Legal golf betting sites are endlessly creative in crafting new ways to bet on the PGA and other events. Golf tournaments are straightforward events, but online sportsbooks and mobile betting apps provide an impressive variety of wagers.

Whether it’s betting on the winner or predicting how many birdies a particular golfer will notch, PGA fans suffer no shortage of betting options at the best online sportsbooks.

On this page, BettingUSA explains how golf betting works from start to finish. Read on for the latest PGA betting odds, a clear explanation of how to bet on golf, where to find licensed sportsbooks, and much more.

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Many states have already legalized sports betting, and more are considering legislation to do the same. Eventually, most states will have legal online PGA betting. In the meantime, readers can see the following map for a quick overview of where golf betting is legal right now.

States with Legal Sports Betting Placeholder
States with Legal Sports Betting

Map Key

  • Blue: Online and mobile PGA betting is legal
  • Green: Land-based sportsbooks only (no online betting)
  • Red: PGA betting coming soon; legislation fully passed but waiting for implementation

A note for fans in states without legal sports betting: Daily fantasy sports offer the next best legal alternative to sports betting. Fantasy contests operate on a similar premise and require many of the same skills to win money.

The easiest way to find a quality PGA sportsbook is to keep it legal.

Licensed online sportsbooks and mobile betting apps are subject to a litany of regulations designed for consumer protection. Legal sportsbooks are obligated by law to safeguard customers’ funds, provide prompt payouts, record all transactions, and promote responsible gambling habits.

Most states provide a public list of licensed sportsbooks, but readers can also see which online sportsbooks are legal right here at BettingUSA is dedicated exclusively to legal sports betting and only recommends licensed online sportsbooks.

For more information on any state, view our state-by-state guides here.

Consider Sportsbooks Partnered with the PGA

Moving beyond the basics of safety and legality (which are all fairly even across the board for licensed operators in the US), something else to consider is looking into which sportsbooks partner with the PGA for data sharing and promotional purposes.

A trend that emerged shortly after the Supreme Court overturned the federal sports betting ban in 2018 was for major sports leagues to strike data and promotional partnerships with large gaming companies.

In February 2019, the PGA Tour updated its rules to permit players and tournaments to partner with casinos and daily fantasy operators, even if those operators also offer sports betting. PGA Tour officials said that such partnerships could enhance the integrity of the game through the transparent sharing of information.

The PGA Tour has signed named multiple online sportsbooks as an “official betting operator” since then. Some of the more prominent names to partner with the PGA to date include:

Sportsbooks with such deals gain the advantage of access to exclusive data straight from the PGA Tour, which in turn benefits customers with more in-play betting options and unique types of wagers.

Data from the PGA Tour’s ShotLink Intelligence technology is especially valuable for operators. Using an array of high-resolution cameras and lasers, ShotLink Intelligence collects tens of thousands of data points for every PGA Tour event related to driving distance, shot speed, spin, hang time, and much more.

Operators with access to that kind of data can produce sharper lines, give players more wagering options, and provide a more in-depth betting experience relative to sportsbooks without access to that data.

How to Bet on the PGA Online

Golf lends itself to a surprisingly diverse range of betting options considering the tournament format of golf competition. The types of wagers one can place on golf extend well beyond merely betting on who will win any given tournament.

Over the years, golf oddsmakers have come up with a wide array of wagering options as described below.

Outright wagers, or “futures,” are simple bets on who will win the tournament. With this wager, the sportsbook provides a list of players slated to compete in an upcoming golf tournament, and the bettor chooses one to win it all. The outright winner only pays if the selected golfer finishes the tournament in first place.

Outrights tend to pay well due to the difficulty of picking a single player to win a specific tournament. It is not uncommon for even the tournament favorite to be priced as high as + 1,000 (a $100 bet returns $1,000 in net profit) and for longshot players to be priced at +150,000 or more (a $100 wager returns $150,000 in net profit).

Top finish bets work like outrights but pay if the selected golfer finishes in the top three, five, or ten places in the tournament, depending on the wager. For example, a Top 5 bet on a golfer would win if he finishes anywhere in the top five places.

In other words, a top finish bet is an easier-to-win version of the outright offset by less attractive odds. To use a real example, an outright win bet on a single golfer in a recent tournament paid +750 while a top-5 bet on that same golfer paid +188.

Head-to-head matchups serve as an attractive alternative to outrights because they narrow down the options to just two players and function like a bet on team sports.

Rather than betting on who will win the entire tournament, the bettor needs only pick which of two named players will have the better finish out of the two.

