Scotland has given the people of this world many great things – whisky, the Loch Ness Monster and Andy Murray to name but three – but perhaps their greatest invention has been golf. Some scholars claim that a form of golf was played in both Ancient Rome and Ancient China, but most golf historians are happy with the claim that Scotland did indeed come up with the modern game.
These days golf is one of the most-watched and most-participated-in sports in the world, and millions exchanges golf betting between punters and golf bookies as eager bettors take a punt on which golfing pro is likely to win the next big golfing tournament. This guide will explain to you all you need to know about the best golf betting sites available in the UK and things you should watch out when you start wagering.
The first written evidence of golf survives from 1457 when James II attempted to ban the sport because he felt it interfered with archery practise. Over five hundred and fifty years later golf has turned into a world-wide pastime. As a sport, it perhaps owes its popularity to the fact that you do not have to be supreme physically fit in order to be a decent golfer – heck, even Donald Trump claims he's exceptionally gifted when it comes to whacking the ball down the fairway.
Not only do millions upon millions of people love to play golf, about the same number love to watch the best golfers in the world play in the big tournaments, such as the US Open and the Open championship that's played annually in the UK. Of course people like to wager on golf as well, and every major sports book on the internet will offer the chance to bet on the small dimpled ball game.
Golf has a unique, global appeal that few sports can match – even football/soccer, which of course is not big in North America. There's barely a country in the world that doesn't have a least one golf course, and in the USA alone it's estimated that there are over 15,000 of them. This in turn means that there are likely dozens of golfing tournaments taking place all over the globe at any one moment, from international tournaments to local competitions. As a result, a sports bettor with a keen interest in golf will always find something to bet on, somewhere.
As sports books are always really keen to gain your custom, and if you're a golfing wagering fan, then there's always likely to be a bookie somewhere willing to offer you a decent deal when it comes to your wagering. Check out the promotions that are available in the table above and you'll soon be scoring your own hole in one when it comes your best golf betting options.
Golf tournaments are played constantly throughout the golfing calendar, but the biggest are arranged into two 'tours' – the PGA Tour and the European Tour (ET). The PGA Tour is predominantly played in the USA and attracts all the world's best players, as the prize money is higher than with the ET.
The European Tour includes events in Europe, Asia and South Africa. Players not yet quite up to the standard of the PGA Tour will compete on the ET with the hope of improving their game enough to be accepted into the PGA Tour group.
The four major tournaments – the Masters, the US Open, the Open (in the UK) and the PGA Championship – do not form part of either tour, neither does the premier team championship, the Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup is played bi-annually between teams of US and European golfers.
The four major tournaments are open to players from both the PGA and ET tours, although players ranked low on either tour have to go through a qualification process in order to secure a place. It is the majors where most of the world's golf betting money is placed. This is due to the coverage that these tournaments receive, and not because they are easy to predict – quite the contrary! Choosing the winner of a golfing major from scratch is notoriously difficult, as within a large group of the world's top players, selecting the outright winner can at times seem like a complete lottery.
The US Open is considered the hardest competition to predict, as only tough courses are chosen as playing venues. If a top player has a single bad day, then that will be enough to completely rule them out of contention. Conversely, an underdog who has one good day can do enough to secure a title even if they only play 'adequately well' during the rest of the tournament.
The Masters is considered the easiest to predict, but that's only because it takes place on the same course each year – the Augusta National.
Each year players battle to retain their place on the PGA and ET tours. Each year only the top 125 finishers on the PGA tour, and the top 110 players on the ET tour are guaranteed a place on the tour the following year.
If you see a fancied player struggling to make the top spots in either tour towards the end of the tour season, then you may wish to consider backing him as he strives to attain the necessary tour points and therefore retain his place among golfing's elite.
You may also wish to spy the odds given for lower-ranked tours that are arranged to give players the chance to step up to the full tours. These are the Web.com tour in the US, and the Challenger Tour in Europe.
The vast majority of golf tournaments are stroke play events. Stroke play is where the winner is the player who completes the course in the fewest number of shots, usually combined as most golf tournaments take place over a number of days.
