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Masters Golf Betting

The 2011 Masters Tournament is scheduled for April 7th – 10th, at the Augusta National Golf Club of course. Phil Mickelson will be looking to defend his 2010 Masters title, while Tiger Woods looks to rebound from a disappointing season. To get the green jacket, they’ll have to battle it out with several up-and-comers which include Anthony Kim, Rory McIlroy and more.

The Masters Tournament is the first major of the year, and possibly the most prestigious of all. With the extreme popularity of this tournament, this is when the golf betting season really gets started. Punters from around the world will be placing bets on their favorite players, and rooting for their countrymen.

Best Online Sportsbooks for the Masters Golf Tournament

Serious bettors should have accounts at several different online sportsbooks. This gives punters the ability to compare odds at different sites, looking for the best value. The difference can amount to a lot of money over time, money you don’t have to give away.

If you’re just looking to place the occasional bet for entertainment purposes, sign up and the Bodog Sportsbook and be done with it. They’re the best online sportsbook for golf bettors, and arguably the best sportsbook period.

For more serious punters, you should get accounts at each of the following online sportsbooks.

#1 – Bodog: US customers welcome. The Bodog Sportsbook gets the #1 spot on all of our golf pages because of their great selection of prop bets. While they offer all of the standard head to head match up and outright winner bets, they offer more golf props than any other sportsbook.

The entire Bodod sportsbook is too-notch, it’s not just about prop bets. They also have lines on all of the most popular sports around the world, and some more rare ones as well. This is a full service sportsbook that gets top ratings from every sportsbook review site online.

The Bodog Sportsbook has possibly the best customer support staff online, and handle everything from simple sports betting questions to help with depositing. This is a great staff of well trained people. They are open 24 hours a day via live chat, phone or email. Emails are typically answered within a few hours.

The sportsbook accepts wagers in the $1-5000 range. Deposits can be made through all of the most popular options, including Visa, Moneybookers, Click2Pay, Neteller, and others.

Place a Bet at the Bodog Sportsbook

#2 – Bookmaker: US customers welcome. Bookmaker is the professional punters first choice. They accept the largest bets, and pay out winners without any hassles like some other sportsbooks. If you want to place bets over $5000, Bookmaker is really the only good option you have.

Bookmaker runs lines for every PGA event of the year, and extra prop bets during all of the majors. They offer some of the best odds in the industry and create all of their own lines. Plenty of betting choices for the Masters and other major PGA tournaments puts Bookmaker solidly at the #2 spot, and #1 for those who bet $5000+ per wager.

The customer service department performs up to the requirements of professional bettors. It’s rare when you’ll stump their staff. The support department never closes, and can be contacted through phone, live chat or email.

Bookmaker offers a large number of deposit methods, including Neteller, credit cards, Moneybookers, Click2Pay, PaySafeCard, ClickandBuy, bank wire, and more.

For US bettors, Visa is the most popular deposit option. While they usually work, cards do get denied sometimes. If this happens, contact customer support for help. They usually have ways to manually run your card.

Place a Bet at Bookmaker

#3 – Diamond Sportsbook: US customers welcome. The Diamond Sportsbook is another one of those ‘must have’ accounts for serious bettors. While they’re a partner of Bookmaker.com, Diamond runs their own lines. This means that punters get the same security they would at Bookmaker, with more betting choices and odds to compare.

Of course the Diamond Sportsbook offers all of the standard golfing bets, but they also run a nice selection of prop bets during the Masters Tournament and other majors. Futures bets for the Masters are available as well.

If a sportsbook doesn’t have a solid supports depaertment, we never rank them high. The Diamond Sportsbook is one of the best. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and available 24 hours a day.

All of the most common deposit methods are available to players, including Visa & Mastercard, Amex, Diners Club, Moneybookers, Neteller, Click2Pay, and more.

Place a Bet at Diamond Sportsbook

#4 – BetUS Sportsbook: US customers welcome, no Canadians. BetUS does a great job of offering bets that Americans are most interested in. Of course this includes golf, and especially the four majors. Like most online sportsbooks, BetUS runs all of the standard head to head match up bets, and outright tournament winners as well. They also have a surprisingly good selection of props for the bigger PGA tournaments.

We expect BetUS to continue to expand their betting options for the 2011 Masters Tournament. We’re hoping to see even more prop bets than last year, and some ore creativity. As a room on the rise, they seem to get better and better every year.

The customer service department is decent. We can’t give them the ratings we do for the top 3 sportsbooks, but they’re pretty good. Most staff members are knowledgeable and helpful, while you might get the occasional idiot as well. If that happens, hang up and call back, you’re likely to get someone good. The support department is available 24 hours a day via phone or email.

BetUS has some of the highest success rates for US customers depositing with Visa credit & debit cards. US residents should try this option first. If your card doesn’t go through, contact the customer support department for help. They have other ways to get your card to work.