A typical head-to-head wager is listed something like this:

  • Golfer A: -135
  • Golfer B: +115

If this example reminds anyone of betting on the winning team in any other sport, that’s because that is precisely the type of wager this one is modeled after. The main thing to keep in mind here is that what happens in the rest of the tournament does not matter for this wager. The only question in this bet is whether Golfer A or Golfer B will finish higher in the tournament.

In the above example, Golfer A is priced as the favorite over Golfer B with odds of -135. That means for every $135 wagered on Golfer A, the bettor stands to net $100 in winnings. Another way to think of that is for every $1.35 wagered on Golfer A, the bettor stands to win $1.00 in net profit.

Golfer B in this example is priced as the slight underdog at odds of +115. That means for every $100 wagered on Golfer B, the bettor stands to win $115 in net profit.

A 3-ball golf bet is structured similarly to a head-to-head matchup, except it involves picking who will finish with the best score out of a group of three players. Three-ball bets tend to only run for the 1st or 2nd round of the tournament, which means the wager is settled based on who has the best score for that round.

3-ball bets offer a better return than head-to-head wagers due to the addition of one more player but are still significantly easier to win than outrights.

The first-round leader bet is a variation of the outright wager, but it is based only on the first round of play.

First-round leader bets may be attractive in certain circumstances. For example, bettors may want to use first round leader bets to save back a little cash in case the selected golfer has a poor first round.

Or, a first-round leader bet may come in handy for a golfer who tends to get off to a strong start but doesn’t necessarily have finishing power.

First-round bets settle at the end of the round. What happens in the rest of the tournament has no bearing on the wager.

Each-way golf bets are essentially two wagers in one. Half the money in an each-way bet is placed on the chosen player to win the tournament outright, and half the money is placed on that golfer to finish near the top.

Depending on the sportsbook, “near the top” may be classified as finishing anywhere in the top four, five, or six places in the tournament.

Sportsbooks typically list each-way bets something like this:

  • Golfer A: +1200 EW ¼ @ 1-2-3-4-5

This bet tells us that Golfer A is priced at +1200 to win the tournament outright and one-quarter odds for a top-5 finish.

A $10 each way bet on Golfer A in this example would cost a total of $20. Of that amount, $10 would go on Golfer A to win the tournament at +1200. The remaining $10 would go on that golfer to finish in the top-5 at +300 (1/4th of +1200).

In summary, someone taking this bet has an outright wager on Golfer A to win plus a backup option should Golfer A play well but fail to take first.

Continuing the above example, there are three possible outcomes for the bettor:

  • Golfer A wins the tournament: The bettor wins both halves of the bet. The win portion would pay $120 in net profit ($10 at +1200). The place portion would also pay at +300 for an additional $30 in winnings ($10 at +300). The total return in this outcome would be $170 for a net profit of $150.
  •  Golfer A finishes in 2nd-5th place: The bettor loses the outright portion of the wager because Golfer A failed to win. However, the other $10 portion of the wager would still pay at +300 because Golfer A achieved a top-5 finish. The return on this wager would be $40 for a net profit of $20.
  • Golfer A finishes anywhere below 5th place: Both halves of the wager would be lost, resulting in the bettor losing $20.

Golf betting sites occasionally offer “player vs. the field” bets when one golfer has emerged as the dominant favorite to win the tournament.

Bettors will often see this wager open later in a tournament when one golfer has pulled far ahead of the pack and his or her odds have shortened dramatically. Meanwhile, the remaining golfers are such longshots to win that there is little interest in backing the favorite or anyone else.

The player vs. the field wager allows bettors to pick one of two outcomes:

  • The named player to win the tournament
  • Anyone else to win the tournament

The idea with this bet is to keep the betting markets attractive even when one player has pulled way ahead. The wager allows bettors to back the current favorite at decent odds. Or, bettors can take a shot at an upset by backing the entire field as a group for a realistic shot at winning the bet.

Golf props (short for “proposition”) cover a wide range of topics not directly related to who will win the tournament. For example, a popular golf prop is to bet on whether a hole-in-one will occur during the tournament.

Other types of golf props may cover subjects such as whether or not there will be a playoff, who will achieve the lowest round, the nationality of the winner, most greens in regulation, and much more.

Betting on the PGA Majors

Golf betting is a year-round sport with fans never far from the next PGA tournament, all of which are covered by the nation’s prominent online sportsbooks.

