Golf Betting Rules and Regulations at Sportsbooks (What to Know)

Golf Club, Golf Tee, Rules and Regulations Text

Golf betting rules and regulations are a must to follow when you’re betting on one of the world’s greatest pastimes at your local live or online sportsbook.

If you’re new to betting on golf, today’s post is one that you must read since it will show you a basic outline of the ins and outs before you step into the sportsbook and wager on some of the world’s greatest players.

We will also talk a bit of strategy in the sections below too, so you will have a firm grasp on what to look for when you bet on golf, and some of these strategies you can even relate to betting on other individual sports, like surfing.

Are you ready to learn about what it takes to bet on golf at the sportsbooks?

Keep reading to discover what you need to know.

Golf Betting Rules and Regulations Overview

You need to be aware of several categories as they pertain to golf betting rules and regulations. This is important because what one set of rules and regulations may stand for regarding one sector of golf betting may not hold true for others.

There is a set of general rules, which are great to look to and follow if you’re a first-time player because not as much is required from you. This is akin to sports betting in the NFL, where most recommend using more general methods like moneylines before moving onto parlays.

So, think of the general game in those terms.

There is a set of rules for betting outright on the tournament winner, matchups, and the make/miss cut, among others.

This section is not intended to overwhelm you because, again, you can start small with just general betting and go from there.

Once you have a firm grasp of the general rules, branch out to other sectors of golf betting.

Now that you know that there are different types of rules and regulations in golf betting depending on the bet you’re looking to make let’s go over each of these rules step by step.

General Rules and Regulations in Golf Betting

All pending wagers remain valid for just 48 hours if they have suspended the game or have delayed it because of inclement weather or another factor. You get your money back if the delay, for any reason, exceeds 48 hours.

Wagers on a golfer will be lost if the golfer withdraws from the event. So, if they tee off, they are considered to have played. This is important to know because you will often see novice players inquire about a potential refund if, say, their golfer plays just a single hole.

The official tournament and match results settle all wagers. This is also the case if the match concludes early. It doesn’t matter if it’s mutual or if one of the players cannot continue because of injury.

The Dead Heat Rule will determine winners in the event of a tie. More on the Dead Heat Rule below.

Betting on Tournament Winners

Also known as outright betting, there are a few more rules that you need to be aware of.

For one, you need to know that ‘The Field’ pertains to all players not offered by name, in similar ways to other sports, such as NASCAR, for example.

They also settle all outright bets on the winning player, although you will see playoff bets considered here.

Sometimes, a tournament will not last for a specified number of holes. In this example, we will use 72 holes. If tournament officials shorten the game for whatever reason – often because of inclement weather – the leader at the end of the retooled number of holes is declared the winner.

Further Info:

Again, we can compare this to NASCAR, where if rain washes out the rest of the race after 160 of 200 laps, the frozen field becomes the official results, and whoever is leading the field is declared the winner.

If 2 golfers are tied following the end of the tournament, you will often see a sudden-death playoff commence to determine the overall winner. For betting purposes, the winner of this sudden death is declared the tournament winner.

So, if your selected golfer wins this playoff, they will also win the tournament, and you will take first prize money. However, this will not be the case if they take second.

However, in some tournaments, you may see officials determine a select number of holes for the playoff. After the selected number of holes, the golfer with the lowest score will win the match. It’s also important to know they grade all other golfers as second-place finishers here.

Finally, all bets are considered action bets, with no refunds.

Tournament Group Betting

This section is straightforward, basically telling you that all dead-heat rules apply and that they group players together for betting purposes only.

In this one, you’re not betting on the field. Instead, you’re betting on one player to finish in a specific position within a predetermined group. Group betting has become popular because rather than betting against the entire field, they’re instead betting against a group.

Golf Matchups

This one pertains to head-to-head matchups, and before anything else, both players must tee off for the bet to become valid. Like the groups mentioned above, they pair the players together for betting purposes only – something you also see in larger fields when betting on surfing.

The player in the head-to-head matchup must maintain the lowest score throughout the tournament to become the head-to-head winner.

Even if tournament officials shorten the game because of weather or any other reason, the head-to-head bets stand if there is an overall tournament winner. So, if you’re looking at a 72-hole tournament, and they played just 52 holes, if there’s a winner, you will either win or lose the head-to-head.

You often hear about cuts in golf. If one player misses the cut in the matchup and fails to advance to the next round, their opponent is declared the winner. The same holds true if any player gets disqualified for any reason.

However, if a player gets disqualified for any reason during a later round, and if their opponent missed the cut, they still consider the disqualified player as the winner.

If you’re unfamiliar with what missing or making the cut pertains to, check out the content below for a quick overview.


When it comes to the cut, if your player has not teed off, they will void your bet. Since they did not participate in the tournament or opted out, they are not considered cut. If they tee off and are cut after any round, the bet goes through.

Official results published from the tour’s official site determine all cuts, such as the PGA Tour’s or the European Tour’s sites. To see if your selected golfer has made/missed the cut, make sure you have those sites handy or any site sponsoring the tournament.

Essential Strategies for Betting on Golf

Now that you know the general regulations for betting on golf let’s talk about some basic strategies that you can take into the sportsbook.

For one, you must always know the golfers. So, if you’re looking at a field of 40 golfers and you only know 10 of them, it’s in your best interest to either study the rest of the field or only consider wagering on the 10 golfers you know.

If you don’t know them, don’t bet on them.

This is because each golfer sinks or swims in different courses, weather conditions, and even tee-off times.

Knowing golfers increase the odds of winning your bet.

If you’re betting head-to-head or groups, it’s also good to know the golfer or golfers in the group, even if you aren’t betting on them. If there is a group of 5 golfers and you bet on one, take time to learn all 5 just to ensure that you’re placing a bet that gives you the best chance to succeed.

Know the conditions. If you don’t know the conditions, you don’t even know whether the tournament will continue for the entire schedule. Some golfers thrive early and tail off later, while the opposite holds true about others.

Golfers also respond differently to different conditions. Some play better in the overcast and light rain, while others need clear days.


Today’s post is more of a general look-in to golf betting rules and regulations. But it provides you with more than enough information to walk into a sportsbook to at least hang with those who know the game well.

The key to success is to have a firm grasp of the general rules and the type of bet you plan to make, such as head-to-head, groups, or individual bets.

And finally, know a little about the golfers along with the weather conditions before you place your bet.

Jim Beviglia
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About Jim Beviglia
Jim Beviglia has been a gambling writer at since 2018. During that time, he’s written just about every type of article related to gambling, including reviews of betting sites, guides to popular casino games, betting tips on both casino and sports betting, sports and casino blog posts, and game picks. In addition to online gambling, one of Jim’s other major interests is music. He has been doing freelance work for various music sites and magazines for two decades. Among his outlets past and present are American Songwriter, VinylMePlease, Treble, and The Bluegrass Situation. Jim has also written five books on music that were published by Rowman & Littlefield.