Golf Betting in Canada
If Golf, as Mark Twain may have opined, is a good walk spoiled, we can console ourselves in the fact we can at least have a bet on it. If you know your stuff Golf can be a very profitable sport to bet on. For a start it is one of the few sports where very generous odds can be found even on favourites and the gradual nature of Golf also means that betting in play can also be a very good option.
Form and previous performance plays a big part in Golf betting. It is very rare that someone who isn’t playing well will emerge from the pack to win so it is worth studying which players are in good form or who have performed well at a particular event in previous years. Money can be made from Golf betting if you take the time to do a little bit of homework. So you’ve studied the form, looked at the trends and arrived at your tip for the top. Now all you need to know is where is the best place to make your bets.
Canadians have many options available to them so we have had a look at some of the best betting sites to see how their Golf markets match up.
How to bet on golf
Golf is a sport that appeals to the betting public for many reasons: One of the attractions lies in the fact that we see a number of long prices drop in for winners of individual events and it’s not uncommon to see those odds come along at high double figures or even over the 101.00 mark.
That can also mean that, with dozens of players taking part in each event, golf can be a tough sport to predict but there are plenty of markets available away from the straight tournament winner. Golf has four Major Championships – the US Masters, the US Open, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship – and the bookmakers are always at their busiest whenever one of these events comes around on the calendar.
The Ryder Cup is the biggest team event in golf but it’s mainly about tournament play where one player is up against the rest of the field. In this guide we will look in closer detail at those events and we’ll also outline all of the main golf betting markets that you can get involved in. You’ll also find tips on forming strategies and analysing trends and statistics that are intended to help you achieve some regular profits on this great sport.
Golf Betting Lines
What is a betting line?
In golf, a sportsbook will draw a betting line between two golfers and the job of the punter is to decide which of them is going to win. The line may apply to the overall tournament or, it can refer to any round of 18 holes across the four days of the event.
This is one of the many ways in which bookmakers attract bettors who are reluctant to get involved with betting on the tournament winner. The notional contest set up by a betting line makes things easier as the customer simply has to take their pick between the two selected golfers.
A match bet is essentially the same as a betting line with this term being favoured by bookmakers who are based outside of Canada and the US. a match bet simply puts two golfers up against each other and the bettor needs to decide which of them is going to win.
Once again, the bet can be for the whole tournament or it can be for a nominated round when two, or maybe three players are put together.
Each Way Bets
When you take an each way bet you are betting on your golfer to finish in a certain position on the leaderboard. That position will vary depending on which bookmaker you use but for the smaller tournaments, it will generally mean finishing between first and fourth.
The bet is in two parts with a win and a place involved. Your stake is doubled too so, for example, you would bet $5.00 on the win and $5.00 on the place making $10.00 in total. A profit is then yours if your golfer finishes inside any of those top four places.
First Round Leader Bet
This bet is really very self explanatory and what we are trying to do here is pick out the golfer who is leading the rest of the field after the first round. There are four rounds in any professional golf event and this bet will pay out if your pick is ahead at the end of those first 18 holes.
On all pro tours, there are players who are considered to be fast starters but perhaps lack the stamina to compete over four rounds so this bet is perfect if you think you can pick out one of those golfers.
Versus the field bets
A versus the field bet will often come along once a tournament has got underway and one golfer has developed a big lead. What you are doing here is betting that anyone else in the field other than the leader will come through and win the event and this is called Versus the Field.
This option can often be delayed until the morning of the final round and it is also a popular and frequent choice for in play betting when the competition gets down to its final stages.
To win bets
A bet to win is the most simple form of betting on golf that you can find. In this market, which will be fully published some 48 hours before the first tee time, you are simply betting on the golfer who you think will win the tournament that is coming up.
Because there is such a big field for any tournament, decimal prices will start at around 6.00 at their lowest so even in terms of the favourites, there can be good value to be found. However, this isn’t an Each Way bet with a second chance so your pick has to win or your stake will be forfeited.
For Major Championships such as the US Masters and the US Open, long term betting markets will be available many months in advance. Tournament winner bets can then be taken in the long term ante post markets and in some cases, sportsbooks will start to quote players as soon as the current version of the competition comes to an end.
Of course, taking such an early ante post bet carries a greater element of risk because we don’t know how the player’s form or fitness will be shaping up but in return for this greater gamble, odds are likely to be higher and that’s why these long term tournament winner bets are so popular.
Golf Betting Tips
How to be Successful Gambling on Golf
To be successful at betting on golf does require an element of luck but there are many ways in which you can turn the odds in your favour. Form is an obvious key and while any golf tournament features a very big field, it’s rare for a player to come from nowhere to win it after a poor run of results.
