If you're looking to bet on pro golf, including the PGA Tour and major championships like the Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship, then you've got several ways to put your money at risk at your local (in the U.S., only Las Vegas) or online sportsbook. Your bookie will have plenty of different ways to bet on golf, including simple bets -- like who will win the tournament -- to more complicated wagers -- like who will win a 72-hole match-up between two players with a handicap for one player.
You can bet on golf in a sportsbook in a way that will let you have a lot of small pieces of action. After all, with most PGA Tour fields in the range of 144 or 156 players, it's hard to win at betting on golf because of the number of potential winners each week.
For golf betting novices, we'll detail the most common types of golf bets and how to understand them so you can be confident that you know how to bet on golf.
Types of golf bets
Bet to win: This is the most common kind of golf bet. You're simply picking a player to win a specific tournament, event, season-long contest or award. If the player wins what you're betting that they'll win, you get paid based on the odds at which you bet that player, not the final betting odds when they close.
Bet to win without X player: This bet is to pick a player who will finish highest if a certain player competing in the event isn't considered. For example, you could bet who would win the Masters without Jordan Spieth in the field. If Spieth wins, then the second-place player would be the name that wins the bet without him in the field. If the excluded player doesn't win, then the tournament winner is the wager that pays.
Each way bet: The each-way bet in golf is two bets in one. Half of the money goes to a win bet for the player selected. The other half of the money goes to a "place" bet, wagering that a player will finish within a certain position on the leaderboard -- top three, top six, sometimes top eight -- getting diminished odds for that finish.
Round leader bets: Here you're picking who will either have the outright lead or a share of the lead after a certain post in a tournament, typically after 18, 36 or 54 holes. If there are multiple leaders, then the payout is divided by the number of leaders.
Place bets: In this case, you can bet if a player will finish inside a certain tier of finishers in an event, such as top five, top 10 or top 25.
Multiple players to win: You can pick multiple players to win a tournament on a single ticket, meaning that you're reducing your overall odds of picking the winner outright in exchange for the opportunity to risk less money for a single bet containing multiple potential winners.
18-hole match-ups: This bet considers a head-to-head match-up of two players for one specific 18-hole round of a tournament. The player with the lower score wins.
18-hole match-ups with handicaps/strokes: This bet considers a head-to-head match-up of two players for one specific 18-hole round of a tournament, adding in a handicap of strokes to make the players appear closer in skill/result. The player with the lower score wins.
Full tournament match-ups: This bet considers a head-to-head match-up of two players for a completed tournament. The player with the lower score wins.
Full tournament match-ups with handicaps/strokes: This bet considers a head-to-head match-up of two players for a completed tournament, adding in a handicap of strokes to make the players appear closer in skill/result. The player with the lower score wins.
Tournament place match-ups: In this bet, you're faced with picking which player in a grouping (two or more players) will finish highest at the end of an event. If the players tie, the bet is voided. If all players miss the cut, then the player with the lowest 36-hole score wins. If a player withdraws or is disqualified, then they're considered a loser.
Make/miss cut: This bet is also simple, betting whether a player will or will not make a cut (typically, 36-hole cut) in a golf tournament. In instances where the PGA Tour makes a secondary cut after 54 holes, that cut has no affect on if you win the wager.
Prop bets: There are a variety of fun prop bets in tournament, ranging from lowest nationality, next hole bets, who will make the first par, where tee shots will land, etc. They're typically yes/no questions.