Betting, golf

Smart Betting on Golf Outrights


There is no substitute for backing winners, so if you always back winners you don’t need to read this. Just go enjoy your winnings and have a good laugh at the expense of the rest of us!

However, for the other 99.9% of gamblers what follows is a cornucopia of lessons learned from my personal betting experience and, more importantly, from observing the betting of all levels and types of gambler from all over the world – from the rankest of amateurs to the most disciplined and professional syndicates.

They didn’t all bet on golf but the strategies of betting don’t vary from sport to sport; only the tactics vary in terms of addressing issues – such as the large sizes of golf fields.

Here is a selection of my observations and lessons learned:

Staking (How much you will invest)

Staking is all about discipline. I’ve never seen a successful gambler over any decent period of time who was not disciplined in his staking. The typical recreational punter’s staking discipline is running out of money!

Have your own Staking Level & Expectations

Every gambler should have a staking level, or amount that he will spend: per bet, per tournament and per week; preferably all three.

Personally, I structure my golf staking so that if I hit anything, my smallest possible payout in any week will equal roughly two times my total weekly outlay.

Have a Bank

Closely allied to your staking plan is the size of your ‘bank’; money in hand and set aside for betting. I recommend your bank be at least 10 times your weekly staking level. Golf wins can be far apart and before you embark on your journey you need to have enough fuel to keep you going for a reasonable period of time.

Have a Plan

It doesn’t matter what the plan is, just make one. You’ll find it will help keep you more disciplined and structured in your betting. For example for golf, will you be backing: win only, each way, place, first round leader, head-to-heads, make the cut or are you backing to lay on an exchange or will you combine certain selections in doubles?

Psychology & Remorse

Closely allied to the above sustenance issue is that there are few worse feelings than having decided you’ll have 5 units to win on every longshot you like, conscientiously doing so for 8 tournaments then changing to zero units the following week owing to lack of funds or inattention. Because the inevitable will happen; one of them will win that week!

Eliminating the opportunity for this type of remorse to arise, and its related self-apportionment of blame and beating-up of oneself, is an underrated psychological component of betting.

Don’t get Carried Away by a Win

Just as you should not reduce your staking level after losses, you should not increase it after wins. Many golf punters allow one (typically rare) win to go to their head and will stake 5-10 times as much the following week.

In my opinion, there are only three reasons for such increased staking:

  • You’re well in funds and the step-up to a higher investment level is justified by sustained winning performance or;
  • You’re now ten times smarter than you were last week and with ten times more analysis under your belt or;
  • You’re a certifiable moron.

Don’t back too Many Players to Win a Tournament

This is a common trap for persons who bet on golf tournaments. It’s a common failing of many golf tipsters too. So, be guided by price in determining how many to back; the lower the prices, the fewer you should back.

If you like to back favourites (which I claim you should rarely do) it makes no sense to back five players in the 6.00-29.00 range because your winners will not be frequent enough to sustain your betting. Try to restrict your favourites’ betting to 0, 1 or 2 players.

If you like to back longer shots, in my opinion it’s possible to justify backing up to four of them each way. For argument’s sake let’s assume their win prices are 51.00 -101.00, making their place prices 13.50 – 26.00. If you back three, each way, your total outlay will be 6 units and if one places (no ties) you’ll more than double your money.

Put another way, one placing will sustain your staking for perhaps 3 tournaments.


LET Misses the Target with new Aramco Team Series

4 February 2021

The Ladies European Tour seems to have stumbled into 2021 in much the same manner it has begun too many recent years. This despite its much-heralded new partnership with the LPGA.

I recently tweeted to #LETGolf pointing out an error on its Tournament Schedule page. I received a polite thank you (which was nice), along with advice that its 2021 Tournament Schedule would be published later in January. It wasn’t.

Instead of a tournament schedule, for now we at least have an announcement that a new 4-tournament series will be played in 2021 in: New York, London, Singapore & King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi Arabia. A $1million purse per tournament too, which compares more than favourably with the regular Tour event purses of $300-400,000. Exciting stuff!

One could debate the morality of the geo-source of this sponsorship but, personally, I don’t give a crap. It’s new money going into golf and that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t care if corporations I view as scumbags, like facebook or Fox Corp, had been the sponsor. It’s new money going into golf instead of somewhere else; that’s a good thing.

However, as my headline suggests, this new Series has got it wrong by making all four tournaments teams events. In golf, aside from the long established team events (Solheim Cup, Ryder Cup), hardly anybody is interested in teams and even less interested in betting on them.

Golf bettors would far prefer to bet on individual golfers to win or place in a 54- or 72-hole tournament than try and work out which composite team is likely to perform best. To add insult to injury, the 4th member of each team will be an amateur and thus broadly unknown; also a turn-off for bettors.

Why does gambler engagement matter? Because when bettors have their money invested their level of interest in golf (and every other sport) immeasurably rises. These invested bettors represent: eyes-on viewership, social media output, added tournament publicity, new cable tv subscriptions, published and podcast betting analysis and tips, more visits to tournament sites and so on. And so on. Did the biggest tour, PGA Tour, recently embrace gambling at the earliest opportunity for purely altruistic reasons that have nothing to do with revenue? Duh, no!

If you’re one of those freaks who thinks gambling and sport don’t mix, take a look at the shirtfront jersey sponsorships across the major European soccer leagues. How many are sports betting corporations? Or quantify the massive tax rakes by governments around the world that are generated by sports betting.

How much is bet on sports globally each year? Nobody knows but assuredly it’s a long way north of $100billion! A number that makes all the golf tours in the world look like financial irrelevancies. They must embrace it.

So, to conclude by returning to my main point, why would the Ladies European Tour, one of the poorest funded strugglers on the global golf scene, be involved in orchestrating four new big money tournaments that are guaranteed to minimise golf bettor interest?

Unaware? Doesn’t care? Let’s face it, if you’re running any professional sport these days and you turn a blind eye to the sports betting industry and its hundreds of millions of clients, you’re out of touch with reality!