What to Bet on For the US Open Golf Tournament?

Even if you've never bet on golf before, the US Open is a great place to throw down some money. However, you have to have an understanding of what you're doing beforehand and that's what we're here to show you.
What to Bet on For the US Open Golf Tournament

The US Open Golf Tournament is one of the most anticipated events in the golfing calendar and it kicks off today. Betting on it can add a bit more excitement and engagement to the links. However, before you start loading up that bet slip at BetMGM or DraftKings, you need to understand the different types of bets and how they work. This can help you make better decisions and give you an edge when betting on the US Open.

Understanding the Basics of Golf Betting

Before jumping into the specific bets, it’s important to understand some basics of golf betting. It’s not too far off from the other sports, but there are some nuances involved since it’s not necessarily a head-to-head matchup.

Golf betting involves predicting outcomes in a tournament, such as the winner, top finishes, or individual player performance. Sure, there are some prop bets, similar to what you’d find in baseball or football, but in general, the overall concept of betting on golf is different.

The odds reflect the probability of an outcome occurring, with lower odds indicating a higher chance and higher odds indicating a lower chance. So, fairly similar, right?

The gist of these bets is that you’re betting on an individual player and not a team. With a team, one or two players might be having an off-day, but others on the team keep it in the fight. With golf, it’s all up to that one player you bet on.

Outright Winner

The most straightforward bet is predicting the outright winner of the tournament. It’s also one of the more challenging bets, but then again the odds typically reflect this and it pays out more than the other types.

This bet involves choosing a golfer you think will win the US Open such as Scottie Scheffler or Rory McIlroy, both of which are near the top for favorites on the Pinehurst #2 course.

The odds for outright winners can be fairly attractive, especially for golfers who are not favorites. However, this is also a challenging bet to win, given the number of participants and the unpredictable nature of golf. If your gut and research are telling you that someone is going to surprise the field, we say go for it.

Each-Way Bet

An each-way bet is essentially two bets in one: one for the golfer to win and one for the golfer to place in a specified range, typically the top 5 or top 10.

This type of bet provides some insurance, as you can still win money if your selected golfer doesn’t win but finishes high in the standings. The place part of the bet usually pays out at a fraction of the odds of winning, often 1/4 or 1/5.

It’s not a bad way to go and we definitely recommend an each-way bet over a straight up win.

Top Finish Bets

These bets focus on a golfer finishing within a specific position range, such as top 5, top 10, or even top 20. It’s not as precise as the outright winner bet, but you’re still banking on a specific golfer to have a decent round. Given that there are 150 golfers in the US Open, it can still be a tall order.

The odds for these bets are shorter than those for outright winners, but they offer a higher chance of winning. Betting on top finishes can be a good strategy if you believe a golfer will perform well but are unsure if they will win. After all, there always seems to be some surprises during the US Open each year.

Matchup Bets

Matchup bets involve betting on one golfer to finish better than another in the tournament or a specific round. These bets are often offered in head-to-head formats, where the odds reflect the relative strengths of the two golfers.

Matchup bets can be exciting and provide opportunities for detailed analysis and strategic betting. One of the two golfers might be hot with the putter while the other is solid with the irons, however, if the course has nearly impossible greens like Pinehurst, you might want to think about that putting all star.

Round Leader Bets

Round leader bets involve predicting which golfer will lead the tournament at the end of a specific round. Very similar to the outright winner bet we mentioned, this bet can offer high odds and is ideal for those who want to focus on shorter-term outcomes. It requires a solid understanding of player performance trends and how different golfers handle pressure at various stages of a tournament. It’s a lot of fun, but you really have to be on your game.

Prop Bets

Proposition bets, or prop bets, are wagers on specific outcomes within the tournament that may not directly relate to the final standings. If you bet on other sports, chances are that you’re experienced with these. While there are literally hundreds of types of prop bets, examples include betting on whether there will be a hole-in-one, the nationality of the winner, or if a particular player will make the cut

Prop bets add a fun and diverse range of options to your betting strategy and they might be an easy way to win some quick cash. Often times the bookmakers don’t get the odds right on these as they do for the overall bets.

Futures Bets

Hence the name, futures bets are placed well in advance of the tournament, often weeks or months before it begins. These bets can offer higher odds compared to bets placed closer to the event, as the information and metrics are a bit more vague the further out you are.

The challenge with futures bets is the uncertainty due to potential changes in player form, injuries, or other unforeseen factors. Even if you bet on Xander Schauffele to win the US Open and he’s injured several weeks out, that bet is as good as gone.

In-Play Betting

In-play, or live betting, allows you to place bets while the tournament is ongoing. If watching golf is your thing, then these bets might be your thing as well.

This dynamic form of betting lets you react to the action as it unfolds, taking advantage of shifting odds and emerging trends. In-play betting requires quick decision-making and an ability to stay updated with live events. It’s really not a bad way to go if you’re already watching the game.

Strategies for Betting on the US Open

If you’ve never bet on golf or at the very least, not as familiar with it, we’ve got a few strategies and tips for you to consider before you get into the action.

Research Player Form and Course Suitability

Not all courses are the same and some players excel in different environments. Understanding the current form of players and how their skills match the course can provide valuable insights. Look at recent performances, especially in similar conditions and courses. The US Open is known for its challenging putting greens, so players who excel on the green may have an advantage. Just a tip, take a close look at Denny McCarthy.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Weather conditions can significantly impact play in a golf tournament and North Carolina is no stranger to chaotic weather phenomena. Wind, rain, and temperature can all affect how the course plays and how players perform. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and consider how it might influence your betting choices. Fortunately, for Pinehurst, NC, rain is not forecasted, but it’s going to be a hot one.

Diversify your Bets

Spreading your bets across different types and players can reduce risk and increase the potential for returns — especially if you’re new to the golf betting market. Combining outright bets with top-finish bets, matchups, and prop bets can create a balanced betting strategy to keep you in the game longer. You don’t want to blow through your bankroll with a single bet.

Manage your Bankroll

Set a budget for your betting activities and stick to it. We call theseunitsor how much you want to wager for each bet. Usually, this is 1-5% of your entire bankroll.

Ready to Bet on the US Open?

Betting on the US Open Golf Tournament is an exciting experience. It offers various ways to engage with the event. By understanding the different types of bets and employing strategic approaches, you can have more fun watching the tournament and hopefully walk away with a bit more cash.

Remember to research thoroughly, consider the conditions, and manage your bets responsibly. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or new to golf betting, the US Open presents a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in one of golf’s most prestigious events.

Matt Brown


Head of Sports Betting and DFS

Matt’s love for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, coupled with a deep understanding of football, hockey, and baseball, shapes his innovative thoughts on Hello Rookie. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and a M.S. in Project Management.