For customers outside the US, pick between Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, Neteller, Moneybookers, Click2Pay, ClickandBuy, and plenty of other deposit methods.

Place a Bet at BetUS

#5 – Sports Interaction: US customers welcome. Sports Interaction is another online book who gets better every year. They continue to offer more lines, better odds, and improved customer service. Plenty of prop bets are available during each of the four majors, plus all of the standard golf bets. We’re hoping for even more betting options for the 2011 Masters Tournament.

Customer service is solid, plenty of deposit options are available, and the site is easy to navigate. Overall, Sports Interaction is a solid book that seems to be getting better.

Place a Bet at Sports Interaction

2011 Masters Golf Betting Options

Head to Head Match Ups: Sportsbooks pick two players, and your job is to pick the best finisher. If your player finishes with a better score than his opponent, you win. If not, you lose. Pretty simple stuff.

Some books like to pit very close competitors, while others will offer greater odds with looser match ups. There are benefits to both, but the idea is always the same – find value.

Tournament Winner: Once again, a very simple bet to explain. Pick the winner of the tournament and you win. While these can be tough bets to win, the payouts can be great. Typical odds for tournament favorites are usually in the 15/1 – 20/1 range, and go up to 100/1 for most other players.

Golf Props: Golf prop bets can be a lot of fun, if not risky. Some golf props can be near impossible to hit. Others can be pretty attractive. The key with betting on props is to keep your bets small enough that you don’t risk a high % of your bankroll. For most prop bets, keep your bets at a maximum of .5% of your bankroll.

The Bodog Sportsbook offers the best Masters prop bets.

If you’re going after a crazy prop for 1000/1 just for the fun of it, then do what you like, but if you take your betting seriously and are looking to be a winner, keep these bets small.

Golf prop bets can be for a variety of things, such as players hitting holes in one, under a particular score, making the cut, etc.. The list is endless really, with every sportsbook coming up with their own selection of prop bets.

History of the Masters Tournament

The first Masters Tournament was held in 1934 and was called the Augusta National Invitation. The first winner was Horton Smith, who received $1000 for the win. That might sound like a lot considering it was 1934, but adjusted for inflation, it’s only about $16,000 in 2010. Horton won again in 1936.

From 1934 through 1979, South African Gary Player was the only non-American to win the Masters Tournament. Player won the tournament three times, in 1961, 1974, and 1978.

In 1980, Spaniard Seve Ballesteros broke that streak. Three years later he won his second Masters Tournament.

The following year, Gene Sarazen hit the famous ‘shot heard round the world’ when he sunk a fairway shot for a double eagle on the 15th hole. The shot put him into a tie with Craig Wood and eventually led to a 36 hole playoff. Sarazen won the playoff, and the second Augusta National. Craig Wood came back and won the tournament in 1941.

The tournament became known as the Masters Tournament in 1939 and it was won by Ralph Guldahl.

Jimmy Demaret won his first of three Masters Tournaments in 1940, followed by wins in 1947 and 1950. He was the tournaments first three time winner, and winner of 31 PGA tournaments over the course of his career.

Byron Nelson won his first Masters in 1937, then again in 1942. In 1945 Byron Nelson won 11 consecutive tournaments and 18 overall. He is the namesake of the Byron Nelson Championship, a PGA Tour event played every spring.

The legendary Sam Snead won his first of three Masters Tournaments in 1949, then again in 1952 and 1954. In all, Snead won 7 majors and 82 PGA tour events during his Hall of Fame career.

Hall of Famer Ben Hogan won the 1951 and 1952 Masters Tournaments. At the age of 27, Hogan won his first pro tournament. He won the next two tournaments he played in as well. Hogan is considered one of the greatest players to ever live, and is given credit for developing many of the fundamentals players still employ today.

In 1958, Arnold Palmer won his first of four Masters Tournaments. This golfing legend also won in 1960, 1962, and 1964. It seems that Palmer preferred the even years.

The man that many people consider the greatest players ever, Jack Nicklaus, won his first of six Masters Tournaments in 1963. He also won in 1965, ’66, ’72, ’75, and ’86. This 23 year stretch between his first and 6th wins is a testament to the durability and talent of The Golden Bear.

Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo won his first in 1989. In 1990 he accomplished what few ever have, when he defended his title with his second Masters title. Faldo’s third win came in 1996.

1997 was the year of the Tiger. At age 21, Tiger Woods won his first of four Masters titles. He shot a -18 for the tournament, 12 strokes ahead of his closest opponent – both records that still stand today. Tiger won again in 2001, 2002, and 2005.

Phil Mickelson took down the 2004 Masters title, his first of three. Mickelson also won in 2006 and 2010. His 2010 victory was an emotional win, after his wife successfully battled breast cancer during the previous year. It also came at a time when the Tiger Woods scandal was still all over the news, so this uplifting win was very good for the sport.