The best golf betting sites for 2021


When it comes to golf betting, you need one of the best sportsbooks around to get value. The top betting sites with great golf odds are listed right here for your reference.

You can learn all about the main events in this sport, and also have the basics covered and most popular types of golf betting explained to you. There is even some advice and handy golf betting tips for you to consider before placing your wagers.

The best online golf betting sites

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Golf’s main events

As with any sport, golf has its biggest, most prestigious competitions which have plenty of history behind them. These are called the majors. There are also professional golf tours in both the USA and Europe with regular tournaments taking place throughout the year. Here’s a little more detail on the main events:


US Masters

The Masters

Inaugurated in 1934, The Masters or US Masters is the first of four majors in golf in the calendar year. Held at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia every April, it has some famous traditions. From 1949 onwards, the winner of The Masters has received a green jacket to wear. This must be returned to Augusta’s clubhouse the year after victory so it can be displayed in the cloakroom of champions.

Legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus holds the record for most Masters wins with six successes, ahead of Tiger Woods on five. Any multiple winners wear the same green jacket, unless it needs refitting. The Masters odds and betting are competitive each year with the players contesting four rounds at Augusta – a course which includes the famous Amen Corner. After that, the golfer with the lowest score is declared the winner.

The Open

The Open

The Open Championship, also called The Open or British Open, is the last of the four golf majors played annually. Organized by The Royal & Ancient since 1860, a different coastal links course in the UK hosts the tournament every year. There have been 14 different venues used for The Open in its history, mainly in England and Scotland but also Northern Ireland. This tournament is held in July. Harry Vardon, a golfer who played around the turn of the 20th century, holds the record for most Open Championship wins with six.

US Open

US Open

The US Open is the third of the golf majors played every year and held in June. Unlike The Masters, it doesn’t have a fixed venue, with 52 different courses in the USA hosting the tournament to date. Inaugurated in 1895, the US Open has been played in 19 American states at least once so far. Four golfers jointly hold the record for most wins at this tournament, with Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus each successful on four different occasions.

PGA Championship

PGA Championship

Also called the US PGA Championship, this is now the second of the four majors in golf, held in May. It used to take place in August, but changed to its current place in the calendar in 2019. Like the US Open, the PGA Championship has a different host venue each year. Since it was first held in 1916, 75 different golf courses around America have staged the tournament, these being split across 26 US states. Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen share the record for most PGA Championship wins with five apiece.

PGA Tour

PGA Tour

The PGA Tour organizes professional golf tournaments in the USA and North America. Formed in 1929, it now operates six different tours for players. These include international development tours in Canada, China and Latin America. There is also the PGA Tour Champions circuit for golfers aged 50 and above. The Tour currently runs from September of one year to the following August, and includes 50 official events that have PGA Tour status. Tiger Woods is the most successful golfer in PGA Tour history, topping the prize money list 10 times.

European Tour

European Tour

Officially the PGA European Tour, this organizes the three pro golf tours in Europe. These are the European Tour itself, the European Senior Tour for players aged 50 and over, and the Challenge Tour. Inaugurated in 1972, the main tour is now also known as the ‘Race to Dubai’, as that is where it culminates each year. There are currently 40 events with European Tour status and the season runs from January to November. British golfers Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood sit atop the standings for career winnings.

Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup

Most golf events are about individual performance, but the Ryder Cup is a team game which takes place every two years. Originally established as an Anglo-American golf tournament in 1927, it expanded in 1979 to include a European team against the USA. Hosting duties for the Ryder Cup alternate between either side of the Atlantic for each edition. Non-playing captains select teams of 12 top golfers to compete at the tournament.

Whereas the majors and PGA/European Tours are based on stroke play, the Ryder Cup is about match play. Points are awarded based on the outcome of four fourball matches, four foursome matches, and then 12 singles matches on the final day. Any match that ends in a tie sees points shared between the players. This unique format creates extra excitement. The Ryder Cup has ended in a tie just twice in its history - in 1969 and 1989.

Golf betting markets

There are many different markets and types of golf betting odds available. It’s useful to know what these are and how they work before placing any wagers. Here are 10 of the most common golf betting markets explained:


Outright winner

Which golf player will win the tournament overall? You can place each-way bets in this market that cover both the outright win and a certain number of places. More on that below.

Top golf bet types


  • Outright winner

    Betting on the player that will win a golf tournament overall. They must finish first in the standings.

  • Each-way

    Backing a golfer to win or finish within a certain number of places in the tournament. This is two bets in one.

