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Golf Handicapping — Here are the Basics

Betting Your Golf Picks? Here Are Some Golf Handicapping Tips

Putting some dough on a golf tournament every week can result in monetary gains as long as you do some research. Here are a few things to consider before placing a bet on a tournament player.

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Player’s Recent Performance

Look through the field at players on which you might wager. How have they been playing? Is there someone who looks like a really good “show bet” (first through fourth place)? Is a player dealing with anything that may affect their performance, such as nursing an injury or dealing with a personal problem?

If considering a match-up wager, look at how both players have been performing overall and against one another.

Player’s Past Performance on that Course

What players have been involved in this tournament in the past and how have they played the course? Is there something about this course—the average length of each hole, the depth of the rough, the length and pitch of the greens, etc.—that will hamper a player or enhance their performance?

The Weather

Some pros are great in rain, others in heat, and others in humidity. As the tournament approaches, check out the weather conditions that may impact play and individual players. Are some golfers more affected by stoppage of play than others or are some better dealing with windy conditions than others? These are all things you must ask yourself when you are golf betting and handicapping the PGA Tour. Weather is often overlooked by golf handicappers. Don't make the same mistake.

Tee Times

Players who get a late tee time in round one and an early one in round two hold an advantage in two ways. First, if a golfer starts late on day one (Thursday) and early on day two (Friday), the golfer gets Friday afternoon to practice, rest and/or focus, making them better able to handle the pressure of the final 36 holes played on Saturday and Sunday.

This same pattern of a late and then an early start also helps golfers in that they get to play the course early on Friday before the greens really gets banged up. There are about 150 players in a tournament and as they trudge along the course in their spikes, they tend to beat up the greens, making them less predictable, harder to read and tougher to play.

Travel Between Time Zones

What players have had to deal with changing time zones and long-distance travel? Chances are that a professional golfer going a great distance and having his physical and emotional health taxed by travel will have a difficult time performing up to his normal standards.

What’s Tiger Doing?

Is Tiger Woods in the tournament? If not, that will certainly influence your betting strategy. If he is playing, it’s important to remember that Woods is amazingly resilient and can come back in the final round when down by six or seven strokes.

The Odds

Consider the golf odds and who is favored. Betting on the player with the lowest odds is not necessarily a good idea. Determine who has not only some sound odds but a good chance of posting a strong finish. Perhaps bet on one or two players to “show” and then one to “win.” Look at mismatches in match play and go with the player who has the best chance of winning. Place two to three educated bets on one tournament.

Using this basic betting knowledge will greatly improve your chances of turning a profit. Look for trends, study past performance and try to determine which players are at the top of their games. Doing so will result in more payoffs. Finally, consider a handicapping serve. These services, which utilize a vast range of information, will often give the serious, long-term player a decided advantage.

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