For Americans, the era of legal sports betting is really at its dawn.
When the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in the 2018 term, the door was opened for individual states -- and perhaps, eventually, the federal government itself -- to legalize sports betting in a variety of ways.
New Jersey, which sued to set up the lawsuit that led to the overturning of PASPA, quickly acted to bring sports betting to their state. They're now the second-biggest state in terms of total bets made on a monthly basis, only competing with Nevada for that title.
More states have come on line for sports betting, and there are more states passing and enacting sports betting laws which allow for licensing and parameters by which their citizens can place sports bets. In most of those states where sports betting has become legal, online sports betting has been the overwhelmingly popular way for fans to make wagers. Wagers can be made from a phone, in real-time, so long as the person wagering is located in the state in question.
Legal online betting has opened the door to in-play and in-game live wagering. These types of wagers are different than betting on the outcome of a match, game or tournament. For golf in particular, in-tournament wagering could be tremendously valuable for the major tours, which can sell real-time data for fees, and sportsbooks, which are always looking for new ways to entice fans to bet more often.
Golf may well be the sport with the most things on which to bet. A bettor could bet on if a shot hits the fairway or the green. They could bet on a putt going in the hole. They could bet on the proximity of a shot to a particular spot, including the pin. They could wager if a player's score for a hole or round would be above or below a certain number. They could wager on the results of two players' scores against each other on a particular hole or for an entire round or for an entire tournament.
Being successful at in-game wagering hinges on the ability of a fan to pay attention to the action unfolding, observe in-round trends, process long-term data and make a sensible wager on the outcome of a particular moment in a tournament. These wagers should typically be low-dollar bets, and most betting operators put a cap on these types of wagers.
For those who are new to sports betting, several bookmakers offer different types of free bet or risk-free bets in return for an initial deposit. In other words, a new bettor can learn how to wager with little risk and become more comfortable with a variety of betting concepts. This is absolutely the way to go, learning what you're doing at lower stakes or with a free bet before digging more into various sports, bets and other concepts.
Make sure you bet responsibly, only wagering what your budget can handle. If you do that and make educated wagers, you could have even more fun watching golf.