Golf bettors look forward to every January, which brings the start of a new PGA season after a short layoff since last season ended. For bettors who like to bet on golf the days before the start of the new season are a good time to make sure you are ready for the long haul of the season. The more prepared you are, the better the chances are that you’ll come out ahead. Here are eight questions for PGA handicappers to consider to help you be as ready as possible:
When are key players returning for action? – The biggest name players in golf are capable of drawing a whole lot of public betting action in a tournament, and having a big impact on how you need to bet on that tournament. It is rare that many of those players will start their season with the earliest tournaments on the schedule. They likely aren’t worried about earnings, so they craft their schedule to best be ready for the tournaments that really matter to them. Getting a sense of which golfers are going to start playing right away and which ones will ease into things is important. The fewer big names who do start early in the season the less betting attention there will be and the easier it can be to find value on top golfers who are playing.
What players have had injuries or surgery in offseason? – The offseason is when golfers try to get themselves in shape by solving the issues that plagued them in the past. For some players that means that they will be slower than normal to get up to speed when they do start playing. For others the relief of a problem they had been facing could mean that they could play much better than they were last year.
What players are healthy after being hurt last year? – Similar to the last question, bettors want to look at golfers who have had time to heal after issues last year. Perhaps they are healthy after a medical exemption the previous year. Or perhaps a lingering issue has benefited from time. A newly healthy player can enjoy a major improvement in form.
Who is coming out of Q school? – It’s important to get a sense of which players are joining the tour each year. How much experience have they had in big tournaments? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What kind of course suits them best? What has their recent form been like? Most of these players will be ignored by the betting public until they do something to earn respect. The more you know about a golfer the better the chance you can cash in big on a bet if they have some success.
How has the calendar changed from last year? – The PGA schedule is largely the same from year to year, but there are always some changes. Tournament are added or dropped, venues change, courses are renovated, and tournaments move to different parts of the calendar. Getting familiar with these changes and what they could mean could lead to some opportunities for you to profit.
What are the plans for European players? – Every year a few European Tour players will focus on the PGA while others will go back to Europe after having tried out American golf. European players who decide to play a heavy American schedule are often talented guys who are regularly a factor in tournaments. The more you can know about the players, their skills, and their plans the better off you’ll be.
Who are your players to watch? – Before the season starts is a good time for handicappers to develop a list of golfers they are excited about. Maybe they are guys who have shown strong progress over the last couple years and are ready to be contenders. Or maybe they are guys who you expect to bounce back from a rough period and return to top form. Perhaps they are youngsters you are optimistic about, or guys who have consistently come through for you.
How did your betting work out last year? – Before the season starts bettors should take a detailed look back at what happened last year when betting on the PGA Tour and what they can learn from that. Were you profitable overall? Did you do better in high profile tournaments or in the more obscure ones. Did you do better with longshots or favorites? Are there some golfers you bet on too much without seeing a return? Are there some players or types of players who have been kind to your bankroll? By looking at what you have done in the past you can focus more on what has worked well for you, an quit doing the things that are costing you money.