Golf has always been a sport that relies on respect and decorum. Completely unlike some other sports like football or tennis, ‘bad boys’ are very few and far in between in the golfing game, and amateur and professional golf is still separated, with both garnering TV coverage. Naturally, as interest in golf and the PGA tour grew, so did the interest in betting on golf. Betting comparison website Find Betting Sites has completed research into how gold has benefitted from betting.
Golf has always been somewhat connected to betting, as a sport that can take the form of direct one versus one matches. The conditions are the same for both players, and simply the better player should win every time, and so the sport should be ideal for friendly betting.
However, on a more international scale, betting saved the Irish open a few years back. The tournament was in serious doubt and the top players were not willing to play the tournament because the prize money was too small for it to be profitable.
Sponsorships intervened and tripled the prize money, and restored some of the respect that the Irish Open deserved, and the players came in form all over the world to take part.
Recently, the PGA has also been selling some statistics, namely shot data, to major golf betting companies. This is in an effort to make golf gambling more based on analytics and data, for which a huge portion of dedicated gamblers rely on week in and week out. Professional betters exist, and things like shot data are essential to their wellbeing, so this is definitely a move from the PGA to encourage gambling.
Golf has also had an increased presence on the online casino sites, as more and more games are dedicated to golfers, such as Birdy Bucks, The Argyle Open and Tiger Woods Hole in One: Fortunes and Jackpots. Though this does not have a major impact, this move to slots is still symbolic of the advancement of golf in gambling.
A move into the betting world could also prove useful for golf in its quest for more fans. Betting undeniably makes any match more important, and a slow burning sport like golf can provide entertainment for hours. Currently the tenth most successful sport in the world, if golf was advanced more in sports betting, then a rise in popularity of golf across the whole globe would not be unreasonable.
Gambling has also made golfer a more attractive career. Tiger Woods made over 1,4 billion dollars in sponsorships, which is an absolutely mind boggling number, especially when you consider that this does not include any money from prizemoney. Golf is one of the most lucrative sports out there, so if it was more publicised then those looking to win money will come flocking, and who can blame them.
What is also important is that golf maintains its reputation as a gentleman’s sport, where unsportsmanlike behaviour and crass behaviour are condemned and fairplay is considered the absolute norm. One gambling company decided that an advertisement making fun of Tiger Woods’ personal struggles was sensible, and they received an understandable backlash for it. Golf should be concentrated on the sport, nothing else.