The Future of Golf Betting is Here: Tiger versus Phil

Calling all sharp golf bettors.  The future of golf betting is arriving at the end of this month and Wannamakeabet “The Match: Tiger vs Phil” will be more fun than you originally thought?  We know it will because you’ll be able to bet on it while they’re playing with live data from the producer of the broadcast.

This made-for-TV match between the top golfers of their generation will feature a sports betting-friendly broadcast.  Turner Sports, the producer of the broadcast, announced Friday the broadcast will feature “first-of-its-kind integrations centered on predictive data.”  That’s when you knew the future of golf betting is here.   And here to stay.

The broadcast will include real-time, hole-by-hole stats that will be displayed on screen to forecast the probability of certain outcomes during the match.  The data is based on a model and algorithm that combines ShotLink Intelligence with characteristics of Shadow Creek to calculate the likelihood of various scenarios to occur.  How cool is that?

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“Separately, after a hole has concluded, the broadcast will integrate a proprietary data stream provided by the MGM Resorts Race & Sports Books.  In association with the MGM/GVC Interactive Gaming Joint Venture –to deliver odds, moneyline and other information associated with the golfers’ performance.”

That means viewers will test-drive not only golf’s wagering future, but also the potential for integration of sports betting information directly into broadcasts.  In other words, this is a gambling golf fan wet dream.

Golf’s in-play potential has actually been around for quite some time.  Ten years ago you could bet on golf online at some of the offshore books like WSEX and the action was amazing.  Now, it’s here and legal.   Perhaps no American sport presents as perfectly for in-play betting as golf, specifically the PGA Tour.

And that has everything to do with the pace of the game and the ability to get your action in before the next shot happens.  If you’ve dabbled in other sports such as football and basketball for in-game wagering, you know how difficult, and costly, the pace can become.    Baseball is a little easier, but golf is made for in-game and always has been.

In-play betting on the eventual tournament winner seems obvious. With a constantly shifting leaderboard featuring dozens of players, a PGA Tour event offers bettors a host of pricing choices.

In a lower-stakes setting than a Tour event, the Tiger vs. Phil match will put those possibilities on center stage::

“Both Woods and Mickelson will selectively make side challenges against one another during the live competition.  For instance, Woods or Mickelson could raise the stakes by challenging the other to get closest-to-the-pin; whether one of them can make a crucial putt from 10-feet away; the chances of getting “up-and-down” from a certain location on the course or similar competition during a hole as they play their match.  The money will be donated to the winning golfer’s charity of choice.”

It does not appear bettors will be able to place their own side wagers on the ones Woods and Mickelson make.  But who would be keeping track of this at home?

Betting information will be only one of the new elements to the Tiger vs. Phil match. Turner also will modify the viewing experience along the course with different perspectives including:

  • Live drone coverage with camera angles “never been seen before for a live golf event”
  • Real-time trajectories and flight path for each shot
  • Virtual Eye real-time golf animations

The Tiger vs. Phil match will take place at noon PT/3 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 23 at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.  This is can’t miss golf for any fan of sports betting, golf, data, Tiger or Phil.  Personally, I can’t wait.

Greg Norton is a staff writer.


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