Formats Of Golf
Stroke play is the most common form of competition at most professional tournaments. In stroke play, every player (or team) competes all 18 holes and counts the total number of strokes and the party with the lower total nett score (gross score minus handicap) wins.
Players normally go out in threes or sometimes in twos, for example at professional events.
In match play, two players (or two teams) play every hole as a separate contest against each other. The party with the lower score wins that hole, regardless of how many shots he won the hole by. If the scores of both players or teams are equal the hole is “halved” (drawn). The game is won by that party that wins more holes than the other. Matchplay is a very popular form of competition at club level.
A foursome (defined in Rule 29 of the “Rules of Golf”) is played between two players in partnership, playing one ball which they hit alternately. One player tees off on the odd numbered holes, the other on the even holes, regardless of who played the last putt on the first hole. The other shots are played in turns until the hole is finished. Penalty shots do not affect the order of play. Foursomes can be played under match play or stroke play rules.
Variations on foursome are Greensome, Canadian foursome and Mixed Foursome, in which two teams of a male and female golfer playing alternate shots. In Canadian foursome each player plays his/her own ball from the tee and the players then decide together which ball is in the best position and the other ball is taken out of play. For Greensome see further.
The same as foursomes but each player plays with his own ball and the better score of the team counts. Four-balls can be played as match play or stroke play. (Defined by rules 30 and 31). In a Three-Ball match, three players play against one another, each thus playing two distinct matches. A slightly different form is Best-Ball, in which one player plays against the better ball of two or the best ball of three players.
The aim of the game is simple: get your ball in the hole with the fewest shots possible. As such golf is one of the only sports where you want to avoid high scores. Each stroke you take represents a score of one. At the end of the course the number of strokes you played on each hole are added together and the lowest score wins.
Par is a term derived from the stock exchange. Every hole on a golf course has a par value. It refers to the number of strokes that should be required for a professional to complete the hole. If you complete a Par 4 in four strokes, you are said to have made par. If you take fewer than four strokes, you are under par. And if you take more than four strokes, you are over par. That's something you should try to avoid. The more shots you take, the higher your score. As we have explained, in golf the lowest score wins.
One over par. You take five shots to complete a Par 4.
Double bogey (+2)
Two over par. You take six shots to complete a Par 4.
Triple bogey (+3)
Three over par. You take seven shots to complete a Par 4. (Uh oh.)
One under par. You take three shots to complete a Par 4. That's more like it.
Two under par. You take two shots to complete a Par 4.
Three under par. You take one shot to complete a Par 4. (Even among the pros, it's rare to score an albatross. In fact it's only happened 18 times in Major Championship history.)
Modified Stableford awards points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Scoring at the 2016 Barracuda Championship will look like this:
Best Way To Play Stableford (Moified)
The strategy in Modified Stableford formats can, in most instances, be summed up in three words: Go for it. This scoring format will reward risk-taking on the golf course.
For instance, if the professional is facing a carry over water that he normally wouldn't try, the Modified Stableford format presents an incentive to go for it. A birdie is worth twice as many positive points (2) as a bogey is worth punitive points (-1). Eagles offer huge payoffs (5 points) and the worst a player could possibly do would be a double bogey (-3 points) at which point he could pick up his ball and carry on to the next hole.
Those golfers who make a few bogeys but also make a lot of birdies or eagles are more likely to be atop the leaderboards.
Things That Can Affect The Results
I think it is fair to say that most of the players in the world top 200 can play good golf in the good weather, but those that can either keep it going in the pouring rain, handle the gusting wind and even those that can stop and start with storm interuption. Its worth as golf events going on keep a list of the last 10 events or so that have been affected by the wind or weather and keep an eye on those players that continually pepper the Top 20 places regularly.
Certain players are good at different things, some can smash it 350 yards down a fairway regularly, others are really good at hitting Green (GIR) and others are very good readers of the green and put well. It is worth looking at the fairways, are they wide? Are they long? Will the distance be relevant? Green's are they forgiving? What size are they? If they are small those that hit greens regularly are ones to look at. All questions you should consider when whittling selections down.
I have become a big fan of course form. Initially if players were out of form in recent weeks, then I wouldn't give them the time of day in my selections, however whilst there is no steadfast rule for this, there is a canny knack for players returning to form at courses that have either fond memories such as wins, lows scores or being part of a team (Match Play for example). Whilst I would not suggest just looking at course form, it plays a worth part in any selection.
This was always my key indicator initially when looking for selections but as a I read and learn't more about the world of golf over the years there are far more things to think about. People play different tours, the course have different themes, water based course, Links Courses and field's also have different strengths.
There are plenty of other things to think about. Things like babies sounds stupid, but the number of players that have played well after recent birth of children or there is things like a change of clubs (sponsorship related or for form matters). Also watch out for things happening on social media, you'll find everything from divorce to arrests it all plays its part in the mind set of the golfers.
This is something I have taken a keen interest in over the past few years. With the evolution of the ‘Cash-out' offer from many bookmakers makes this knowledge all the more relevant. The most popular two questions you'll hear in relation to this is 1. Can he hold on to his lead (i.e. A player leading at the end of any of the 1st 3 rounds) or 2. Can he catch them in the last round.
