A Beginners Guide To Golf Betting
Over the past week or two I’ve been contacted by a few people who have wanted to know a bit more about my strategy in finding my selections and also my staking plan/betting bank through the year. Basically people looking to get in to golf betting more seriously and wondering where to start.
I’ve therefore put a brief blog together touching on some of the above points. I appreciate that to an awful lot of you this will be all the stuff that you do already and won’t be telling you anything new, however if I can help a few people get up and running with golf betting who are looking at it for the first time it will have been worth putting this out there. So here goes…
1 – Separate Your Betting Bank And Prepare For The Long Haul!
Golf betting is a unique sport to bet on from an odds point of view as most weeks the favourite is starting at a double figure price with the 4th or 5th favourites going off at 25-1 plus.
This means even if the ‘jolly’ wins with your money on him you are still getting a very nice return. Equally of course due to the size of the fields you are regularly seeing winners at 50-1 +.
This is all great when you find a winner but again due to the size of the fields you could quite easily go 2 months without a sniff of a return before you then come up trumps on a 66-1 shot.
This means you have to be prepared for the long haul. My suggestion would be to first look at what you can afford to put to one side to bet on golf through the year and look to move this money in to a separate ‘betting account’ on a regular basis if needed. I would suggest starting by putting 2 months worth of ‘stake money’ to one side if you can afford to do this.
Hopefully then you will get off to a flyer in the first 2 months and won’t have to top it up again, but obviously you need to be prepared to do so somewhere down the line if you have to.
Once you have decided how much you have available to put in your ‘bank’ you have to then decide how many players you are looking to back a week and whether as a rule you are looking to back them each way or win only.
From my own point of view I tend to back 5 players a week in the regular full field events and may be 3 or 4 in the limited field events like we have just had in the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Most weeks I will back all these 5 players e/w at a 1pt e/w stake, meaning I’m staking 10pts a week as a rule.
How many players you back each week of course is entirely up to you and naturally if you have £10 e/w on two players per week you can afford to go a lot longer without a winner than if you had £10 e/w a week on five players!
I often hear people say that it’s impossible to turn a regular profit long term if you’re backing 5 players a week, however I am a living testament to that not being true!
What is true though is that it’s not be possible to turn a profit backing 5 players a week if each week you purely backing 5 players ranging from 20-1 to 40-1. With that strategy you will eventually go broke!
Therefore while I normally back 5 players a week e/w if you look at my selections over time you will see that I am usually reasonably adventurous and taking a chance on big priced players often at 3 fig prices. More often than not it is the placed players at 80-1 or 100-1+ that keep me in front over several months.
When I do feel the time is right to back DJ, Spieth, JT etc I will cut down my 5 players for the week to 3 or 4 and ‘double up’ or even ‘triple up’ my normal stake that I would have had on a 50-1 shot.
You will see when I put my weekly previews out that rather than suggesting a bet of a monetary amount, like pretty much all tipsters I will simply advise as mentioned above a unit stake of 1pt e/w.
This is because of course it is not for me to advise what an appropriate stake is for someone to risk based on their financial position. One person may feel happy to risk £20 e/w on each player whilst another only feels it appropriate to risk £5 e/w.
Let us assume for the purposes of this piece that you are going to follow my strategy of backing 5 players a week all e/w. The amount you can afford to risk per week over the year would naturally dictate your stake per player.
In other words lets assume you have decided you can risk £50 per week through the year. This would mean a stake of £5 e/w per player.
2 – Get to know the Players & their different types of game!
OK so you’ve got your betting bank in place the next thing I’d suggest is getting to know the players.
This might seem an obvious thing to say but it really is the first thing to do. So how do you do it? Well if you were beamed down here from Mars tomorrow and had never heard of any of the golfers my first suggestion would be to go to PGA tour.com and look at the stats section.
By doing this you could then establish who are the longest or shortest hitters on tour, who are the best or worst iron players and the best or worst putters. You can look back at this data over several years and you will get to see that the majority of players have certain categories/areas of their game they thrive in year in year out and equally ones they always struggle in.
I would also suggest watching as much TV coverage as you can [and the missus will allow!], and reading as many previews as you can from the recognised golf tipsters out there.
Watching the TV coverage will allow you to see how the players perform under pressure and how they react when they do hit adversity.
3 – Get to Know the Golf Courses
OK, so you’ve got yourself an understanding of some of the players and the type of game they play and therefore the type of course that will suit them but this is no good whatsoever if you know nothing about the golf courses to match this up to.
