PGA Golf Betting Tips (3 Rules of Thumb for Winning)

I’m excited to present 3 PGA golf betting tips today.

The PGA betting market is an outlier, unfamiliar to bettors from other sports because it has some unusual characteristics. Consider that the typical field in a PGA golf tournament is 140-150 players. Compared to most sports betting markets, where each game has no more than two possible winners, golf bets require a deeper understanding of a wider base of participants, which makes the everyday tasks of the sports bettor more complicated.

Pro golf can be a strange sport. Weather has a huge impact on outcomes, more here than in any other big betting market. Also, since players aren’t all competing at the same time, differences in the course at different times of day can influence how players perform, so start times have to be part of your betting strategy.

I prepared a post today that includes three basic rules of thumb designed to help anyone improve their performance betting on pro golf. These three rules of thumb will help anyone enjoy their golf bets more and could help extend the life of your PGA golf bankroll.

Tip #1 – What’s past is prologue –prior course performance & current form.

This is my favorite of the PGA golf betting tips in this post.

Shakespeare wrote, “what’s past is prologue,” and sometimes I think that dude really had a way with words.

In most handicapping situations, bettors have the benefit of prior course performance. Most golfers have played a course before, usually many times. Remember that each tournament requires four rounds and several practice runs. Once a player has competed at Augusta National, for example, for two or three years, you’ve got dozens of prior round performances to consider.

Bookmakers start their handicapping with current player form, which is a fancy way of talking about hot and cold streaks. In golf, streakiness is a more apparent phenomenon, with players sometimes getting cases of the yips that last for months. The opposite is often true, as well. Some players get into a groove and bust out four perfect rounds at exactly the right time.

3 Tips for Betting on the PGA

Understanding what’s driving a hot or cold performance streak is as important as any other single aspect of handicapping an individual athlete. Are they really playing better, or is the field weak?

The ability to identify the source of a player’s series of poor tournaments as poor putting or inaccurate driving off the tee could mean the difference between profitable and unprofitable golf betting. You’ve also got to consider the impact of injuries on players, as rehab from golf-related pain can stretch out over the course of an entire season.

When players start messing with their swing mechanics, or try out new clubs or whatever, bettors’ abilities to use the past as inspiration for a present-day bet are limited. This is also a phenomenon unique to golf – how often does your favorite NFL team switch up their footballs?

Tip #2 – Bet like a mobster – balance your bets by backing a stable. (My 2nd Favorite of these PGA Golf Betting Tips)

If you’ve read anything about the history of organized crime in America, you’ve heard of Dutch Schultz.

Dutch was a notorious American mobster, a guy who handled money for Al Capone, a thug who was eventually assassinated by “Lucky” Luciano for attempting to kill a state prosecutor. Let’s just say he led an interesting life.

The betting technique now known as Dutching is named after Mr. Schultz, who was always looking for a way to get an edge against oddsmakers. What’s Dutching? It’s when you bet on multiple outcomes in the same event in an attempt to create a more profitable situation.

Here’s a simplified example of how Dutch Schultz did it:

Imagine you’re at the horse track. You like two different horses, both with 3/1 odds. You bet $20 on each horse, for a total outlay of $40. If either of these two horses wins, you’re guaranteed a profit of $20 – a $60 return against a total stake of $40.

The trick with Dutching is that if both horses lose, you’re out your entire stake, and you’ve just turned a single losing bet into two losing bets.

In PGA betting, Dutching typically works by backing a stable of players, spreading your total stake across multiple players instead of depending on just one. Successful PGA bettors are usually people who can identify more than one undervalued player then bet on them in a stable, Dutching their bet to hedge their investment.

Let’s say you’ve found a player you’d back at +500 – at that price, the book is indicating that this player has about a 16.67% chance of winning. A Dutching method might replace that one player with 8 bets on players around the +5000 mark. With each of those players given around a 2% chance of winning, you’re making a similar wager overall but spreading your stake around to protect it.

Tip  #3 – Not all homework is good – research responsibly.

Golf is a stat-rich sport, similar to baseball in the sheer volume of numbers that pour forth. It would be all too easy to waste time focusing on statistics that won’t help you make good picks. Researching responsibly means limiting the time you spend handicapping upcoming tournaments to time spent in a few specific areas.

Here’s four ways you can research your PGA bets better:

1- Find a local source for weather, the nerdier the better.
You can’t get a really good sense of the intricacies of the weather over a particular course by looking at a three-day forecast on your Weather Channel app. Weather affects golf more than any other sport – in particular, what looks like normal weather, with not a cloud in the sky, can be a limiting factor for some players. I like to find local weather nerds who run their own blogs or YouTube channels or whatever and look at the weather over an upcoming match in granular detail.

2- Research Australian, Asian, and European players.
Players from Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe are consistently the most undervalued golfers in the market. There’s lots of reasons for this – the PGA is a US-centric league, and most bettors are focusing mainly on the big-name Americans. It’s also true that Australian, European, and Asian players grind in and out of the tour a lot more frequently than their American colleagues. If you can be the smartest person at your book when it comes to Asian players, you have a decided advantage.

3- Approach every tournament from multiple statistical perspectives.
Focusing only on performance in one area is a major rookie mistake. Becoming the world’s foremost expert on GIR won’t help you much if most of the tournament is decided off the tee, for whatever reason. Handicapping players based on Greens in Regulation is a good idea, provided you’re also looking at strokes gained and FIR numbers to give you a balanced view of the upcoming event.

4- Overvalue scrambling percentage, fade driving accuracy numbers.
One of my favorite advanced stats for PGA golf bettors is scrambling percentage. I like it mainly because it’s a sort of single-digit algorithm, a ratio of how frequently a player misses the green in regulation but still scores par or better. By looking at one number, you can get a sense of the totality of a player’s game in pressure situations. I can’t overemphasize the value of scrambling percentage.

Likewise, I remain unconvinced by the value of driving accuracy statistics, even though most bettors seem hypnotized by them. All you have to do to see the limitations of a strategy built on driving accuracy is go look at the top 10 PGA players in this statistic. If any of them has won a tournament overall in the past year, I must’ve been asleep. Remember, the league average percent of accurate drives is around 60 – lots of great players have middling numbers in this category.

Conclusion – PGA Golf Betting Tips

Pro golf is no longer one of America’s major sports, though the explosion of Tiger Woods in the late 90s boosted its reputation considerably, and the number of amateur players has increased considerably. Some 24.8 million Americans played golf last year, and fully half of the world’s pro golfers are Americans.

With new legal golf betting markets opening in the US (including lots of new options in New Jersey and Nevada casinos), it’s clear that pro golf and betting on pro golf are experiencing a surge.

If you want to get into betting on the PGA, or if your past attempts at golf betting left you unimpressed, consider approaching the market with these three rules of thumb in mind. Patience, proper betting, and an understanding of the intricacies of the game will make your bankroll more enjoyable to spend, if not necessarily more profitable.

I hope you found these PGA golf betting tips useful.

Leave a Comment