Guide To Golf Betting In Colorado

Golf is an intricate game, and with pro tournaments often featuring 75 or more players competing over multiple rounds, there are likely more gambling opportunities with golf than any other sport.

Now that sports betting is live in Colorado, you can take advantage of the many betting opportunities golf presents at Colorado’s first licensed retail sportsbooks and mobile betting apps.

From betting on who’s going to win golf’s four majors, to round-by-round, head-to-head, and even shot-by-shot live-betting action at every PGA Tour event, Colorado sportsbooks have it all.

Golf’s popularity is surging with the spread of legal sports betting across the US. Not since Tiger Woods first turned pro and took the golfing world by storm has there been this much interest in the sport.

The fact that you can now have a little skin in the game, even right here in Colorado, is a big part of the reason why.

From everything you need to know about the top Colorado sports betting apps to detailed explanations of the myriad ways you can bet on golf, below you’ll find a complete look at golf betting right here in Colorado.

How does golf betting work?

The big difference between betting on golf and other sports is the sheer number of betting opportunities golf presents. There are simply more ways to bet on golf than most other sports.

But that doesn’t mean it’s more complicated. Betting on golf is easy, and Colorado sportsbooks and online sports betting apps offer a huge variety of simple ways you can bet on it.

Of course, it’s best to start with some basic golf bets. Here’s an explanation of the main concepts of golf betting and the most popular basic golf bets available to you:

  • To win: Pick a golfer you think will win this week’s tournament and bet on that golfer at moneyline odds posted by Colorado sportsbooks. With 75+ golfers in the field heading into the first round, you’ll find the odds for most are relatively long. In other words, these bets promise a pretty payday on just about the entire field.
  • Versus the field: This can be like a win bet where you take the favorite against a group of golfers or the entire field. The difference is, you can also take the field, making it more of a bet against that favorite (at a significantly lower price).
  • Finishing position: Like a win bet with a little leeway. These bets generally allow you to wager on a golfer to finish in the top five, top 10 or top 20 at reduced odds.
  • Head to head: Pick one golfer over another and book the bet at moneyline odds. If your pick finishes ahead of the other golfer, you win.
  • Group betting: Pick one golfer from a group of four or more and book the bet at moneyline odds. If your pick finishes ahead of the other golfers, you win.
  • 2/3 balls: Pick one golfer from a group of three and book the bet at money line odds. If your pick finishes ahead of the other two, you win.
  • Each way: An each-way bet is a bit of a hedge, paying off if the golfer you bet on either wins or finishes in a set group, like the top three, four, or five.
  • First-round leader: PGA Tour events and all four majors are four rounds. These bets allow you to bet on whom you think the leader will be after the first round. First-round leader bets are booked at money line odds.
  • Nationality: Bet on a golfer by nationality, and if the winner is from the country you bet on, you win.

Golf live betting online

Live golf betting is where golf betting really takes off. No matter what the sport, live or in-play betting is the practice of betting on an event once it has already started.

For most sports, Colorado sportsbooks make basic bets available throughout the game at odds that change with the action.

The same is true for golf, but Colorado sportsbooks also take that a step further by allowing live bets on everything from the next hole to even the next shot.

The instant availability of official tournament data makes this possible. Oddsmakers use performance data and probability figures to set the live odds on shots, holes, and rounds.

These markets move fast, so the odds and opportunities vary greatly. Plus, they are really only truly available through an online sportsbook.

Golf tournaments typically begin on a Thursday and play through Sunday, providing countless live betting opportunities over these four days.

Golf futures

Golf’s four majors attract the most interest from the public and media. As a result, most golf futures markets surround the Masters, the PGA Championship, The Open Championship, and the US Open.

These events feature the biggest names in the game, and you can bet on any one of them to win at money line odds via futures markets at Colorado sportsbooks. The odds are adjusted throughout the season and even throughout the majors themselves.

Futures markets also include the FedExCup, the PGA Tour’s season-long points, and playoff system that leads to the Tour Championship.

All these futures markets stay active throughout the year, but generally post longer odds on favorites the further it is from an event. Booking a bet early can provide a real boost in profits if your chosen golfer manages to come through.

Golf prop betting

Think of a question you might ask about a golf tournament, and you can probably book a prop bet on the answer at Colorado sportsbooks and sports betting apps.

Prop betting is outside the norm of betting on who is going to win. Prop bets are side bets on things that may or may not happen during the course of a tournament and can revolve around the tournament itself or one specific golfer (often Tiger Woods).

Available props vary by sportsbook and event, but you’ll usually find things like:

  • Will there be a hole in one?
  • An over/under on combined birdies or bogies for a specific hole.
  • Will a specific golfer post a bogey-free round?

Check out each Colorado sportsbook’s prop bet offerings ahead of upcoming tournaments.

Odds on golf majors

The PGA Tour and the entire pro golfing season surround golf’s four majors. These events attract the viewing and betting public more than any other.

Golf’s four majors are all about the world’s best golfers competing for age-old titles on the toughest and most beautiful golf courses in the world.

Most golf futures are about the majors, and each also presents increased opportunities for everything from basic golf betting to live betting and props.