However, the four Majors stand above all the rest each year:

  • The Masters Tournament (April)
  • US Open (May)
  • The Open Championship (June)
  • PGA Championship (July)

Online sportsbooks and mobile betting apps tend to cover the four PGA Majors in the most detail. As each Major approaches, the best golf betting sites load up on promotions and launch dozens of betting markets.

In-Play Golf Betting

In-play golf betting differs from traditional wagering in one fundamental respect: betting markets remain open throughout the event – even wagers on who will win. As sportsbooks receive live data from the PGA Tour, they provide customers with a constant stream of short-term and tournament-spanning bets with odds that update in real time.

The legalization of sports betting opened the door for experienced and well-funded gaming companies to enter the business and deliver advanced in-play betting capabilities. With companies such as Metric Gaming and IMG Arena able to leverage the PGA’s ShotLink technology, the in-play golf betting experience is continually advancing.

Golf pairs well with instant play betting because the sport offers no shortage of individual events to bet on, but it doesn’t move so fast that it becomes difficult to keep up with the many markets offered throughout a tournament.

The types of live golf betting markets available for any individual tournament varies by sportsbook. The best golf betting sites provide a wide range of markets, ranging from outright bets on who will win the round to whether or not a specific competitor will record a green in regulation on the next hole.

Popular Types of In-Play Golf Bets

  • Live outrights: Bet on the tournament winner (odds updated throughout the tournament)
  • Hole-by-hole betting: Bet on an individual golfer’s performance on a single hole, such as betting YES or NO to green in regulation, YES or NO to fairway in regulation, and hole score
  • Round 1 matchup: Predict which of two players will have the best round
  • Hole matchups: Predict which of two players will win a specific hole
  • Round totals: Bet the over/under on a golfer’s total score for the round
  • In-play props: Bet on a variety of props such as will a specific golfer have a bogey-free round, will any golfer score a bogey or worse on a particular hole, predict the leading score after round one, and much more

Legal sports betting impacts the PGA in multiple ways.

One of the most significant impacts sports betting has on all sports is viewership. Many surveys have found that people who bet on sports tend to consume more sports media. That includes tuning in to broadcasts, visiting PGA websites for results, and interacting with PGA social media accounts.

Increased engagement results in an indirect benefit to the PGA Tour as more viewers results in better advertising contracts for the PGA. If people are tuning in, the PGA Tour can demand bigger broadcasting and advertising fees.

Although illegal sports betting has been widespread for decades, that was already baked into past viewership numbers. Legal sports betting provides a new bump in fan engagement as the betting industry shakes off its shadowy reputation to become much more accessible and acceptable to casual fans.

A second benefit for the PGA is direct investments from the gaming industry, such as sports betting operators paying money to the PGA Tour for sponsorships, advertising, and access to data.

The PGA also gains the ability to directly entering the sports betting business. In late 2019, the PGA Tour announced plans to begin taking wagers at tournaments held in states where sports betting is legal.

PGA Position on Sports Wagering

Unlike the other major US sports leagues, the PGA Tour did not strongly oppose sports betting before the Supreme Court ruled PASPA unconstitutional. Even as the NFL and other leagues filed lawsuits to stop New Jersey from implementing sports betting, the PGA Tour had little to say on the matter.

Going back as far as January 2017, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan indicated he would keep an “open mind” regarding the issue. The PGA Tour opted not to issue a formal statement at the time, but Monahan did note that legal sports betting could potentially unlock “a lot of opportunity” for pro golf.

The league further clarified its stance once it became clear the Supreme Court seemed to be siding in favor of New Jersey and legal sports betting. Roughly a month before the ruling, Commissioner Monahan spoke with USA Today in a wide-ranging interview and revealed that the PGA Tour had already been studying the issue of sports betting for “several years” at that point.

After the ruling that May, the PGA Tour finally issued a formal statement on sports betting:

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling today, the PGA Tour reiterates its support of the regulation of sports betting in a safe and responsible manner. We believe that regulation is the most effective way of ensuring integrity in competition, protecting consumers, engaging fans and generating revenue for government, operators and league.

Daily Fantasy PGA Contests

Most of the US is likely to legalize sports betting sooner or later, but for readers in states that have not yet joined the party, daily fantasy sports serve as the best alternative to sports betting.

In many ways, fantasy PGA contests resemble traditional sports betting. In both, fans put money on the line for a chance to win real money. Both activities also require knowledge, learning how to identify value, and properly managing a bankroll.

There are even a handful of fantasy sites that operate remarkably similar to sports betting. Monkey Knife Fight and Prize Picks are two sites with contests that feel more like handicapping contests than standard fantasy games.