Is golf gambling ready to explode? One PGA Tour rep says it’s a healthy bet.

·3 min read

Golf has found itself in a unique spot within the gambling world. It’s currently one of the least bet on sports but possesses the upside to potentially ascend into the same category in which football and basketball reside.

Why?

Well, from a betting perspective, it has immense room to grow. As it stands, the lone options on most sportsbooks are to bet on the winner of the event, who will finish top 5, 10, 20, and matchups between players in the field. Over the course of a full PGA Tour schedule, wagering on the same ol’ bets can get tiresome.

That’s where live betting becomes interesting.

Imagine this scenario: You’re sitting on the couch, watching the Masters, and Justin Thomas reaches the 16th. With live betting, you can head to your choice of sportsbook app (we recommend our partner Tipico), and bet on what you think JT will make on the hole, as well as if he’ll hit the green in regulation or not. As you can see, the options quickly multiply when live betting is brought in.

“We’re not going to flip the switch to go from outright winner or FedExCup champion to Jon Rahm from 250 (yards), odds to get inside 15, 10, and 5 feet,” Scott Warfield, the PGA Tour’s VP/Gaming said. “There are steps that need to happen — i.e., getting people familiar with what it would be like betting on a threesome getting the low score on a hole.”

So, it may not be coming as quickly as gamblers around the world would like. However, this does tell us the Tour understands the product they’re able to put out would be fantastic.

“I’m not signing up for a 2022 goal,” said Warfield. “But a 2025 goal? I would like to believe we can be one of the top four or five bet-on sports if we do it right.”

Another concept Warfield has mentioned is a “BetCast.” A television stream, separate from the main Golf Channel, CBS, or NBC broadcast, serving as a hub for all things gambling surrounding the tournament. Live odd changes, match-up tracking, and other graphics to keep the viewer plugged into what’s happening on the betting side.

Think of it as another option at your disposal when logging into ESPN+ to watch the event throughout the week.

Not only would this idea be unique in the golf world, but the sports space in general. A stream completely dedicated to covering a different angle — with an opportunity to bring in new voices to host the broadcast. While the current voices of golf resonate with longtime viewers, the game could certainly use an influx of new personalities.

For golf betters across the country, it’s something to get excited about. For the Tour, it’s another revenue stream to tap into. Surely sportsbooks would be clawing tooth and nail to become the official book of the PGA Tour. In fact, some of them already have things in the works.

DraftKings will be live on-site at this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, BetMGM will provide odds on digital platforms, and FanDuel is expected to come in and provide their odds on the Tour’s social channels.

The LPGA continues to add options as well, as IMG Arena has secured that tour’s official sports betting data and live streaming distribution rights.

Only time will tell how golf betting grows in the next few seasons, but it’s impossible not to get excited about the potential.