Betting on golf futures

How do golf futures work?

Futures betting is the most common and popular way to wager on golf. It allows you to bet on the performances of players over the course of the season, including how many majors they will win, and whether they will win a certain tournament, place in the top 10, or make the cut.

Sportsbooks will offer you odds on each and every single player from months before a major golf tournament takes place.

For non-major tournaments, these will likely be released nearer the time, but still often allow bettors an ample window to research and find the lines that give you the most value.

Since you are wagering on one golfer in a large field, this leads to hefty payouts and lucrative wins, moreso than when wagering any other sport.

However, there is great parity in golf, and any golfer on any day can win a tournament. BET.CA will get you in the proper position to make the most informed choice about your golf futures wagers.

Golf_FedEx St. Jude Championship_Will Zalatoris at TPC Southwind
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How to bet on golf futures

There are several factors to consider when deciding who to wager on for your golf futures. First, you need to know the course, its layout, and history. The next important thing you need to look at is the course’s length and how important it will be to consider golfers who are long off the tee.

Thirdly, consider what type of greens they are playing on and which golfers are bringing a hot flatstick to the tournament.

Finally, it will be in your best interest to find out which golfer is in good form in the weeks heading into a tournament. All of these factors are discussed in greater detail in the sections below.

Knowing the course

What differs between golf and the majority of other sports popular in Canada is that it is mainly a player against the course, and not a team versus team matchup. As a result, strategizing for the course hosting the event you are going to wager on is important.

Every course for each tournament is different and comes with its own set of obstacles. Some courses have wide fairways, others have tough greens with different grass types, and some are short and some are long. Other factors to include in your research is whether or not the rough has been cut, which could benefit those who drive the ball far and aren’t necessarily accurate off the tee.

Researching the course and finding out each golfer’s history on it, and who can benefit the most, is paramount to ultimately winning your wagers. Target golfers playing in a region, course, and putting surface that they are comfortable in. For example, Phil Mickelson went to college at Arizona State, and each of his first seven victories were on the West Coast.

Gain a further edge in your wagers by checking weather reports and when your golfer ultimately tees off. If a golfer that you want to bet on is teeing off in the morning and it’s supposed to rain with heavy winds at that time, it might be better for you to look elsewhere or to check the afternoon wave. Use rain, wind speeds, and periods of sun all to your advantage while diversifying your futures wagers for the event.

Golf: LIV Golf - First Round - Oct 28, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Phil Mickelson plays his shot off the ninth tee box during the first round of the season finale of the LIV Golf series at Trump National Doral.
© John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Long balls

One of the most important factors when wagering on a specific player, whether it’s betting on them against the field or in head-to-head matchups, is the length of the course. The average length of a professional golf course is 7,300 yards, which gives us a solid benchmark when determining which golfer could have success in a given day or tournament.

For example, Augusta National (home of the Masters), is 7,500 yards in length, so driving distance may be important when deciding on who you want to bet on. During his career, Tiger Woods, one of the most proficient drivers on the PGA TOUR, has won the Masters five times.

In order to properly assess driving distance, there are a few things to look at. One is considering the length of a player’s drive, and the next is their accuracy and ability to find the fairway off the tee. As of November 2022, Brandon Matthews leads the PGA TOUR in average driving distance (327.80 yards) during the 2022-23 season, while Brandon Hagy (323.50) and Tyler Pendrith (322.00) are close behind.

Typically, golfers who hit the ball shorter are more accurate. Vaughn Taylor (71.43%), Ryan Armour (67.86%), and Alex Lee (67.86%) are among the most accurate off the tee during the 2022-23 PGA season. Keeping this in mind is important when looking at who you want to wager on.

Short game

There are numerous things to look at when it comes to a golfer’s short game. For instance, the putting surface may not seem like it’s important at first glance, but it can become a vital way to find an edge during a tournament.

There are three different putting surfaces to know about before making your futures bet – Bent, Poa Annua, and Bermuda. Bent grass greens are usually smoother, faster, and hold their line due to the finer blades of grass, Poa Annua surfaces are traditionally bumpy, especially late in the afternoon, and Bermuda greens are typically slower putting surfaces and won’t break as much.

Some golfers from the southeast tend to struggle making the transition to the West Coast courses as a result. This kind of attention to detail is a great way to identify courses that may be a strong fit for specific golfers. As you do your due diligence, keep these ideas in mind.

PGA: John Deere Classic - Second Round - Jul 1, 2022; Silvis, Illinois, USA; Adam Hadwin lines up a putt on the second green during the the second round of the John Deere Classic golf tournament.
© Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
Current form

Golfers can often ride hot streaks into a tournament or major. This could mean that they haven’t missed the cut in five straight tournaments, they have consistently placed in the top 10, or have won multiple tournaments during the season.

These “hot streaks” and finding the golfer with a “hot hand” are all important factors when deciding who to bet on. The course history of a golfer is a strong indicator of a good bet if they shoot well at a specific course, but sometimes you can find a player both in the middle of a hot streak and who also plays a course particularly well.

Finding this edge can be a successful approach. If a certain player is trending in a positive direction and there is a head-to-head matchup future against a player who has missed the cut in multiple weeks, that might be a wager you want to consider. It’s all about looking for players whose numbers and results have been getting steadily better in the immediate past.

Golf futures FAQs

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Our golf guides are written by BET.CA's in-house team, who are passionate fans of the majors, LIV Golf Series, and the Ryder Cup. We can help you out with how to bet on all the action that unfolds on the course.

BET.CA staff
BET.CA staff