A Beginner’s Guide to Daily Fantasy Golf
Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup — to learn more.
With many of the major professional sports leagues on hold, there is no better time to get started with daily fantasy golf. The PGA Tour returned to action on June 11th after a three-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, and daily fantasy sites like DraftKings and FanDuel have been offering massive prize pools since then. If you’re a beginner looking to find out what daily fantasy golf is all about, you’ve come to the right place.
What is Daily Fantasy Golf?
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) involves building a team of professional athletes from a particular league while staying under the given salary cap. Unlike traditional fantasy sports, there is no worry of a season-long commitment. You are drafting a team for a short period of time, such as a week or a single day of competition. Your players earn points based on the actual statistical performance of the players in real-world competitions.
DFS golf is one of the fastest-growing sports in DFS. What makes PGA DFS so unique is the fact that each event is spread out over the course of four days. Usually, when you pay money to enter a DFS contest for the NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL, for example, it’s for one single day of games. Each PGA event is four full days of action, so you naturally get a better bang for your buck when playing PGA DFS.
Every golfer in DFS receives a salary each week based on their skillset. For example, first-ranked Rory McIlroy is consistently one of the highest-priced golfers each week. If you are playing DraftKings, you only have $50,000 worth of salary to use to draft your six golfers. This gives you an average of $8,333 to use on each respective golfer.
Every week, an average of 144 golfers tee it up for an event. Every golfer will be guaranteed two rounds of golf (36 holes) before the cut is made. The top-65 with ties after the completion of the second round are eligible to play on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday). This is key to remember if you’re just getting into PGA DFS. Drafting six players that all make the cut that week is the key to having a chance at winning big money when playing PGA DFS.
Selecting a Contest
It is important to know the difference between “Guaranteed Prize Pools” (GPPs) and “Cash Games.” If you’re new to DFS and want a better idea of how to manage your money, here are the two types of contests offered by Daily Fantasy Sites.
Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs)
If you’re looking for a low-risk, high-reward experience, then GPPs or tournaments are what you want. GPPs are big-money contests that typically have lots of entrants. You can enter these contests for as little as $0.10. However, the prize money is very top-heavy, so you’ll have to hope you net a top-10 finish in the tournament to receive any significant payout. You are competing against several thousand others for the shot of the top prize. GPPs are not usually a good way for beginners to get their feet wet in DFS.
Unlike the top-heavy payouts of GPP contests, cash game contests award the same payouts to all winners. If you’re serious about maintaining a steady bankroll each week and not losing, cash games are for you. You only have to place in the top half of each cash game contest to get paid out. These are called 50/50 contests, and I highly recommend playing them if you’re new to DFS.
Another option for cash games are multipliers or head to heads (H2Hs). In a multiplier contest, winners will receive double, triple, or up to ten times their entry amount. To win a multiplier, you must finish within the top 50% for doubles or the top 33% for triple up contests. In H2Hs, you are competing directly against a single friend or another user. You can create these contests yourself, and it adds some extra bragging rights if you end up pulling out the win.
Points and Scoring
Before constructing your lineup, it’s crucial to understand the scoring system of PGA DFS. Rule number one, birdies and Eagles are king. On DraftKings, each birdie that your golfer accumulates is worth three points, and each eagle is worth eight. There are also special streaks and bonuses awarded. For example, if your golfer gets a streak of three or more birdies, you get an extra three points. The complete DraftKings PGA scoring system can be found here.
DraftKings and FanDuel are the two industry leaders in PGA DFS. DraftKings is an official sponsor of the PGA, and they formed a big partnership with them in July of 2019. Contests are bigger than ever before, and there are plenty of Milli Makers each season. In contrast, you can find softer pricing on FanDuel. It’s a good alternative for beginners to find a level playing field.
Do Your Research
Each and every event on the PGA Tour is unique in some way. Some courses are short, some are long; some are played on Bentgrass, some on Bermuda — you get the point. Different golfers excel in different conditions. The process of selecting your player pool each week for DFS is one of the best parts of the whole thing. There is tons of information to take in and analyze each and every week.
To keep things simple for beginners, it’s best to focus on recent form and course history. Golfers who are currently in good form tend to ride the hot streak for a certain period of time. Focus on selecting golfers who have racked up plenty of high finishes of late. Also, there are free databases like Saber DFS that give you each player’s course history at every event. Focus on rostering golfers who have placed high at each respective event in the past.
As the other major professional sports leagues attempt to make their comeback soon, the PGA Tour will continue to get more exposure. More and more new users are attempting to get into Daily Fantasy Golf, and it’s great for the game! Contests continue to grow in magnitude on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Prize pools are bigger than ever before.
Remember, always make sure to manage your bankroll according to your financial position. Stick to cash games if you plan on maintaining a steady bankroll or gradually growing it over time. Cash games are the safest way to not lose large amounts of money. Big GPP contests are enticing because of the extremely large payouts, but remember that you are going against thousands of others, and many are very experienced DFS players. Single entry GPPs are the way to go for beginners.
Stay disciplined, and have fun!