So, the best piece of advice, I can give you is look at times where the player has been in a similar position, and how that player performed, you'll soon start to get a feel for what to expect from a player as to whether he can handle it.
Betting & Staking Strategy
First up, I don't back under 20/1. Its one of my first rules, I know from time to time a short one goes in but we take that rough with the nice bigger winners as they come around. I also appreciate at the end of season events we often see the short prices come to the fore but there are still often decent prices around
I have a rough formula that will allow me to get say 15-20 players of the field which is usually 156 or thereabouts. That 15-20 will have scored points on course form, recent form, times of year the players come into form (much like a horse runs better in different parts of the season). I will also have some factoring for both the style and length of the course.
In a nutshell I then trust my gut feel who of that shortlist I go with. Sometime it is around the price (or VFM - value for money or risk to reward as I call it). Traditionally then I pick 4 player of which I think are genuine contenders (normally between 20-1 and 100/1). They will be played and 0.5pts EW each time, so we play 4 points on that.
I will then sometimes have a couple of larger priced players that are considered outsiders, and I usually have 2 of those and we play 0.25 EW, so 2 points usually.
There are two major Tours so we usually play between 10-12pts per week with points split accordingly.
As I have said above we only play 10-12 pts PER WEEK, which is massively different from say football and Horses were often you can play that everyday. This is why you cannot dip in and out generally when betting on golf. We have up and down days hence the reason the pot we start with tends to have 8-10wks betting money in it. It is a much slower burn and I consider it a bit more of a pot builder compared to the Acca style big wins
When betting on golf it is absolutely critical that you stick to the same stakes when using my formula, I know some people use different stakes for different prices. There is nothing wrong with that, just doesn't work for my bets
So What Can I Bet On?
Here are the betting markets frequently available :
This is fairly generic in terms of what it is. All you are doing here is who will win the event, with the lowest score, so what to look out for? Betting promotions on major events often look to hook you in such as “we're paying 10 places” but be careful a number of those offers will split the e/w selection but 1/5 rather than a book maker paying 5 or 6 player who splits is by 1/4 so its worth thinking about your selection if you are backing one you are confident should go very close, but want a bit of EW ‘cover' then the book makes who is only 1/4 the odds makes better appeal than the 1/5 the odds.
That said if you have a bigger odds player who you perhaps are not as confident about but have got big odds then to sneak a place in 9th or 10th in the previous scenario listed then the promotion offer would be better.
I am not advising what is right but just think before you jump at one of the ‘promotions'
First Round Leader
On a personal note, I bloody hate this market. Not because its a bad market, becuase I find it notoriously difficult to even get a player to place (top 5) let alone win. The things to be careful of with this market are ties. Far more often than I originally realised we have 2-3 players tied at the top after R1 and that masssively affects your pay out. I have therefore from a personal point of view decided in a risk to reward ratio is not worth the gamble. Although that said I do occasionally have a go for a bit of interest rather than thinking I will actually win.
Head to Head (player vs player)
this can be done over the current round or 72 holes but uses the same context. The bookmaker in question puts up a list of matches much like a premier league fixture list where one side (player 1 ) takes on side 2 (player 2) where there is 3 out comes with a Win / Draw / Win outcome
People often use this as a form accumulator for interest bets through each round.
A group of 5 player for you to pick the winner from. Easy I hear you say? Its far tougher than it looks. They are often players closely thought of in form and betting. Most bookies do 5 groups and a really nice bet for this type of bet is if you put a Yankie together makes makes some decent returns without having to get the winner from each of the 5 groups.
A useful market if there are one or two very short priced favourites. That doesn't happen that often with the talent across all the major tours, however sometimes when a player drops down to a weaker tour its a market worth looking at.
This is a great market for someone at either a big price that you think to go well but not quite make the top 5 paying place. I tend to kept this bet for those that are 100/1 or greater. Altenatively accross a couple of different competitions putting together a few Top 20 shots (ones you feel very confident about) at the shorter prices such as 5/2 or 4/1 you can find yourself a nice double or treble.
Does what it says on the tin. Your chance to bet on who will be the top performer from that Nation or Continent. Again dependant on the number of players in each category you can get nice returns without some of the favourites if you pick the right nationality but watch for the places the bookies often only pay 2-3 places rather than 4-5
So What Tours Are There And Which Can You Bet On?
The International Federation of PGA Tours is an organization founded in 1996 to enable the world's leading tours to discuss common and global issues in professional golf. The founding members were :
In 2009 the federation announced a major expansion, as the Tour de las Américas and the Canadian Tour became full members alongside nine new members. They were :
The International Federation of PGA Tours founded the World Golf Championships in 1999 and sanction the Official World Golf Ranking.
Other men's tours
World ranking points are also awarded for good placings in events on three developmental tours:
Women's professional golf is also organised by independent regional tours. Leading female golfers make incomes well over US$1 million per year, more than most other women athletes other than top tennis players. There are currently six first tier regional tours:
Well that is about it, hopefully I have covered it all, but if I haven't let me know and I will add it.