  • Top X finish

    Betting that a golfer will finish in the top five, 10 or 20 depending on the number of places specified.

  • To make the cut

    Backing a player to record a low enough score to reach the next round of a golf tournament.

  • Leader after round

    Betting on a golfer to be top of the leaderboard at the end of the current round of play.

Golf betting tips & advice

Now that you’ve had the different types of golf betting explained to you, it’s time for some helpful hints. Advice is not prescriptive. Everyone is looking for a golf betting system that works, and these tips should help steer you in the right direction:


Oppose favourites

Think of a golf tournament like a horse race, only bigger. The size of the field of competing players is huge at first. There can be over 100 golfers starting out in the first round of majors. With that sheer volume of entries and potential for unknown quantities among them, ask yourself if the favourite is value relative to the amount of opposition? The answer is probably not.

Just like in other sports, the market leaders do from time to time oblige and win golf tournaments. Favourites are worth taking on based on the competition alone. This can create betting opportunities in the versus-the-field market, even if the odds are shorter. The goal is putting on a winning wager, after all.

Golf Ball

Use each-way and place markets

With a sport as competitive as this, one of the top golf betting tips is to make the markets work for you. Placing an each-way bet, as you will see below, helps mitigate the potential for loss. Top five, 10 and 20 finish markets are the same. Again, the odds may not be as large as the outright winner betting on a tournament, but you are more likely to have a golfer placed than win.

Markets must work for you. Value is a relative concept, but needs balancing against a good probability or percentage chance of the bet winning. You can turn a profit betting on golf without finding the winner in the Masters or another major, especially if you back the second-place player for a top-five finish or each-way.

Golf swing

Supplement pre-tournament wagers with in-play betting

When you bet before the first tee off, the regular fixed price golf odds are only a reflection of current form and past performances coming into a tournament. Player fortunes can change a lot on the fairway and from one hole to the next. If you have done any betting before the event begins, then it makes sense to react accordingly to what you see during the competition.

In-play betting has taken off in a big way in general, with live golf betting odds no exception. There may be opportunities with these fluid markets to either cover your pre-tournament wagers, or add to them. You can often make more of an informed decision when betting on golf during the action, than when gambling beforehand. That makes sense strategy-wise. Any golf betting system you adopt needs to be flexible, and in-play markets are a useful tool.

Position Golf Ball

Golf betting strategy

Here are the keys to a successful golf betting strategy:


  • Always bet with your head, not your heart
  • Be prepared to do research if you want to find winners
  • Search for value bets – remember, golf is a competitive sport
  • Take a flexible approach and bet in-play
  • Think beyond the favourites
  • Consider shorter price wagers covering more places
  • Only ever place each-way bets in outright markets
  • Be open-minded and try a new golf betting system

What is each-way betting in golf?

Each-way betting in reference to golf odds crops up a lot. For newbies, it is worth explaining what this is and how it works. An each-way bet in golf is a wager where you bet on both the outright win outcome and the player finishing placed highly in the final standings. This is two bets in one, so your unit stake doubles.

A $5 each-way bet on Dustin Johnson for the US Open, for example, sees you gamble $10 in total. Different golf betting sites offer different place terms. Five is the minimum standard, but some may give more. The greater the number of places covered by an each-way bet, the more chance you have of the wager making profit. Even just the place part can be an overall win.

Free golf bets


  • Welcome bonuses

    The free bets promotion you receive when joining a sportsbook. These bet-and-get sign-up offers should typically be available to use on golf.

  • Money back offers

    Also called cashback bonuses, golf betting sites may run these promotions. If your bet loses and meets certain conditions, then your stake is returned as a free bet.

  • Enhanced odds

    Sometimes known as price boosts, these deals offer extra value on certain betting outcomes. Relating to golf odds, the favourite for a tournament may be offered at a bigger price.

  • Loyalty bonuses

    Awarded to regular bettors who place wagers every week, these are also referred to as ‘free bet clubs’. Your golf bets may qualify you for this, depending on the sportsbook.

Golf side bets & gambling games

Golf betting doesn’t need to be confined to professional players. You yourself can put your money where your mouth is when having a round with your friends or even a complete stranger at the local club! A number of side bets and gambling games have developed around the game of golf over the years. Here are five of the most popular and how they work:


  • Nassau

    A Nassau is actually three separate bets in one. You wager on the front nine, the back nine, and the full round of 18 holes. Any system of scoring in golf will work with a Nassau, but match play is the traditional method instead of stroke play. Each hole is worth a point. Golfers, either in an individual match or as teams, contest every hole and apply their handicaps as usual.

