Golf spread betting, as with most sports, should be only one of the weapons we have when gambling. Notwithstanding the fact that the best players are the ones who have the best mental attitude, one of the continuing trends in golf is how frequently it throws up apparently unpredictable winners. In what other sport do 100-1 rags have a real chance of winning on their day? A horse that is 100-1 has next to no chance of pulling off a shock victory—a 100-1 golfer most certainly does. Some of the reasons for this we have touched on before—they have run into recent good form and are hitting the ball well.
Some are more intangible. Maybe an outsider is playing on a course near their home; maybe they have had some good personal news. Indeed, the feeling among pundits is that a host of new talent is on the verge of breaking into the big time. More than 30 players won their first professional tournaments in the US or European tour during the 2002 season. Some may turn out to be one-off flukes, but it is more than likely to be a sea change to challenge the old guard. In spread terms, as with any sport, ‘name’ players are priced at a premium. Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Colin Montgomery and the like are all popular with the punters and will have their price adjusted slightly higher to compensate.
If the new run of talent is about to burst on to the scene, then these players will represent worse value than ever. We will see what the next couple of seasons bring.