Beyond that basic element, there are a number of factors that are unique to the sport. Take all of the following points on board and you will know what to look out for when future tournaments come along and in turn, you will have a greater chance of success.
Weather factors such as wind and rain can play their part in any golf tournament and they should form an important part of a betting strategy. Look for the location of the course to begin with. A ‘links’ course is a coastal venue which is particularly vulnerable to damp conditions and wind that whips up from the neighbouring sea.
Calm conditions are preferred by all golfers but some are more comfortable adapting to any weather situation. Look out for the players in question and use weather forecasts to identify any potential winners.
Golf provides a certain set of statistics that are unique to the sport and all of them can be harnessed to identify winning patterns moving forward. All players have different qualities so some may be big hitters off the tee but lack accuracy while for others the opposite will be the case.
Among the stats to look for are driving distance, accuracy, greens in regulation, scrambling and putting. There are a number of sites where this information is readily available but we recommend heading to the official portals of the PGA and European Tours. Every week you can find what are referred to as Power Rankings where those stats are analysed to identify the top 15 or 20 golfers in stats that are relevant to the upcoming tournament.
Study Course and General Form
The statistics that we mentioned above can then help us to pick out some potential winners. All courses are very different so some will be long with wide open fairways while others will be shorter but perhaps they will be lined with trees and dotted with bunkers and water hazards that will punish any golfer who lacks accuracy.
For the long courses, you therefore need to look at players with good driving distance stats while for the shorter venues, accuracy and scrambling are needed to avoid the traps that we mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Golf Betting Events
With the exception of around three weeks across the Christmas and New Year period, golf is a sport that can be enjoyed throughout the calendar. The players take a well earned festive break but through at least eleven months of any year, there is always a professional tournament to get involved with and that’s another reason behind its popularity.
There are the four Major Championships that we mentioned right at the very beginning of this preview plus the Ryder Cup which is held every two years. But outside of those big events, there is plenty to get involved with and it all starts with the two big tours which take place on either side of the Atlantic.
The PGA Tour is based in America with the majority of the tournaments taking place in the US. It does, however, cross into Canada, Mexico and parts of Asia. This Tour tends to attract the better players on the circuit as it is able to put up higher prize money which brings in the biggest names in the sport.
The US is the host country for three of the sport’s four Major Championships and like its European counterpart, it is active for eleven months of the year. Players compete each week and along the way, they pick up FedEx Cup points with the best golfers heading to the FedEx playoffs at the end of the season.
The European Tour (ET)
The European Tour features the Open Championship as its highlight with events taking place for much of the year. The circuit is based mainly in Europe but it can also cross into Asia and even Africa at times.
The equivalent to the FedEx Cup here is the Race to Dubai where the biggest money earner in the season is crowned winner at the end of the long campaign. The world’s best golfers tend to only play in the big events here such as the Open Championship, the British Masters and the BMW PGA but there are competitive tournaments to bet on right through the season.
Four Major Championships are played throughout the golfing year: We’ve mentioned them already in this preview but to reiterate, these are the US Masters, the US Open, the Open Championship and the US PGA.
In any golfing year, players may take a rest during the minor tournaments but they will only miss the Majors if they are forced to – either through injury or a failure to qualify. The events are packed into a tight schedule between April and August so let’s look at each one in date order.
The US Masters takes place every year in early April and unlike the other Major Championships, it is held at one fixed venue. The Augusta National in Georgia is the setting for a tournament that was first held back in 1934.
Horton Smith was the first winner of the Masters while the all-time record holder in terms of victories is the great Jack Nicklaus with five titles. The winner of the Masters is also presented with the famous green jacket and those four days in April represent a busy time for the golfing sportsbooks.
After a short break, the US Open follows the Masters in June. This competition rotates on various courses in the United States and it is the second oldest major on the calendar, having been initially held back in 1895.
Jack Nicklaus is a record holder here too with four overall victories but this time he shares that mark with Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan. Once again, the bookmakers are intensely busy in all available outright markets and prop bets for the US Open.
The Open Championship
We now come to the oldest and most historic event in golf. The Open Championship, previously referred to as the British Open, first came along in 1860 and is the only Major tournament to be held outside of the United States.
This is the only time when all of the world’s best golfers will come to British shores to compete in a tournament and this is widely recognised as the biggest of all the Majors and the one that they all want to win. As a result, it’s likely that more bets will be staked on the Open Championship than any other golfing event.
