Golf is one of the world’s oldest sports and it has a huge following, particularly in Europe and North America. The European and PGA golf tours feature some of the world’s best golfers in a variety of fascinating tournaments, played under a huge range of conditions.
All of this diversity helps to make golf a fascinating betting sport. With most tournaments lasting four days, there is plenty of time to plan and adjust your golf betting strategy, and for in-running punters, golf can be an ideal sport to bet on. The fact that golfers usually have long careers also helps as the time you spend getting to know a player’s strengths and weaknesses can give you enduringly useful knowledge lasting many years.
The growth in golf betting has also resulted in a range of new and varied betting markets and one of the most interesting is two ball betting.
Two-ball versus tournament winners
As you might imagine, the most popular golf betting markets are those based on the winners of tournaments. Each week, usually on a Thursday, a new tournament gets underway, and golf punters can spend the early part of the week perusing a long list of potential winners. With around 150 players in most tournaments, there are some tempting odds available.
On the other hand, the sheer number of competitors means that even successful golf punters may have to go a few weeks between wins. That may suit some sports punters, but those who prefer a higher strike rate understandably might prefer other options, and the head-to-head nature of a two-ball bet is often a good way for those punters to profit from their knowledge.
What is two ball golf?
In team golf events, two ball play has a different meaning, as it involves two competing duos each playing their own shots. For this article, however, we are focusing on the use of the two ball golf concept in golf betting markets.
Put simply, a two-ball golf betting market is a head to head market in which punters are asked to bet on one of two golfers over a single round. You will also sometimes see three-ball markets, which are a variation of this concept.
Golf lends itself ideally to this betting approach because, during a tournament, golfers will go through each round as part of a group of three or four, so it makes sense to construct betting markets around two of the players in each playing group.
Two ball golf betting
Let’s take a typical tournament during the golf season. In the tournament winners market, there will usually be 150 or more golfers priced up, with only one or two of those available at single-figure odds, and the rest priced up at bigger prices.
A typical two ball golf betting market will look very different:
- Rory McIlroy 10/11
- Jason Day Evens
In this case, there are just two options to choose from. If you think Rory McIlroy will finish that day’s round with a better score than Jason Day, you can back him at 10/11.
There are some obvious advantages to this type of golf betting. Firstly, with only two options in the market, it is harder for bookmakers to hide their margins. With a field of 150 golfers, it is difficult for punters to weigh up whether the prices are fair, something that is a lot easier with two ball betting.
The other advantage of two ball golf betting is that you can make several bets on each round. If you bet in the tournament winner’s market you will be waiting four days to find out if you’re a winner, but it is possible to have multiple successful two-ball bets during a typical day’s play.
What happens if there is a tie?
It isn’t uncommon for players to finish with the same score after a round of golf, so what happens to your two ball bet in the event of a tie?
The answer depends on how the bookmaker has constructed the market. Some two-ball betting markets allow you to bet on the third option of a tie, and in these cases, your bet will be a loser if you backed either of the two players. In markets where there is no tie option, should the two players finish their round on the same score, bets will be refunded.
Two ball golf betting strategy
Two ball golf betting can be a useful addition to your golf betting approach, but it is important to remember two factors.
Firstly, the principles of golf betting still apply to these markets, so you will still have to do your homework in weighing up form, deciding which players are best suited to the conditions and so on.
Secondly, golf tournaments are four-day events. While every player will generally be aiming to score as low as possible in each round, there may be circumstances in which some players aim to pace themselves or perhaps take things a little steady early in their round. While you may be focused on the two-ball contest, it is important to remember that the players involved have a longer-term aim. Bet on golf with William Hill and apply the two ball betting strategy today.