There are plenty of formats and types of bets for most major sports, and golf is no different. You could, for instance, take a standard approach, like betting on which player will win an upcoming tournament. Bets like that can be difficult to win consistently, though, due to the number of players competing.
With that in mind, another option is something like two-ball or three-ball betting. Instead of a pool of options that consists of the entire field, you can wager on a particular golfer to perform better than a set number of competitors, giving you a better chance to win.
In this guide, we will take you through the basics of two-ball and three-ball wagers for golf betting, what the basics are, and some tips for placing these bets.
What are 2 balls or 3 balls in golf betting?
When you trim the field from dozens of golfers to just two or three, obviously your chances at picking a winner will climb.
One of the keys to consistent sports betting success is avoiding long shots. In just about every golf tournament, any golfer you select to win the whole thing will be a long shot given the size of the field and the number of things that can happen over a four-day tourney. With two-ball and three-ball bets, though, you can research the best options for winners and aim for a higher success rate.
With 2-ball betting, you can turn an upcoming golf tournament into a one-on-one matchup, pitting two golfers against each other. This will generally be available for just about every PGA Tour event at most sportsbooks.
- Dustin Johnson +100
- Jon Rahm -120
The sportsbook has put Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm together, and you can wager on which golfer will outperform the other throughout the tournament. Even if you select Rahm and he plays poorly, it may not matter because all he needs to do is finish ahead of Johnson.
In this particular example, the sports odds show Rahm to be a slight favorite at odds of -120, while Johnson is the underdog at +100. Therefore, you would get more money in return if you correctly bet on Johnson to win than you would if you correctly sided with Rahm in this 2-ball golf betting scenario. Regardless, you will get a relatively similar payout as oddsmakers expect this to be a fairly even matchup.
With 3-ball betting, it’s the same idea as two-ball betting except the wager adds a third option. Here is a look at what a three-ball betting example could look like in your CA sportsbook app:
- Jordan Spieth +165
- Justin Thomas +175
- Tiger Woods +185
Now, you have three options to choose from, and the potential payout would be larger, as winning the wager becomes much more difficult when the number of potential betting outcomes increases. A two-ball wager is easier to win in a vacuum, but if you’re extra confident in one of those three golfers, there could be some value in making a three-ball bet for a larger potential profit.
Larger group bets may be available for certain tournaments, with more than three players in the pool to choose from.
The above examples were for the entire tournament, but you can also make two-ball and three-ball bets on a specific round. While you can still do live golf betting on each round, if you think a golfer will come out on fire in the first round, that might be a good time to place a wager on that particular player in that specific round.
Sportsbooks will reset and offer new odds heading into each day of the tournament for two-ball and three-ball wagers, so you do not necessarily need to get your bets in prior to the start of the event.
What are the rules for ties in 2/3 ball betting?
A tie is what people call a push in sports betting lingo, and what happens depends on whether you placed a two-ball bet or three-ball bet. So, what are the rules for 2/3 ball golf betting?
For a tie on a two-ball bet, bettors would simply get their money back as if the bet never happened.
It’s a little different with a three-ball bet. If you bet on one of the two golfers who are tied at the top, the dollar amount you risked would be cut in half.
Some sportsbooks will actually have another potential outcome among the options to bet on that includes a tie. In that case, you would need to bet on a tie happening in order to receive any money in that situation. If you bet on a golfer and the result ends in a push when there was an option to bet on a tie, your bet is a loss.
What if the golfers miss the cut?
Not every golfer makes it out of the first two days of a tournament, as some will fail to make the cut. If you bet on a golfer who made the cut while the competitor in a two-ball matchup failed to make it, your bet wins even if the player you bet on finishes with a worse score to par at the end of the tournament. If they both fail to make the cut, whoever has a better score through the first two rounds will be ahead for the purpose of the wager.
Two-ball and three-ball betting tips
There are a number of strategies golf bettors can use when it comes to two-ball and three-ball betting, and it’s important to put in your research prior to wagering. Sports betting information is more available than ever, so be sure to take advantage of the resources at your disposal.
Here are a few tips if you’re thinking about placing a two-ball or three-ball wager for an upcoming golf tournament:
- Study players’ course history: This goes for just about any golf wager you make, but you can look back and see how golfers performed over their career for any course on the PGA Tour. Some golfers simply perform better at some courses than others, and this can be key for bets like the ones we’ve been talking about.
- Fade the breakout star: This can happen if a lesser-known golfer puts together a scorching hot round in a major tournament, potentially even leading the field after the first round or two. This might be a good time to bet against that golfer in a two-ball or three-ball situation. You could end up getting fairly good value going against the player everyone is talking about.
- Favor tournament betting over round betting: This one can be based on personal preference, but the sample size is important when determining how successful an athlete is, regardless of the sport. Any golfer can have a good round, but the consistency over four rounds is where people can separate themselves. If you determine one golfer has an advantage over another after doing your research, you are more likely to win a bet that takes a 72-hole sample size over an 18-hole sample size that is more likely to go either way.
Is 2 & 3 ball betting in golf a good strategy?
It certainly can be, depending on your strategy. With fewer potential outcomes, you have a better chance of making correct predictions consistently. While many bettors may be looking to find an outright winner, thus giving themselves a slight chance at success, you can put yourself in a much better position to make a profit through 2-ball and 3-ball golf betting.