The Biggest, Best & Most Interesting Golf Facts and Trivia
With such a long and rich history, it’s no wonder that golf is full of exciting stories of high stakes wagers, crazy hole-in-ones and a wide array of interesting facts. We’ve pulled some of our favourite golf facts & trivia together on one page, so if you’re wanting to amaze your mates at the pub with your knowledge of the best golf bets and fun facts, you’re in the right place.
The Best Golfers in the Business
Perhaps more than any sport, there have been some legends of golf. Golfers’ careers can be much longer than the average sportsman, with many still playing pro into their 50s, before continuing to play in the senior competitions. This longevity allows some players to build themselves as defining stars of a generation.
The amount of Majors a golfer has won is held by many as the benchmark for defining the best golfers. However, this had to be calculated by golf historians in the 1980s, since many players had won significant events before the PGA Tour was officially established. The four Major competitions – The Masters, US Open, the Open and the PGA Championship – are the among the highest honours in golf. Nick Faldo is the Englishman with the most Major wins with a total of 6, consisting of an impressive 3 Masters victories and 3 wins on home soil at the Open.
But PGA Tour wins are also of course huge, just like the amount of prize money involved! Those players with over 20 tour wins are given life membership, meaning they can automatically take part in the competition each year, without having to qualify each time. While Jack Nicklaus holds the record for the most major wins, Sam Snead is the record holder for the most wins overall, with 82 tournament wins over a 30-year career. He is followed by Tiger Woods who has 79 tournament wins, while Nicklaus is 3rd with 73. The Brit with the most wins is England’s Jim Barnes, who has a total of 21 victories, including 4 Majors, between 1916-1937.
Fun Golf Facts
Here’s some knowledge to impress your friends. You never know, it might come in handy if a golf question ever pops up at a pub quiz. You can thank us later. Check below to see why golf was banned at one point in its country of birth, how many dimples are on the average golf ball and when the 18 holes we all now know and love became standard.
Golf Was Banned in Scotland Between 1457 to 1502
Golf began in Scotland, but it was actually banned between the years of 1457 and 1502. This was due to the threat of an English invasion, so citizens were not allowed to waste time playing golf when they should be preparing in case of an invasion. The ban was eventually rescinded by James III in 1502.
Dimples on the Average Golf Ball
The average golf ball has 336 dimples. This is the regulation number, though different balls will have different amounts of dimples, depending on the manufacturer or the model of the ball. Between 300-500 is the standard. The size of the dimples are usually standard, but some manufacturers even put different sized dimples on the same ball.
18 holes became the standard golf round after St Andrew’s in Scotland reduced their course from 22 to 18 holes in 1764. Before this, golf courses were not always played in a strictly pre-defined order. There were often courses with less than 18 holes before this. Though courses still varied in the number of holes they contained after 1764, other courses did begin to follow St. Andrews.
The Best Golf Bets
The world of amazing golf facts would not be complete without a rundown of some of the best golf bets in history. Betting on the sport has been around almost as long as the sport itself. Up until the 21st Century when golfers could start to earn money on the tour and become professionals, golfers made their living by betting against one another. This led to some heated match ups, with criminal gangs backing some golfers and many a hustler making a name for themselves in the golfing world.
There are also some more recent unusual bets on the sport. Below I’ve listed some of my favourites, from John Daly betting against his own team, to Rory McIlroy’s father’s faith in his son’s ability. Thanks to online betting sites and accumulated odds, many punters have won vast sums from betting on golf.
Coral User Wins Big Without Realising
One lucky punter won a massive £140,000 by mistake, after accidently selecting the wrong market when placing a bet. Accidently selecting Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano to win the first round, rather than the tournament, meant that the £50 double came in when Kyle Stanley won the Phoenix Open.
Rory McIlroy’s Father Wins 500/1 Bet on His Son
One of the most audacious golf bets in history was Rory McIlroy’s father betting £200 that his son would win the Open within 10 years. When Rory was crowned Open Champion in 2014, his dad claimed £100,000. Family and friends also got a piece of the action, following Mr McIlroy’s advice and chipping in on the bet.
John Daly Bets Against His Own Team
American golfer John Daly once bet against his US team in the 1995 Ryder Cup, as he was angry he was not included in the team. The European team went on to win the competition so Daly’s bet won, but just how much the American golfer bet – and how mcuh he won – is still a mystery.
Hopefully this page kept you entertained as well as proving educational. The story of golf is fascinating and littered with stories of colourful characters and crazy events, as this page has probably shown. Check out our rundown of the history of golf to learn even more crazy stories about the game we all know and love or head to our main golf betting page for all you need to know about betting on the sport.