What is 3-Ball Betting in Golf?

min read
Justin Thomas waves after making a putt on the 14th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club, Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla.
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
BetMGM @BETMGM Jan 04, 2024, 12:45 PM

With a golf tournament occurring almost every week, golf betting is popular at the online sportsbook.

Some options include outrights, place/finishing position, matchups, parlays, props, and 3-ball. A 3-ball golf bet is actually very simple, usually offered for the first and second rounds and sometimes for the third and fourth rounds, depending on the pairings. 

Here’s a breakdown of 3-ball betting:

What is a 3-Ball Bet?

At most PGA Tour events, players go off as threesomes for the first and second rounds, which is where the 3-ball bet originates. 

The online sportsbook will offer odds for all three players in a particular group, so the 3-ball bet is for who will score the best out of a particular threesome for a specific round. 

Since there are three players involved, typically, there are plus-odds, which could provide some nice value on good players. These are usually offered for every group in a specific round.

The third and final rounds groups often feature twosomes, where 2-ball betting originates. 

How Does 3-Ball Betting Work?

At the Masters, Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa may be paired together for the first round, and here is how the 3-ball odds might look.

  • Woods: +250
  • Thomas: +150
  • Morikawa: +175

So, if you placed a $100 3-ball bet on Thomas in the first round and he finished with the best score of the three, you would win $250 (including stake).

The same bet would be offered for the second round (pairings stay the same for the first two rounds), with odds likely changing depending on how players performed in Round 1. 

Other Types of Golf Bets

There are several other types of golf bets, too. 

Outright bets may be the most popular bet in golf because they offer the highest payout. These are simply betting on a player to win a tournament before it begins. 

Place/finishing position bets are a nice alternative to outright bets. This is betting on a player to finish in the top 5, top 20, top 20, or even top 40. These are shorter odds, so a lower payout, but some good value can be found. 

Matchup bets, either for a specific round or the tournament as a whole, are two players against one another. Typically, the odds are around -110 since they feature similar-skill players.

Prop bets can get pretty random depending on a tournament, like will there be a hole-in-one? Will there be a playoff? What will the origin of the winner be? Usually, the majors offer the most prop bets.

PGA Tour Odds at BetMGM

BetMGM is the premier online sportsbook for updated PGA Tour odds each season.

Whether you’re betting on designated tournaments, match play events, or majors, there’s something for everyone. And with live golf betting, the action doesn’t stop at the book when the action starts on the course. You can view live odds from the first round through the final round.

Sign in to your account today — or, if you don’t have an account, sign up today with a sportsbook welcome offer — to start betting. And always check your new account for updated sportsbook promos and bonuses.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.