Below is a look at golf’s four majors, when and where they take place, and who will be contending for these coveted crowns in 2020.

Betting on the Masters

The Masters is the first major of the season and by far the game’s most popular event.

  • Nov. 12-15, 2020
  • Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia
  • Purse size: $11,500,000
  • Defending champion: Tiger Woods

Woods won his fifth Masters in 2019 and is always a favorite to compete. He’s now got only one green jacket behind Jack Nicklaus. However, he’s 15 years older than Brooks Koepka, who tied for second last year, dominated the rest of the 2019 golf season, and should be the favorite to win everything he plays heading into the 2020 Masters.

Betting on the PGA Championship

While somewhat less prestigious, The Masters is still a hotly contested major generally held on a course with more forgiving greens than Augusta.

  • Aug. 6-9, 2020
  • TPC Harding Park in San Francisco
  • Purse size: $11,000,000
  • Defending champion: Brooks Koepka

Koepka dominated the first three days of the 2019 PGA Championship and held on to win it for the second year in a row. Betting against a threepeat sounds like a bad idea. Although the rest of the best golfers in the world, including Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, and likely Woods, will make Koepka earn it.

Betting on the US Open

The US Open is always held on one of the toughest courses in the country and might just be the toughest of the four majors to win. It also has the richest purse.

  • Sept. 17-20, 2020
  • Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York
  • Purse size: $12,500,000
  • Defending champion: Gary Woodland

Long hitter Gary Woodland won his first major at the 2019 US Open. However, usual suspects Koepka, Johnson, Rahm, McIlroy and Woods will likely be the favorites coming in. That is, unless some other golfers post big finishes in the first two majors of the season prior to the US Open.

The Open Championship

The Open Championship, or British Open, is held in the UK, generally on a links course with deeper rough than anything you find growing out of American soil. In the wake of coronavirus, the 2020 event was canceled, but the tournament will return to Royal St. George in 2021.

  • TBD
  • Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, England
  • Purse size: $10,750,000
  • Defending champion: Shane Lowry

With a course as tough as most PGA Championships and competition as fierce as the US Open, The Open Championship is no cakewalk. Golf’s final major of the season puts players to the ultimate test. Irishman Lowry won it at home last year, but McIlroy is the perennial favorite across the pond, and Koepka is still a favorite everywhere he plays.

The PGA in Colorado

The Denver Open Invitational was a PGA Tour event played a few times at the Denver Country Club, Meadow Hills Country Club, Wellshire Golf Club and Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver from 1947 to 1963.

However, The International was the premier Colorado PGA Tour event from 1986 through 2006. It was held at the Castle Pines Golf Club at Castle Pines Village in Castle Rock, Colorado, just south of Denver.

What made the event so special was the use of Modified Stableford scoring, which awards points for a player’s performance specific to each hole.

The PGA Tour replaced The International in 2007 with the AT&T National in Washington, D.C. It uses standard stroke play.

The closest Colorado comes to a PGA Tour event now is the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes, June 29 – July 5, 2020.

It is a Korn Ferry Tour event with players competing for spots on the PGA Tour. Most Colorado sportsbooks and sports betting apps will have odds posted for this local Korn Ferry Tour event.

Free golf bets

Colorado’s online and mobile sportsbooks want your action, and they’re willing to do just about anything to get it, up to and including offering you risk-free and absolutely free bets.

That means Colorado online and mobile sports betting apps will offer free bets and risk-free bets to new customers just for signing up for an account. Very few, if any, strings are attached.

Risk-free bets offer you the opportunity to make a bet up to a certain amount and collect on any winnings as normal. The trick is that if you lose, the online or mobile sportsbook will refund the bet in site credit that you can use to bet with again.

Free bets come in the form of free money you can bet with. You get paid if you win and are no worse for wear if you don’t.

With golf season in full swing, there’s no reason why you can’t take every dollar Colorado’s online and mobile sportsbooks offer you in the form of risk-free and absolutely free bets, and bet it on golf.

For all the important details on these offers and how to take advantage of them, read through all our Colorado online and mobile sportsbook reviews.

Golf livestreaming

PGA Tour events take up a lot of TV real estate. But even with live coverage of all four rounds, the networks that cover golf can’t show every stroke from every golfer.

That said, the advent of livestreaming golf adds a new layer of depth to the coverage. Most of the networks that broadcast golf offer live streaming coverage as an added, in-depth feature to go alongside their TV coverage.

You can find live streams of most PGA events online and via mobile, and the coverage goes even deeper online for the majors.

You can even stream live golf, watch featured groups and get speed round coverage of specific golfers with the tour’s own PGA Tour Live product.

In fact, PGA Tour Live allows you to stream your favorite players live, plus 10-minute condensed speed rounds, letting you watch every shot by every player in all four rounds of many events.

As the Colorado online and mobile sportsbook market matures, you can also expect to see PGA live streams on the apps themselves, run in conjunction with live betting features.

Golf betting tips for beginners

The large fields, course diversification, and skill differentials make betting on golf as tough as any sport. That’s why the odds on most golfers to win a tournament are so attractive.

