design and engineering, players are simply hitting the ball farther today than they ever have done before.
And yet, most golf courses used on the PGA Tour were built prior to the 1990s, and while some have been lengthened and toughened over the years to combat longer driving distances not all have the real estate to be able to do that.
While the longer hitters are often less accurate, sometimes it is still an advantage to be 100 yards from the pin and hitting out of the rough as it is to be 150 yards from home in the fairway. Understanding these unique mechanics is crucial in your golf betting.
Putting for Dough
Sometimes, when you are shortlisting potential bets for golf tournaments you may have five or six names to try and whittle down.
In this case, it is always recommended that you use putting-based statistics as a sort of tie-breaker – Strokes Gained: Putting being a useful starting point.
There are countless examples of tremendous ball-strikers whose game falters on the greens. Hideki Matsuyama, as one, is a perfect case in point – a six-time PGA Tour winner, the Japanese ace has a lack of confidence in his putting stroke and, at the time of writing, hasn’t won since 2017.
Ball striking for show, putting for dough is an often-uttered idiom, and that certainly holds true more often than not. So, if you want to become a master of golf betting, remember that putting – along with the other variables on the list – is crucial.