Golf is one of the most popular sports in the world, both among players and spectators. From those who enjoy a quick round or two with friends, to the most dedicated professionals at the top of their game, players of all levels of skill and experience can enjoy golf,
The number of people playing golf and watching it has increased steadily over recent years. As people have become more aware of the physical and mental benefits of exercising and seeing friends, golf has become an even more convenient way to do both and have fun at the same time.
The most recent increase in the number of people playing golf can be attributed to the Covid 19 pandemic. When people were allowed to see one another outside, golf was the perfect way to combine physical exercise with social interaction, all in an outdoor environment that made it easy to maintain social distancing.
But the global appeal of golf had been increasing steadily for a couple of decades before this happened, with more and more people playing, watching, and enjoying golf worldwide.
The increasing popularity of golf
As with almost everything, the internet changed the way many people thought of golf. While plenty of people were betting on sports such as football and horse racing, golf never really attracted the same kind of attention.
Until the internet allowed fans to connect on a much more engaging level with the sport, placing bets on almost any aspect of the game. Golf didn’t traditionally receive a lot of coverage on television, but once fans could follow games online, it made it a lot easier to wager on everything from which players would compete, to what they would be wearing.
As technology has caught up with the demand for more ways to bet on golf, gambling laws in the US have also changed to accommodate online gaming more effectively. Many states have implemented new laws that make it easy and safe for fans to place bets on golf games, and more than thirty have implemented some kind of legal framework to allow sports betting, with still more working towards their own legalization process.
Golf fans that like to make their games a little more exciting with a couple of bets can do so more easily than ever since internet wagering became available. For those who do not want to have to venture out to a physical shop, it is incredibly easy to check online to see the Masters odds, read about the players, and place a bet all in one place.
Ironically, Georgia, the state that plays host to the annual Masters competition, is still among those that haven’t legalized sports betting. Those who wanted to be able to play along supported new bills that would have made provision for golfing fans, the most recent was voted down in March 2023, meaning that there is no longer the opportunity to get new legislation voted on in this round of new bills.
While the state may not have the means to gamble on sporting events, hosting the Masters does provide sports fans with the means to enjoy one of the most impressive golf tournaments in the world. The Augusta National golf club is the permanent home of the Masters tournament, whereas the hosting of the other major tournaments changes from one year to the next.
The Augusta National Golf Club is one of the most exclusive clubs in the United States, with membership restricted to invitees only. Counting former presidents, top golfers, and some of the bes- known celebrities in the world on its membership list, there is something appealing about seeing behind the scenes of this iconic golf course.
The business of golf
The changes in the laws surrounding betting on sports were followed by changes to the way sponsorship and advertising work in the world of golf. Golfers could enter into sponsorship deals with online casinos and gambling sites and the PGA encouraged them to secure financial support from organizations associated with the world of sports.
Opening up the world of sponsorship also allowed for collaborations between golf and the world of gaming. From golf-themed slots to golfing simulators, those with an interest in the game now have more ways than ever to engage with golf.
As more and more states legalize gambling, betting on golf is becoming increasingly popular. Experts are predicting that the global betting market could grow to more than $114 billion by 2026, and if golf continues to maintain the same market share, that will far exceed $5 billion just in the United States alone.
For fans of the game, recent advances in technology, changes to the law, and the increasing popularity of online betting have created the perfect conditions for a resurgence in popularity for a game that never lost its appeal.