US PGA Championship
The round of Majors concludes in August with the US PGA Championship. It’s the second most recent entry having been first held in 1902 but it remains a prestigious event and one that will continue to attract a competitive field moving forward.
This is another period when the bookmakers will look ahead to a busy four days of competition at an event where Walter Hagen and, once again, Jack Nicklaus jointly hold the overall record with five victories.
Betting on Canadian Golf Events
While the majority of golfing events are held in the US and in Europe, there are lots of tournaments in Canada to enjoy. The country has produced some pretty handy golfers too, most notably Mike Weir who won the US Masters in 2003.
The Canadian PGA Tour was officially formed back in 1970 although events had obviously been taking place long before that point. The Order of Merit is the equivalent of the US FedEx Cup and Europe’s Race to Dubai and while there are many tournaments across the Canadian golfing season, one stands alone as the main event.
The Canadian Open is the richest tournament in the country and it is an event that is co-sanctioned by the US PGA Tour. That means that several of the top golfers from the US make the journey north and in recent years, players from America have tended to dominate.
The tournament was first held in 1904 when it was won by England’s Jack Oke while the overall record holder is Leo Diegel of the US with four wins. Golfers from Canada may not always be competitive in this event but the Canadian Open is the competition that brings together both the country’s golf fans and the wider betting community.
Best Golf Betting Sites
Sports Interaction has an excellent reputation for the variety of sports it covers, it’s excellent customer service and it’s accessibility. Obviously it has a wide range of lines available on Golf, including futures and individual player props, but Sports Interaction’s main selling point is the excellent odds on offer. The site has a full live betting portal and all odds proposed on the main site are available on the mobile site. The site itself may not be anything flash, but this adds to the ease of navigation and access. The only drawback to the site that I can see is the amount of time it takes for odds to be presented on certain events. Most sites will offer odds on future events and then adjust them depending on influencing factors. Sports Interaction appears to leave it to the last minute to provide odds meaning that it is a bit restrictive to gamblers who like to get their bets on early at ante-post odds. A small fault with an otherwise excellent site.
Familiar to just about all Canadian punters, Bodog has been long established as one of the industry leaders in sports betting. It has all the features you’d expect from such a big name, including live betting, mobile site, excellent customer service and plenty of banking options. When it comes to Golf betting, Bodog has every angle covered.
An extensive futures list means you can get in early and secure some great ante-post odds. It is the number of different lines available which really impresses though. You can bet on just about every aspect of a tournament with individual props available for all the big names. There is also match betting, group betting, stroke betting and a whole host of other lines. It is a superb level of detail. Odds may not be as generous as Pinnacle Sports, but the early odds available mean you can counteract this by getting some great ante-post prices.
William Hill has really been making a big play for the Canadian market recently. It has launched a site dedicated to Canadian customers with more of a focus on sports which are traditionally popular in Canada. William Hill has an excellent reputation in the UK and they will be hoping this is replicated in Canada. With it’s excellent customer service, acceptance of all major Canadian banking options and multitude of sports lines it is certainly heading in the right direction. William Hill is another site which has a very large number of Golf bets available. It has markets on all futures including events which won’t take place until the following year.
There are also some interesting specials available for players such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, but there aren’t any available for other popular players. William Hill’s odds are competitive if not market leading, but it has a very good each way policy offering the first six places and a quarter of the odds. William Hill is a solid site with a good number of markets available and competitive odds. It may not suit people who like to delve into individual player props, but is a good option for more general bets.
Few sites can compare with the excellent odds provided by Pinnacle Sports. It really is the best in the business for punters. If you are someone who places good odds above all other factors then Pinnacle Sports is the site for you. One small problem though, the number of Golf markets available is very small. This is a big surprise as Pinnacle Sports usually have an extensive range of bets available for most sports. For a sport as popular as Golf to have such a small list of lines is very disappointing. There are very few futures available and only outright winners markets and match ups available for forthcoming events; even Majors. For a site that usually impresses and excels in all areas of sports betting, this is a big flaw. Then again, Pinnacle Sports is great if you are a serious gambler and are just interested in outright winners.
However, people demand great odds and an extensive list of markets and Pinnacle Sports really should be able to meet this demand. Pinnacle Sports has a lot of great features and provides great customer service, but it’s no frills approach may see more casual customers going elsewhere.
As Golf is so popular it is expected to see it well covered on all the major betting sites. Most offer a wide range of betting lines at reasonable odds. To be honest there isn’t a great deal separating all the main sites, with only Pinnacle Sports lack of available markets standing out, but then again they do offer the best odds. If you want an extensive book on golf go with Bodog or William Hill, but if you are all about the odds then Pinnacle Sports is the site for you.