Sticking to the basics of proper bankroll management, using data to make informed picks and betting with your head instead of your heart should give you a leg up.

Above and beyond that, try these three basic golf betting tips:

Study hard

Look at the recent performance of a golfer to determine how he’ll do in an upcoming tournament, as winners hardly ever come out of nowhere and golf performances can be streaky. Also, look at the course and conditions compared to each golfer’s skill set to see who is set up for success.

In other words, study the stats and make picking winners a science.

Picks not a pick, golfers not a golfer

Keep things simple by trying to pick winners, and diversify by picking more than one.

Large, competitive fields mean the price is juicy on even the top golfers to win a tournament. It simply makes sense to pick as many as you can as long as you can stay profitable if one of your picks wins on Sunday. If your group is out of contention in the final round, you can always earn the money back live betting on the contenders.

Don’t buy it

It might seem like there are as many golf betting touts and tipsters with sure-fire systems as there are pro golfers. Maybe more.

There’s no such thing as a sure thing, except that if these tipsters really had a sure-fire system, they wouldn’t need the money from selling it to you to get by.

The best way to approach golf betting is to study golf and develop your own picks. Don’t buy anything from these so-called expert handicappers. Instead, use that money for trial and error bets on picks you developed yourself.

Golf betting rules

The rules of golf are relatively straightforward. For the most part, the rules when it comes to betting on golf are common-sense and easy to understand.

However, the game has its intricacies, and certain betting rules may apply to various situations.

Always check out the golf betting rules specific to the Colorado sportsbook app of your choice prior to betting so there are no misunderstandings.

In the meantime, here are some relatively common situations and the golf betting rules that apply:

  • Failure to start: If a golfer does not start a tournament, all bets on that golfer are voided.
  • Completed tournament: Weather or other factors may end an event early. Colorado sportsbooks generally won’t consider a PGA event officially completed unless 54 holes have been played. Incomplete events will generally have all bets voided.
  • Dead heat rule: Golfers often end up tied for finishing position at the end of the tournament. If you bet on a golfer to finish in the top five, or another group, and that golfer tied for fifth with two others, seven players finished in the top five, and the dead heat rule may be applied, paying out the bet at only a fraction of the odds. Check with the Colorado sportsbook where you placed the bet to see if, when and how it applies the dead heat rule.
  • Presentation ceremony: Where there is a presentation ceremony at the end of a golf tournament, markets will be settled based on this result. In other words, the golfer who is handed the trophy or the check is the winner, regardless of any subsequent disqualification or amendment to that result. If there is no presentation ceremony, disqualifications, or amendments to the result can be made within 24 hours.

Golf Betting FAQ

How do I find the best golf betting lines?

You can find the best golf betting lines sitting at home on your sofa. Just browse through the golf markets at various Colorado sports betting apps and look for the differences in the lines for the same bets. Find the best price on a bet and make sure if you’re going to book it, you book it there.

This is called line shopping, and it’s a simple and easy process that will put money in your pocket over the long haul.

How does golf scoring work?

Golf uses a par scoring system. Scoring is based on the number of strokes taken compared to the par set for each hole and total for the course (18 holes). Golfers count every stroke through a round and compare it to par for the course. The number they are left with goes up on the leaderboard as their score.

For most tournaments, the lowest score through four rounds wins.

For example, Tiger Woods shot rounds of 70, 68, 67, and 70 to win the 2019 Masters. Since Augusta is a par 72 course, Woods’s score is said to be -13 through four rounds.

Who has won the most majors?

Jack Nicklaus has won the most majors at 18: six Masters, five PGA Championship, four US Open, and three Open Championship titles. Nicklaus’ last majors win came in 1986 at the Masters.

Second on the list is Tiger Woods, who has won 15 majors and is still playing. In fact, he won the 2019 Masters.

Is golf harder to bet on than other sports?

Golf is no harder to bet on than any other sport; there’s just a lot more to bet on. The big difference between golf betting and betting on other sports is the number of betting opportunities a typical golf tournament presents.

Simply put, there are more ways to bet in golf than other sports, but that doesn’t mean it’s more complicated or harder to do. Betting on golf at Colorado sportsbooks and online sports betting apps is as easy as betting on anything else if you take the time to research the betting markets available.

Should I always/never bet on Tiger Woods?

With 109 professional wins, including 15 majors, Tiger Woods is a good bet to win on the PGA Tour every time he tees it up. He’s also a 44-year-old man well past the prime of a career where he has dealt with a lot of serious injuries.

The truth is that you should always/never bet on any single golfer, whether his name is Tiger or anything else. Instead, look for who’s hot and set up to win heading into a tournament at a course that sets up well for their skill set. If that’s Tiger, so be it.

That said, for most majors, Colorado sports betting apps will usually have more props and betting markets surrounding Woods than any other golfer.

That means there’s a good chance you’ll find a bet on Tiger you like almost every time, and there’s no reason not to bet it. Add in the fact that Colorado sportsbooks are likely to run a number of promos and odds boosts surrounding Woods, and it gets even harder not to bet on Tiger.