There’s no easy shortcut to this and basically it’s a case of googling, researching the course and reading up all you can about it. Again going to PGA tour.com is a good place to start as they will always have a ‘hole by hole’ course guide in the specific section for that event and this will allow you to see how long the course is, how many par 5’s it has etc.
Beyond this by researching the course on line you will soon find articles which will tell you more about the course, it’s location and how it tends to play.
Once you have done this the next step [assuming it’s not a new course being used for the first time] is to look at past results in the event on the course. There are several websites that provide this info, PGA Tour.com again in their ‘history’ section and ESPN Golf is also another good one to look at.
By looking at this you will start to see a pattern of the type of player that plays well at certain type of courses over and again. For example if it’s a course where the likes of Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Brian Gay had all performed well it’s obviously a course where length of the tee is irrelevant and accuracy is more important. Equally if your seeing players like Dustin Johnson, JB Holmes, Gary Woodland and Luke List have peppered the leaderboard over the years forget about backing anyone who hits it under 300 yards average off the tee!
Once you have got an understanding of the different types of courses on tour the next step is to ‘group together’ these types of courses and the players who play well on them.
For example Waialae the scene of this weeks Sony Open can be seen as similar to Hilton Head used for the RBC Heritage and El Camaleon used for the OHL Classic in Mexico.
This is because they are all short coastal tracks with Bermuda Greens. As a result you will see that certain players like Kevin Kisner or Brian Gay pop up as playing well on them all.
Another example would be TPC Scottsdale used for the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Montreux Golf & CC in Reno used for the Barracuda Championship. These are both desert courses and here you will see players like Martin Laird who went to college in Phoenix and Scott Piercy who went to UNLV playing well across these events.
4 – Build up a Data Base of Seemingly Useless Information!!
You’d be amazed what nuggets of seemingly useless info you can pick up when watching a tournament on TV and reading up on it and you never know when this may serve you well in future years!
For example in 2015 Steven Bowditch a resident of Texas won his second PGA Tour title at the Byron Nelson. Bowditch came in to the event on a pretty horrendous run of form with a best placed finish of 12th all year.
What however had me shaking my head after the event was that in my database for the Byron Nelson was the fact that Bowdo had got married at the hotel next to the course and had he been in any kind of form going in to the event I would have quite possibly backed him based on that fact. Unfortunately he wasn’t and I didn’t…
Conversely in 2016 Billy Hurley III achieved his maiden tour win at the Quicken Loans National played at the Congressional Club in Maryland. The significance of this was that Hurley III had previously been in the Navy based in Maryland and the event was therefore basically a home game to him. Once again this was something I had noted down in previous years and I am pleased to say on this occasion I did take advantage!
So the lesson here is if you hear something about a player having played a junior event at the same course an event is being played on, or having met their wife in the town the tournament is being played at etc, etc, make a note of it. You never know when a piece of info will come in useful in the future!
5 – Build Up A Data Base Of Where Players Are From And The Colleges They Went To.
When I first started to bet seriously on the PGA Tour being the ‘interesting’ guy I am I spent a few weeks on and off going through the whole PGA tour.com player list and building up two data bases of where players were born/live and where they went to college. Now I just add the rookies to it as each new season comes around.
The main reason for this is once you have been following the PGA Tour for a while you get to see fairly quickly that there are two types of regional specialist players.
Firstly there are ‘West Coast’ Players who due to being brought up in California and on the Poa Annua greens tend to play their best golf in California, Nevada etc.
Then secondly there are East Coast players who having been brought up in Florida or Georgia will tend to play there best golf in these areas and on the Bermuda Greens they have.
Now of course this is simplifying things slightly and there are many players who can perform on all types of course or areas of the US however there are undoubtedly some ‘specialists’ who historically will automatically start to play well when the tour reaches a certain ‘swing’ in the US.
Phil Mickelson is an obvious example of a player who as a native Californian would always tend to pick a trophy up on the ‘West Coast Swing’ when he was at his peak.
Meanwhile over on the East Coast in years gone by you could always rely on Camillo Villegas or Boo Weekly to wake up when the tour hit Florida.
Equally if a player went to college in a certain state even if it is not there home town they will always feel a level of comfortability in the area. Also with the significance attached in the US to college sports they will often benefit from strong local gallery support, which can inspire then to a good performance.
So there we have it, hopefully a few tips to help some of you who are new to golf betting to have a successful and profitable 2018!