Betting on Golf
Some folks think that gambling is one of the roots of all evil. However, I’m not one of them. I don’t mean to dismiss the problems and pain that some have suffered as the result of a mind or soul that has been twisted from gambling. To be sure, it can be a dangerous thing – like, say, guns or alcohol – when used improperly or to excess. But to most of the population gambling can be wonderful entertainment. For instance, how much fun is holding a $1 lottery ticket when the pot is up to an astronomical number?
While definitely not a big-time bettor, I have been involved in many forms of betting on golf. It is likely that most people who play golf have made a few wagers on their own matches, whether it’s a “pride bet” of a drink after the round or a few bucks, or large bets to varying degrees of financial remuneration. Certainly the professional players on the big Tours have their wagers on practice days. Fun.
But the wagering that is lacking in most of the United States is the odds-betting which is commonplace in the U.K. On a trip to Las Vegas several years ago, I was able to drop a small sum on Phil Mickelson to win the Masters at 12 to 1. Alas, this bet was placed a year too early. On a trip to Scotland in 2004, I got Jim Furyk in the Open Championship at 33 to 1. No dice there, either. It definitely picks up the interest level when watching these events in person or on television.
I have also been privileged to attend a couple of big-time betting events involving one of the major championships. It’s called a Calcutta, which is basically an auction. This was such a unique experience that I will devote an entire blog to it sometime in the future.
Two days ago, we had our annual fantasy draft for 2006. For a small sum a person/team will be put in the hat for draft order. Each person/team entered will select a professional golfer in each of 6 rounds. (The 2nd, 4th and 6th rounds are done in reverse order.) Those players earnings in all official PGA Tour, Champions Tour and LPGA Tour events are added up throughout the year and the top three teams split the pot (whatever the total is) 60%/25%/15% at the end of the year. But before that prize distribution is made, a small sum is awarded to the winning team of each of the 4 Major tournaments and the Players Championship. What makes drafting tricky is that all of the big dogs like Tiger and Vijay are split into pieces. Tiger was broken into quarters and Vijay in thirds. Draft day alone is quite fun and it gives me a rooting interest in every event all year long. So what could be wrong with that?
|« Let's all jump to conclusions about Vijay Singh, Stuart Appleby and Michelle Wie||Ernie Els is making an early statement about 2006 »|
Majors Wie Woods
0 1-2 3-2
1 9-5 5-4
2 6-1 7-2
3 20-1 12-1
4 50-1 35-1
Perhaps it was. Have you had a similar experience?
Just took a good look at those odds. Wouldn't mind getting some of that 5-4 on Tiger winning at least one major in 2006.
If it weren't for betting, most of
the football games would be relegated
to ESPN 2....
Hey Shanks, too bad we can't get to
Scotland and put a few pounds on our
boy Ernie!! He's BAAAACK..!!
I wonder if a certain cousin of mine
would mind making a "little" wager
on Mr. Els come major (s) time?