One Verdict Of The Match Before They Even Tee Off: Vegas Needs To Get More Sophisticated With Golf Betting

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As we get ready for The Match to tee off, I’ve been most intrigued by the test run here for golf wagering. The telecast promises some Mark Brodie-influenced stats to play along with for those sitting in the sports books and to allow the rest of us to visual what real-time gambling on a match could look like with the proper tools at our disposal.

While I’m reserving judgement until those elements are presented today, The Match has provided another reminder that the bookmakers still do not understand golf and how to craft compelling wagers.

I’ve attached some of the prop bets below and here is Golfweek’s updated list.

Unfortunately, with two players who have no public track record on the course, playing match play and with their games having been out of view since early October, the pre-match wagers have not been the kind of fun head-scratchers you’d hope for. While that is not entirely the fault of bookmakers, anyone who knows golf realizes the stupidity and lack of value being offered.

Will there be a hole in one? +550? Seriously?

Will Phil win the first three holes?

Which player will have the most birdies?

Will they hit the first fairway? (We have no idea how wide it is…)

Hole by hole odds? For the chance to win $20 on a $100 bet?

Even something like the first to go 2 up just doesn’t have much spark when we don’t have track records to look at.

You can get way better value at the race track. Or the dog track.

Some of the prop bets sent out to writers intrigue but do not appear to be offered by the promoters or the most commonly used offshore websites. So a friend tells me.

These would have enticed some interest, had I been able to access such a site…

Will Phil Mickelson record an official three-putt?

Yes +700

No -2000

Of course he will!

Will Tiger Woods record an official three-putt?

Yes +800

No -2500

Worth a few bucks…

How many side bets will be made by Tiger and Phil?

Over 12.5 

Under 12.5

Under…that seems like a lot!

Amount of largest side bet

Over $50,000 

Under $50,000 

Totally over.

Total curse words said by Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson

Over 21.5

Under 21.5 

Oh please, under! They aren’t sailors!

Then again, are we going with Carlin’s definition or something else?

Total times Tiger Woods twirls his club

Over 3.5

Under 3.5

Oddly, I feel he’s got four in him against Phil, on TV, feeling frisky.

Will Tiger Woods wear a red shirt?

Yes +350

No -600

Is John Daly overweight? Of course he’s wearing red.

A better bet on Phil might have been long or short sleeve since +100 on black isn’t very compelling.

Anyway, given the vagaries of our sport, golf will need to convince the masterminds that offering such prop bets to promote discussion and to liven up the entertain values. Trying to speculate on elements related to a course we don’t know, with no track history and played by two players who haven’t been visible for nearly two months, isn’t even interesting enough to ponder. Much less, bet.

Now, I do see some form in that fifth race today at Turf Paradise