    The size of the wager in a Nassau can change based on pressing. If a player or team is two holes ahead in either nine-hole half of the game, then they may up the ante by starting a new bet on the remaining holes in that part of the round. This makes golf matches more exciting, as the ninth and 18th holes can become double or nothing in wagering terms.

  • Wolf

    The wolf is for the fourball format of golf and helps build a player’s confidence when put under pressure. Four players take it in turns to be wolf, with who goes first determined by flipping a tee. There is a set order of play with the wolf teeing off last. Once everyone has taken their first shot, the wolf decides whether to partner up with another player or go it alone on that hole. If they choose the latter, then they are said to be the lone wolf.

    The advantage of playing alone is, if the wolf wins the hole, they pick up four points. Winning with a partner means you only receive two. If the wolf and partner lose a hole, the other players get three points apiece. A lone wolf losing the hole sees the three players all pick up one point.

  • Skins

    With skins, an old American slang term for a dollar, everyone playing contributes the same amount before teeing off. You agree prior to play if the scoring is net (with handicap subtracted) or gross (the actual number of strokes played) and have someone to keep tabs on the scores. To make things more exciting, holes can be worth more money as the game progresses. These are then compared at the end of the round and determine the payout. The winner is the player with the lowest score, but a tie means the prize money is shared out equally.

    It follows that the more people playing a round of skins, then the less likely any individual is to win a hole outright. You can play the game such that the value of a tied hole rolls on to the next. Prizes for birdies and holes-in-one can be factored into the round too.

  • Vegas

    Two teams of two golfers - a foursome - can play Vegas. This has a unique scoring system where a pair have their number of shots combined, rather than added, together based on their individual performances at a hole. If two players both complete a hole in five and played 10 shots in total, their score is 55. If the opposition shoots a six and a four, then their score is 64 for that hole.

    The pay-out per point is determined before the round starts. Vegas is clearly a riskier side bet to make on golf, particularly as your partner’s performance isn’t factored in cumulatively. If a hole goes really badly, and you end up in double figures for strokes, then the normal score placements get reversed.

  • Quota

    A quota system sees each player subtract their handicap from 36. That becomes the points quota they have to make during a round. The golfer with the most points above their quota wins the pot of money wagered by the players. In the event that nobody finishes with a score that is above their quota, then a play-off hole or carrying everything over to another round can act as a tie-breaker.

    This is one of the simpler golf side bets and gambling games you can play out there with a partner. A quota system gives you an incentive to try and better your current handicap, but the idea of playing golf is that you improve in time with practice.

How golf works


In golf, the objective is to hit the ball into the holes on the course in as few shots, or strokes, as possible. You have access to a variety of golf clubs, collectively called a set, in order to do this. There are hazards, including sandy bunkers and water features, on your way round the course that you must avoid. The player with the lowest score wins. You can play golf against one or more opponents or with partners in teams.

There are broadly two different scoring systems for the sport, match play and stroke play. Match play awards points based on each individual hole, of which there are 18 in a round. Stroke play, meanwhile, aggregates the number of shots you play in a round. A par score is set for each hole, while players have their own handicap based on the average number of strokes needed to complete a round and be over par. The table below contains 25 key golf terms and their meanings:

Albatross
A score of three under par for a hole
Approach
The shot played by a golfer on the fairway to the green
Birdie
A score of one under par for a hole
Bogey
A score of one over par for a hole
Bunker
A concave shaped hazard containing sand on the course
Double Bogey
A score of two over par for a hole
Driver
The golf club with the longest shaft and largest head
Eagle
A score of two under par for a hole
Fairway
The strip of maintained grass which runs between the tee box and green
Fore
The warning shouted when a golf ball is heading towards someone
Green
A smooth but grassy area at the end of the fairway where the hole is
Handicap
The system to determine the average strokes above par for a round of golf
Hazard
A trap for the golf ball designed to make it difficult to reach a hole on the course
Hole-in-one
When a golfer hits the ball into the hole in one shot
Iron
The most common type of golf club. Most sets contain 7-11 irons
Links
A golf course located near the coast and typically among sand dunes
Out of bounds
Any area marked by a white line that, if a golf ball crosses, is ruled to be out of play. A penalty stroke is applied
Par
The number of expected strokes needed to complete a hole
Putt
A stroke made from the green to the hole with the putter
Putter
A golf club with minimal loft for use on the green
Round
A full game where 18 holes are played
Rough
The taller grass bordering the fairway on either side
Stroke
Every time the ball is struck, also known as a shot
Tee
A small concave peg that is placed in the ground and supports a golf ball before the first shot at a hole is played
Wedge
A golf club with a low, angular face designed to loft the ball

FAQs


Can you bet on golf?

