Guest article written by Paul Micelli
An Overview on Golf Betting
Talk about the subject of golf to most sports betting enthusiasts and the chances are that you’ll find an amazingly mixed bag of different opinions when it comes to making profits from wagering on major tournaments. As the 150th Anniversary Open Championship begins in earnest at St Andrews this week, bookmakers will enjoy a surge of activity as casual punters and serious gamblers try to determine the outright winner in one of the most unpredictable betting markets in the sporting world.
While most casual bettors will be looking at recognisable names with attractive prices (Phil Mickelson arrives in Scotland at a highly respectable 20/1), those with a penchant for more serious betting activity will be studying recent tournaments and results in an attempt to find that elusive winner. Some will even take advantage of overpriced golf betting software that can be downloaded online from a range of specialist websites.
In truth, golf has to be recognised as one of the most difficult options throughout the entire betting market. While recent form can provide a strong indication of potential, the constantly changing factors that surround a four-day tournament simply add to the unpredictable nature of the game. To enjoy a fighting chance of collecting on any major golfing event, it is these factors that can make the difference in any type of betting activity.
Type of Golf Course
Although the basics of golf might indicate that the type of course would be irrelevant to the success of individual golfers, there is actually a strong suggestion that certain players struggle in certain events. The Open will almost inevitably see a series of major names missing the cut because of the difficult conditions that links courses present, for example. Hazards are more frequent, rough ground is more difficult to recover from and the undulating greens are difficult to read for players who traditionally enjoy the fast, flat surfaces on leading courses in the US.
A short period of rain can play havoc with the games of notorious big hitters. As moisture softens the ground, balls rarely continue travelling over great lengths and players with a stronger approach game definitely enjoy a slight advantage. Most notably, putts can become more difficult to read as turn and pace reduce and once again, specialist players should be given a little more consideration in terms of betting activity.
Although nationality might not be an obvious indication of a potential tournament winner, it should never go unnoticed that some golfers tend to perform better on courses within their own country. Indeed, the chances are that those golfers would have played in similar conditions at their own clubs over previous weeks and months and will be more at ease with the ground and the style of play needed to compete for major honours. As fantastic as Tiger Woods has been in US-based tournaments over the years, his two successes at The Open have both seen strong early challenges from British players who are more familiar with the course type than their American counterparts.
So how can you profit?
I would suggest trading your way through the competition on a daily basis. Choose the possible contenders and then make a note next to each of them about whether the type of golf course is likely to suit them and if they have played there a lot at this time of year, or recently in the lead up to the competition. Each morning make a note of the weather conditions and how this is likely to affect each of the player’s performance.
You now have a solid amount of information available for which to place your opening trade. I would suggest looking for those players who are closer to outsiders but whom the conditions are likely to suit. Back them first and then follow the conditions every couple of hours to make sure they haven’t changed too much. When it looks like there may be a change in their preferred conditions then you can trade out of the bet at lower odds for a green book.
It is important to keep a close eye on the performance of the players you have traded on and if it looks like they are going to be unable to compete in this competition then close your trade before the odds have drifted too far.