Sports Betting Guide

The importance of experience when betting on golf majors

Golf is one of the most popular sports, especially when it comes to online betting. While there are only four major golf tournaments, which are the biggest golf events of the year, it is still extremely hard to predict a winner of each one of them. What can help you make a better pick? Let’s find out together. Read on.

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If you are reading this online betting guide, then you have probably heard about the sport and are familiar with the topic. While there are tons of minor golf competitions around the world, the main attention is given to the so-called majors. These top-tier golfing competitions are famous for the hype and the huge fan base they bring together. Experienced golf bettors know how hard it is to predict the winner of those elite tournaments. However, many believe that experience plays one of the most crucial roles when it comes to winning one of the golf majors. Let’s find that out today in our special golf betting guide.

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Majors & what they are

There are a total of four major competitions in golf that take place every year. They are the Masters Tournament, the US Open, The Open Championship (also called the British Open), and the PGA Championship. They are always accompanied by two biennial team tournaments called the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. Altogether, these 6 golf competitions form the most prestigious selection of golfing events.

The first major of the golfing calendar is the Masters Tournament, or simply The Masters or US Masters. The tournament debuted in 1934 and has always started in the first week of April. What is more, it is the only golf major that takes place on the same course - Augusta National Golf Club.

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Next up is the US Open, which was first held in 1895. It is the second golf major of the year and usually takes place in mid-June. It is referred to as one of the most difficult majors due to longer courses with deeper rough, which organisations usually prefer.

The third major of the year is the Open Championship or British Open. It is the oldest tournament of the four, was first held in 1873. It is also the only major held outside the United States and is hosted by various UK courses. The British Open usually is held in mid-July and is renowned for its links-style courses & strong winds due to the lack of trees.

The last but not least major of the year is the PGA Championship. It usually takes place at the end of the summer, around mid-August. It is also the youngest of four tournaments. However, it has a slightly different qualification process, making it harder for amateurs to compete.

Does experience matter?

Since you already know a bit about the four golf majors, let’s find out how the experience affects your winnings chances. Speaking generally, it is quite straightforward that the four most prestigious golf tournaments will be the most competitive ones out of all golf tournaments. While this statement is true, it also creates the belief that previous experience in majors often helps finding value when shopping for odds.

In order to have a better idea about it, we need to take a look at the table below.

Major Average number of majors
Masters 27.89
US Open 18.90
British Open 26
PGA 9.22

The table above shows us that, in fact, you need to have some experience before winning your first major. While this confirms the initial statement about the importance of previous experience, it only shows us general information about the majors. Let’s talk about other aspects of the dataset we used before making any further decisions.

First of all, we should keep in mind a couple of outliers. They are Ben Curtis who was the first to win a major at the first attempt,  Francis Ouimet and Keegan Bradley. On the other side of things, we have Sergio Garcia, who competed in the most majors (73) before winning the 2017 Masters.

Moving on, we might also need a median number of majors prior to the first win.

Major Median number
Masters 16
US Open 16
British Open 24.5

These statistics will show us the average amount of experience required to win a major. Interesting but a fair amount of previous experience needed to win the Masters & the US Open is the same (16). However, people actually need more attempts (27.89) to win Masters, than the US Open (18.90). Might be something about those Augusta National Golf Club courses. 

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The youngest major - PGA Championship is actually the easiest one to win, despite being less likely to be won by amateurs. The only non-US major appears to be the hardest to win, requiring the most experience. Appears that golfers really do struggle with links-style UK courses.

What makes golf majors so special?

There is a lot that makes golf majors so special and different from other golf competitions. First of all, this is a big stage with the highest level of competitiveness, which puts a lot of pressure on players. However, it is quite common in other sports as well. The more prestigious the competition is, the higher the stake, thus, the higher the responsibility. Nevertheless, do not forget how much it takes to qualify for a major!

Hopefully, it is already clear that majors are much harder to play than regular tour competitions. The courses usually undergo a thorough verification before being approved for the major. Organisations usually for the following aspects when selecting a proper golf course for a major tournament: 

  • course length
  • tee location
  • fairway width
  • contours
  • undulations
  • rough length & density
  • green size & speed
  • potential hazards

Additionally, organisators change the pin position to make the already hard courses even harder.

Since we already know that courses are always selected with the goal to make it harder for the players, let’s see how difficult it is to win a golf major based on the average winning score against the course par and the average cut score (basically, the metrics that is taken halfway into the tournament and splits the number of competitors roughly in half).

Major Average winning score Average cut score
Masters -10.06 3.77
US Open -4.11 6.33
British Open -9.94 3.27
PGA -10.89 3.44

Taking a look at the table above, we get a couple of interesting situations. The Open Championship, which is the one that requires the most experience, actually appears to be the easiest major. Another interesting observation can also be made about the Masters & US Open. While the two require the same amount of previous experience, the uniqueness of Augusta National courses makes quite a difference.


Summing up all the above information, we can say that while experience is crucial for winning a golf major, it is only one of the key factors needed to be analysed. Make sure you always consider the type of the course & the style of play needed to compete on it. Do not forget about such details as weather, recent form and other tiny specifics of each major, in order to make sharp predictions.

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