Match play is where each hole is won by the player or players whom take the least number of shots for the hole. After eighteen holes the overall winner is decided by the player or players who won the most holes.
The Ryder Cup is the most well-known matchplay tournament. It takes place every two years and used to be between the USA and the UK. In 1973 this became the USA v UK and Ireland (even though Irish players had been playing for the UK team for some time), and in 1979 this was expanded even further when 'Team GB' became Team Europe.
Other matchplay events include the Presidents Cup (USA v the Rest of the World) and the Eur-Asia Cup (Europe v Asia).
Most golf betting money is placed on outright tournament winners, but that's not necessarily the way to go if you're a keen on betting on golf. Golf is unpredictable – for any Major as many as the top twenty competitors usually have a good chance to end up winning. For example, the winner of the 2016 Open, Henrik Stenson, began the tournament at 30/1 (31.00) even though he'd been voted 'European Golfer of the Year' in 2013. Pre-tournament favourite Dustin Day (7/1; 8.00) finished tied for twenty-second place.
Each-way golf betting is possibly a better bet if you do want to see a return on your money. This will see half your money being placed on a win, and the other half (at reduced odds) being placed on a top placing. Golf bookmakers will typically offer a quarter the odds for a top five or top six finish.
You can also wager on first round leaders (remember, most major golf tournaments are held over a number of consecutive days), top ten or top twenty place finishes or even the nationality of the winning golfer.
BetBright has proven popular among online sports betting fans for its easy-to-navigate and colourful website and large markets that it covers. This is also the first point of call for golf betting. They cover all the major golfing tournaments, and most PGA and ET events. You'll find decent odds at BetBright for outrights, group bets, match bets, two-ball and three-ball bets and specials on the US Open and the three other majors.
This sportsbook also often offers acca insurance on two and three ball accumulators that have at least four selections. This means you will receive back your stake money as a free bet should your acca fail by a single selection. BetBright will also often refund your stake money if your nominated golfer is beaten in a playoff.
Newcomers to BetBright also have a deal to whet their appetites. You'll receive £100 in free bets.
10Bet woos its punters with its no-frills, no-nonsense approach. If you are serious about your sports betting, the 10Bet genuinely is the site for you, although there's more than enough entertainment for casual sports bettors too. 10Bet perhaps offers more golf betting odds markets than any other major sports book – both major and relatively minor golfing events. It also offers a high number of markets for each individual event.
10Bet is also a decent bet when it comes to in-play betting. Their results services is really impressive and instantaneous so you can keep up to date with all the top golfing action at their site – no need to go elsewhere.
If you're new to 10Bet you can expect an excellent one hundred percent bonus on your first deposit up to a maximum of £200.
While most online betting sites offer only one kind of bonus to all sports, Boylesports is really good at tailoring their offers to each sport fans' needs. Boylesports – has golf-only bonuses and plenty of golf betting options. It's certainly one sports book to head for whenever a major tournament swings around, as they often have special deals and promotions available.
For example, for the 2017 US Open, Boylesports said they were willing to refund if your choice ends up in the 2nd or the 3rd place! That really is a great deal that will allow you to get the most out of your golf betting. This was a perfectly 'up front deal' too – no caveats such as wagering requirements.
For a lengthy period now Boylesports have had Bet 10 Get 25 welcome deal. If you make a minimum ten pound first deposit and first bet, then you will receive a 25 pound bonus in free bet cash.
Although Grospvenor's land casino has been around for ages, its online sports offering is the latest name of the sports book.
While Grosvenor does not offer perhaps the same level of sports bonus as its rivals (yet), it's still a very decent place at which to find exceptional golf betting odds, and it typically offers a wide range of markets upon individual events including outrights, two-balls and three-balls.
Newbies at Grosvenr are treated very well as they are given the chance of earning themselves £20 in free bets. All that's required to trigger this is a £5 deposit.
Our latest betting offers page will guide you through all the latest promotions from the UK's best known bookies (and some of the best newcomers too). Whether it's golf, or sport in general, LatestBettingSites has the best information for UK punters.