While the PGA tour is reeling from the loss of its golden boy, Tiger Woods, and his rabid fan base; the show goes on and they still play 9 months out of the year. This presents some solid week-in, week-out betting opportunities. In this article, we'll discuss a process to step through and find some of the more appealing opportunities to bet on each week. With about 20 minutes of time early in the week, it's not hard to separate the wheat from the chaff in professional golf.
You want to start by browsing the PGA players. While there are many mainstream players, you definitely want to pay attention to newer players as well, particularly new players with hot trends. And we're not talking fashion trends, rather we're after performance, specifically wins and top 10 finishes. Newer players fly under the radar, and can carry a lot of "value" in the odds that Vegas puts out. The mainstreams will be more expensive and carry lower payouts at the sports books. I like to start on PGAtour.com, but there are several sports related websites that carry current content on players as well.
Start with current rankings, and look at recent changes and rankings, trying to find players quickly moving up in recent weeks. Once you have a handful of players picked out, you'll want to check their stats. Much like baseball, golfers carry statistics for many parts of their games. Driving distance and accuracy are important, particularly for longer courses. But much like the saying "drive for show, putt for dough", it's generally the short game that wins tournaments. Make sure your selected players rank high in putting and scrambling.
Another really good source of information is the fantasy golf advice. PGAtour.com also hosts plenty of content around this, with experts weighing in across the ranks of top golfers. This is a great place to pickup some insider advice and statistics, they you may otherwise spend much more time rifling through different sites for on your own.
With promising golfers in hand, you now want to take into account the course and playing conditions. Players that have been around for a while will have racked up enough starts and statistics on most of the courses. You can drill into this pretty easily under "Tournaments" on PGAtour.com, and there's typically a lot of discussion about the course and past player performance. This is where you can also start leveraging media stories on the upcoming event, particularly anything local to the venue which may carry some more insight.
Also make sure to know the weather forecasts. Some golfers play better in adverse conditions than others, and are better at controlling ball flight in wind. Golfers from Europe and Texas are typically known for this. Also, if it's a desert course, some players love the hardpan and others despise it. Spend some time researching where your selected golfers grew up and what schools they played at. Finally, search for any specific news around your player. The last thing you want to hear about is a mid-round withdrawal as a result of a recent back injury or some other health related issue.
With all your research done, you should have a few golfers you're confident in and ready to lay a bet on. While pro golf is somewhat of a niche sport when it comes to gambling, there are still plenty of sportsbooks that offers odds. It's a little trickier than football and basketball which offer pointspreads, but some odds will offer more value than others. You definitely want to shop around and find the best odds as they can vary from book to book. The best option though it to find some friends that like golf, and bet your buddies. Chances are they don't follow a process like this, and you should be able to pick their pockets on a regular basis. Good luck and pick'em well!