Best In-Play Betting Strategies for Golf
The leisurely pace of professional tournament golf allows spectators plenty of time to watch replays of key shots or grab a snack from the fridge. It also makes the sport ideal for in-play betting, a type of wagering that takes place during the round and sees odds rise or fall as players struggle or succeed.
While in-play betting is offered across a wide spectrum of sports, in most games the pace is so quick that bettors need to react with lightning speed to maximize potential value bets.
But golf betting is different; players take several minutes to get to their ball and line up their next shot, allowing bettors much more time to consider their options on an in-play wager.
Successful in-play betting in golf takes some knowledge of the course and a player’s history on the layout. Entering a stretch of the statistically most difficult holes on the course? It might be time to wait.
Coming up on a hole where the player has gone under par in previous rounds? It might be time to strike. And as always with golf, weather conditions are always worth watching given the substantial impact they can have on every shot.
How to Bet In-Play on Golf
The live betting process with a bookmaker is much the same as pre-tournament golf betting, with the big difference being that in-play golf odds are constantly changing in response to a player's position on the leaderboard.
The odds can change drastically if a golfer drops a few shots or if a competitor starts to surge ahead. But rest assured that the top online bookmakers will alert you to changes in golf betting odds as you're placing your bet, so you know exactly what price you're backing.
A sportsbook will likely feature in-play betting as one of the main options on its homepage. If you don't see golf betting odds in the in-play section, just visit the golf section of the site and you should find all of the in-play odds there.
Bookies have live golf markets for all the big PGA Tour and European Tour events, as well as the four majors and the Ryder Cup. Just keep in mind that a major championship or Ryder Cup will tend to come with more in-play markets than regular tournaments.
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Watch the Odds
In-play betting allows bettors to take advantage of the natural ebbs and flows of a tournament, and back a player when odds are more favourable to a payoff.
Take as an example Masters betting back in 2021, when Justin Rose entered with 100/1 odds that dropped to 11/2 after a strong opening round. A better each-way value option would have been Augusta specialist Jordan Spieth, whose first round struggles saw him six strokes behind the leader Rose and handed revised odds of 7/1. He rallied to finish T3 while Rose finished seventh.
In many tournaments like the Masters, the early leader rarely wins, so value can often be found further back in the field. Some players are known as strong closers, and are worth considering even if their early rounds aren’t up there with the leaders.
Homework and knowing individual player trends is always important: does the course favour left-handers? Strong putters? Does it feature small greens that place a premium on iron play? All of it matters, especially for PGA Tour betting and major championships.
Watch the Weather
Bookmakers don't tend to offer live streaming of golf tournaments but as with all in-play sports betting, keeping a close eye on the action to see how things are playing out is hugely important. You can catch all the major events on TV and factoring in the weather is crucial, as it will dictate how the golf course is playing on any given week.
One of the top golf betting tips is to learn which golfers excel in tough conditions. In windy, wet weather - often found at the Open Championship - you might favour players who have the most experience playing in that kind of environment. A player who grew up playing golf in a country with inclement weather may relish the challenge posed by wind or rain and betting in-play allows you to see how the course is playing and who it is suited to before placing a golf bet.
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Hole-by-Hole Golf Betting
Statistics on how holes are playing during tournaments are readily available, and they can be very helpful in successful in-play betting.
Many tournaments are played on the same courses year after year, providing a treasure trove of data that bettors can examine before events even start, so they know what are historically a player’s strongest and weakest holes in a given tournament.
At the Masters, for instance, the par-5s on the back nine are always among the most birdied holes on the golf course, while the three finishing holes are typically among the stingiest relative to par.
Player interviews in the days before a tournament may also provide insight into where they believe they’re strongest and weakest on the course.
The tour’s biggest hitters, like Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy, will always typically be strong bets on par-5s no matter where the event is taking place.
At the same time, top putters like Jordan Spieth may be worth considering on holes and at tournaments — such as the Masters — that are infamous for their slick greens.
Why Choose In-Play Golf Betting?
In-play sports betting is hugely appealing across a host of sports because bettors can make an informed decision based on what they are watching.
Consistency is a challenge for most golf stars, with even some of the game's greats missing the cut from time to time, so it makes sense to assess how they're playing before placing a wager. Taking a player's history into account while also factoring in their live performance is a solid betting strategy to go with when watching a golf tournament.
Top golf betting sites offer a cash out option to customers as well, adding another element to the experience.
It's possible to win a number of in-play bets on one golf tournament, but just remember when placing a live bet with the bookmaker to only stake what you can afford.
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