NCAA study: Golfers the biggest gamblers - by far

May 7, 2013 |
By: Jon Campbell
A recently released NCAA study on sports gambling from 2012 has revealed that male golfers are more likely to bet on sports - and everything else - than their student athlete counterparts.

According to an article from USA Today Sports, 20.2 percent of NCAA Division 1 male golfers bet on sports at least once per month. The next closest was soccer players at 9.7 percent.

Despite the staggering difference between sports, the response from any man who plays golf and can break 100 with any consistency the response is pretty much uniform: Duh!

"It's the culture within that sport," Mark Strothkamp told USA Today. Strothkamp is the NCAA associate director of enforcement of sports gambling issues. "In any country club in America, you can go see that type of activity going on. That's the norm within that sport, and we need to combat that norm."

Good luck with that.

Gambling is to golf is what ketchup is to French fries. Sure they’re good without it, but why would you?

The study said “56 percent of men's golfers admitted to gambling on ‘games of personal skill,’ which would include on-course wagering, within the previous year.”

I say the other 44 percent are either lying or they aren’t very well liked among their peers.

There’s another factor at play here and that’s the socioeconomic factor. You need money to play golf, more so than just about any other sport. And it tends to be higher income earners who bet on sports compared to just about every other form of gambling.

It’s just another case study that shows it’s not usually the unemployed gambling away their social assistance checks when it comes to betting on sports. 

Not sure about your club, but at mine the winners buy first round. That kind of thing encourages integrity, not diminishes it. 

Here’s a look at the gambling behaviors among men's golfers from 20012 compared to all male athletes. (Chart from USA Today Sports).

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