Curiously Golf was the first market I actively bet on with Betfair way back in June 2000. I’ve become a bit of a specialist in this sport since, but mainly focus on the majors now.
Golf is an unusual sport to trade because you have very large fields. You typically find that the US Masters has a field size of probably around 80 or so players, but when you get to the large golf tournaments, you could have 140 to 150 players in those particular tournaments.
Most of the major golf tournaments have a lot of matched betting turnover and liquidity on the Betfair exchange. You will find huge amounts of money waiting to be matched in the pre-off trading period of these types of Betfair markets. This is why I tend to trade majors, I can do something on a decent scale. That’s not possible on the smaller Golf tournaments.
When betting or trading on a Golf major it’s important to understand that on these betting exchange markets, you could probably be looking at markets that are going to turn over many millions before a golf ball has been struck. However, most of the activity is in play because the tournaments themselves can last over four days. So the total amount matched is HUGE!
So what are my top five tips for trading golf?
Whatever Betfair trading strategies you favour, the huge amount of money being matched on a Golf Major will give you many chances to lock in a profit. It could be that you trade small profits and add to that during the tournament itself. But there is no reason why you couldn’t do a longer-term trade before the cut, or on the deciding two days when the price movement is at it’s most extreme in a closely fought contest.
There are many ways to participate in a major Golf tournament, but if you push me to give you some tips, here are my top five!
Par 5 – tip number 5!
Making sure you take a very conscious decision about how long you’re going to hold your position for and how you are going to take that position, is very important. So before you attempt to do something in a golf tournament, make sure that you take that into account.
You also tend to find that the spread, the difference between the back and the lay prices on a golf tournament, will increase over a period of time. So if you’re going to take an active position within the market, do it just before the golf tournament is about to start to get this shorter spread and the best price on that particular tournament.
Inplay spreads can widen, so take care to keep an eye on the back and lay book percentage. When that’s low, you can get in and out of the market without losing too much to the other side of the book. The spreads can very large on large field sports.
Here’s your tricky par 4 – Tip number 4!
In golf tournaments the field sizes can be absolutely huge! You’ll find at some tournaments, depending upon the setup of the tournament, that they are bigger than others, but typically the big majors will have 140 players plus in each of them.
So that makes picking a winner at a golf tournament incredibly hard… So why not pick more than one winner?
I know it may sound a bit crazy, but in fact, if fire up your Betfair trading software and use a method such as Dutching to capture value across a range of players, that gives you a much better chance of being able to pick one of the winners.
Another element to consider in golf is that you have a cut. In golf they cut these large fields down to a much smaller one at the weekends so the top players remain to play at the weekend. What you often find is if you Dutch a range of players you’ll very often find that the price will contract significantly if it looks like they’re going to make the cut and you can trade out at that point.
Here’s a short Par 3 – Tip number 3!
When there are golf tournaments around, one of the things that I do is watch the weather because weather is critically important in a golf tournament. When you get a change of weather, and especially because they’ve played over such a long period of time, that can significantly affect the scoring chances of individual players.
So if you look at the tee times, you see when players are coming out and you look at the weather, that can tell you if some of the difficult holes are going to become impossible or some of the easier holes are going to become a little bit easier.
If you watch the weather it allows you to have a good indication of the potential for a player’s performance at different points throughout the day as well as the tournament.
Here is your birdie, a 2 on a Par 3 – Tip Number 2!
So a key part to trading golf is to understand the actual golf course itself. As regular golfers will know, different courses have different characteristics. Some holes are easy to play, some holes are much harder. This concept is the same at all of these tournaments.
Getting an understanding of which of these holes, harder or easier, will allow you to calculate when a player is going in to a harder part of the course or is likely to pick up the odd birdie or two and see his price contract. So understanding the course will allow you to get a much better handle on where the likely odds movements are going to be.
The way to do that is to look at the course card because the stroke index will give you a clue as to which are the hardest and the easiest holes. Equally, there’s also tons of information available on the websites of these specific tournaments about how the course is going to play.
So do your research figure out where the hardest and easiest holes are and you can position yourself ahead of those particular points within the market.
And your hole in one tip is… Tip number 1!
So when we go into the last two days of the tournament, it will trade very differently from the first two days. In the first two days, all of the pairings are set up and the players play with a variety of different types of opponents.
But as we enter those last two days, then we end up in a situation where the players that are most likely to win the tournament will be playing last overall. Therefore, it’s quite competitive at that particular point in time.
So we can actually bring all of the characteristics we’ve talked about together to create the perfect golf trade. And in fact, I have done a video on this, so if you want to watch a fuller explanation of how this trade can occur click on the link at the end of the blog post!
As we head into that last day, you’re going to have two or three pairings that are all fighting for the title (hopefully) and if you get that situation that develops, then it’s quite possible that you can easily lay one of the leaders as they pass through some of the harder or easier parts of the course.
That will allow you to anticipate quite clearly what’s going to happen to the odds if they pick up or drop a shot at any one particular point, then you can back or lay appropriately.
So in short, what are the best tips for trading tips for the US Master?
- Think about the pairings that are set up
- Think about the tee times
- Think about trading or betting on more than one selection
- Think about where the group is going around the course
- Think about the basics- what is the weather doing that day?
This will help deliver you your perfect golf trade. I hope you find this useful and good luck in trading on the US master starting this weekend!
Interested in the perfect golf trade? Watch the video linked here: