Golf Betting Terminology: Essential Lingo Every Bettor Should Know

13th July 2023

For the uninitiated, betting on golf can seem like a complicated task. From understanding the game’s specific rules to becoming familiar with the players and their strengths, there’s a lot to take in. One essential element to becoming an effective golf bettor, however, is to get familiar with the terminology used in the sport’s betting world. This glossary will serve as your go-to resource for understanding golf betting lingo, helping you to make more informed wagers.

Introduction to Golf Betting Terms

Below will introduce some fundamental golf betting terminology and how it can significantly impact your strategy and success rate. It’s essential to comprehend these terms to navigate the world of golf betting and make well-informed decisions.

The Field

This term refers to all the golfers participating in a tournament. When you bet on ‘the field,’ you are essentially betting on a golfer who is not individually listed by the sportsbook. For example, if The Open Championship has Rory McIlroy + Scottie Scheffler vs. The Field, if you take The Field, you’re wagering on any player to win not named McIlroy or Scheffler.

Outright Betting

This is one of the most common forms of golf betting where you bet on a golfer to win the tournament outright. This is basically the same as a moneyline bet in a team format.

Each Way Betting

This term refers to a bet that is placed on a golfer to finish in the top positions. The bet is divided into two parts – a ‘win’ bet and a ‘place’ bet. If your chosen golfer wins, both parts pay out. If they finish in one of the top positions, only the ‘place’ part of the bet pays out.

Understanding Odds in Golf Betting

Having knowledge of the odds is crucial to betting in any sport, and golf is no different. This section aims to clearly understand various odds formats, such as American, Fractional, and Decimal.

Fractional Odds

These are popular in the UK and Ireland and are represented as fractions (e.g., 5/1, 10/1).

Decimal Odds

More common in Europe, Canada, and Australia, these are represented as decimals (e.g., 1.5, 2.0).

American Odds

Also known as ‘Moneyline odds,’ these are popular in the U.S. and are usually displayed as a positive or negative number (e.g., +200, -150).

Popular Golf Betting Markets

You can place different types of bets in golf tournaments, each coming with its own set of rules and opportunities. This section provides an overview of the most popular golf betting markets.

Match Bets

This type of bet involves wagering on one golfer to finish better than another in a specific round or the entire tournament.


Making a bet on a forthcoming event, such as who will win a major championship later in the season, is known as a futures bet.

Prop bets

These wagers are made on certain outcomes of an event, such as the amount of birdies a player will make, whether a hole-in-one will occur, lowest round of the tournament, etc.

Exploring Advanced Golf Betting Terms

This section delves into the more advanced golf betting terms that you will come across as you get more involved in golf betting.

Handicap Betting

Also known as ‘spread betting’, this involves giving one player a head start over another. This kind of bet is used to level the playing field when there is a clear favorite. For example, Scottie Scheffler -1.5 strokes over Tommy Fleetwood.

In-Play Betting

This type of betting allows you to place bets while a round or tournament is ongoing. Odds are adjusted in real time based on how the event is unfolding.

Final Thoughts and Tips

Understanding these terms is not just about speaking the language; it’s about enhancing your betting experience and possibly your profitability. Some tips for getting started with golf betting are shared here, emphasizing the value of knowledge in making effective wagers.


Whether you’re a golf enthusiast or a sports bettor looking to try your hand at golf betting, understanding these terms will provide a solid foundation. So, the next time you’re looking to place a wager on a tournament, remember this glossary to help you decode the jargon and make confident, well-informed bets.