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Golf Betting Primed to Tee Off
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Golf Betting Primed to Tee Off

by Josh RochlinJune 9, 2022

Golf only accounted for one percent of all legal sports betting in 2019, but gambling companies are beginning to recognize the massive untapped potential that the sport can provide within the industry.

Following in the NFL, NBA, and the MLB’s footsteps, the PGA Tour has finally embraced gambling, and all of the money-making perks that come with it.

Let’s take a look at the latest trends in golf betting to get a sense of what groundbreaking innovations are being made to energize the Tour’s gaming appeal.

Partnerships with Major Sportsbooks and Betting Services

In July 2019, DraftKings became the Tour’s official daily fantasy sports partner. The Tour secured DraftKings as its “official betting operator” in 2020. FanDuel, PointsBet, and BetMGM joined later as official partners.

As part of their deals, the sportsbooks can use the Tour’s logo within their marketing campaigns, and utilize tour video and content on their sportsbook apps.

In November 2021, the Tour inked a multi-year deal with the Action Network. Its GolfBet service provides fans with up-to-date golf data and information that can be valuable in making strategic betting decisions.

Tour Player Sponsorships

Fan engagement is extremely important to the PGA. Although golf is definitely not the most popular sport in the United States, golfers are perhaps one of the most visible athletes. Their faces are not covered by helmets, fans can stand merely feet away from them at Tour events, and most pro players have ordinary builds.

Golfers are admired by young fans. They are heroes, in a sense, to kids who believe they can become the next Jordan Spieth, or the next Justin Thomas. They look like us, are exemplary representations for the game, and have achieved so much in a sport that is maddeningly unforgiving.

Allowing Tour players to sign sponsorship deals with major sportsbooks is a smart way to build a player’s image, considering that DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM dominate the advertising sphere during sporting events.

Bryson DeChambeau signed an endorsement deal with DraftKings in 2020, becoming the first Tour pro to partner with a sportsbook. Spieth was the first Tour pro to sign with Fanduel, and as part of the deal, he will create social media content for the book and inform fans about sensible ways to gamble.

Real-Time Bets with IMG Arena

Live betting has become a focal point for golf gambling. There is a lot of intrigue and immense excitement in being able to bet on a player to birdie the next hole, or for Rory McIlroy to post a better score than Scottie Scheffler on the 15th hole.

In 2021, The Tour and the European Tour released a game with IMG Arena that gave fans the opportunity to live bet on par-3s during the PGA Championship. Gamblers were able to watch a live feed that included gambling odds.

The game’s debut was a big success, and it is now used for all PGA Tour and European Tour events. Players can now bet on lowest score, closest to the hole, and what score a player will post on a hole.

BetCast

Scott Warfield, the Tour’s vice president of gaming, believes that golf can be one of the top-5 most bet on sports in the world by 2025. The creation of “BetCast,” a streaming cast devoted to golf gambling, could make that a reality.

The stream would run outside of the main broadcast and provide viewers with live-odds and tracking of all matchups on the golf course.

Golf’s Gambling Future

Committed partnerships with major sportsbooks, continued pro player sponsorship deals, and the introduction of fan-friendly games, will fuel golf’s intrusion into the gambling sphere.

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About The Author
Josh Rochlin