Yes, you can bet on golf in all sorts of ways. The most common is to bet on the outright winner of a tournament, but there are also many other markets available through sportsbooks.

How do golf bets work?

Golf bets work in much the same way as any other sports wagers. You locate the market that you want to place a bet on through your sportsbook of choice, then find the selection. Add this to your betslip by clicking the odds. Once you have entered your desired stake and placed the bet, the wager will pay out to your account in the event that your golf bet wins.

How do golf matchup bets work?

Matchup or head-to-head bets in golf are based on two players against one another, either playing a round or a complete tournament. In either case, the player with the lowest score is the winner of a matchup.

How do you read golf odds?

Golf odds work like any other sports betting prices. Depending on the format, fractional odds show you what you could win (the first number) from the stake placed (the second number). Remember, you also have your stake to add on top of a price in fractions. With decimal odds, the number is multiplied by your stake to work out the total return on a bet.

How to play golf?

Visit your local golf course and practice your swing at the driving range. You’ll need a set of clubs to play. Now find a partner to play a round with. This can either be a friend or a complete stranger. Decide whether to use match play or stroke play as a scoring system. With match play scoring, the player with the most points from a round wins. Using stroke play, it’s the golfer with the lowest score who wins.

What does it mean to bet the field in golf?

Betting on the field in a golf tournament means you back every player but the favourite on.

How do you bet on golf matchups?

Join a sportsbook or betting site and log in to your account. Make sure you have funds deposited. Now find the golf tournament you want to bet on. Select the matchup or head-to-head you want to bet on. Click this to add it to your betslip. Finally, enter your stake and place the wager.

How many holes in a golf tournament?

It’s usually 72 holes in total. The same 18 holes are played four times, although the field is usually cut after two rounds (36 holes). However, there may have to be additional holes played in the event of a tie when a play-off is needed.

How long are golf players allowed per shot?

A maximum of 40 seconds is allowed for golf players to take each shot. Failure to make a stroke within this time leads to penalties.

How many holes are there in a golf course?

There are 18 holes in total on a regulation golf course. That is also the number played in a full round.

What is the maximum weight of a golf ball?

A ball must not weigh more than 1.62 ounces, according to the rules of golf. That’s 45.93 grams in metric measurements. While we’re on the subject of golf balls, the minimum diameter is 1.68 inches or 42.67 millimetres.

What is the golf game called wolf?

The game of wolf is a foursome format with each player taking it in turns to play the role of wolf at each hole. After everyone has taken their tee shot, with wolf going last, that player must then decide whether to pair up with a partnership or play on alone. A lone wolf can pick up four points if winning a hole, while a partnered wolf gets two for success. Losing lone wolves see a point apiece awarded to the three other players. If the wolf loses while paired up on a hole, then the opposition players get three points each.

What is the quota golf betting system?

The quota golf betting system sees you subtract your handicap from 36. This gives you a points total that you must finish above from a round of golf. The player who picks up the most points above their quota wins the game and any money wagered on it.

What does win place mean in golf?

Win place golf betting is another name for putting an each-way bet on. Here, you back a player to both win and finish highly-placed in a tournament. The number of places that a bookmaker will pay out is determined at the time that the wager is struck. Dead-heat rules may apply if there are two or more players tied on the same score. You gamble double your unit stake, with half of the total money wagered on the win part of the bet and the other half on the place.

What is a six-shooter golf bet?

The six-shooter is an exotic golf bet involving six players grouped together and a named golfer to win that group. In other words, the player must finish a tournament placed higher than any of the other five specified in the group. The bet will only pay out if this happens.

What is low ball in golf?

Low ball is a foursome game of golf played as two teams of two. Two points are available per hole in the round. There are two variants of the game, low total and high ball. If any hole is tied, then no points are awarded. Playing low total, a point is given to the low ball and another to the low total. In high ball, low ball again is worth one point, and the lower of the high ball scores is also worth a point. With high ball, the teams compare their low ball and best high ball scores for each hole. The team with most points wins the game.

Where can I find the best golf odds this week?

Check out our list of best golf sportsbooks at the top of this page and select one of our shortlisted sites to view the latest odds for this week’s golf events.

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