Ben Coley – the free to follow golf betting tipster

Good tipsters are hard to come by. Even harder to come by are free to follow tipsters that are also good. This is why the service that golf betting tipster Ben Coley provides for Sporting Life is so impressive; not only is Ben a great golf tipster with a profitable long term record when betting on golf, but he is also absolutely free to follow and you’ll never have to pay a penny to see his tips.

You will of course have to risk your own bankroll, but as we’ll explain in this blog post that is certainly a risk worth taking.

Ben Coley is the chief golf betting tipster and Deputy Head of Editorial for Sporting Life. His tips are freely available to follow on the Sporting Life website as the site operates a policy which relies on getting traffic to the site and readers betting through their affiliated bookmakers.

Additionally, Sporting Life is part of a company called Hestview that is also owned by Sky Bet, who in turn are owned by Flutter Entertainment who also own the bookmakers, Betfair and Paddy Power. Complicated or what! This all means means they implement a few tactics to try and get you betting with these firms – especially Sky Bet.

Firstly you can sign up for a free Sporting Life account that grants you special access to various betting content; but to do this you’ll need a Sky Bet account as you login to Sporting Life using that account. Also as mentioned above the site will be pushing odds that are available at Sky Bet and may well be biased in this way when providing tips. So just make sure you’re aware of these things when placing bets using this golf tipster service.

This is how they are able to give their tips away for free as they rely on getting numbers through the door and over to their bookmaking sites rather than subscription costs. As ever when a website offers something for free, there is a always a catch or reason!

But taking that all into account, it does not impact on the quality of Ben’s service and he can definitely attract the punters to Sporting Life with his fantastic golf betting record and expert betting reviews he provides on a weekly basis. 

You might not be able to get on with the bookmakers he advises or his parent company also oversee if long-term profitable, yet as this article explains there are other ways to get your bets on via the exchanges and/or other bookmakers.

+692 points profit in 2021 alone!

His betting record for 2021 alone was one of his best performances to date. According to the Sporting Life website and the SBC betting record which we track independently he returned an extraordinary +692.51 betting points in the year based on the advised stakes for every selection tipped.

Ben’s yearly record is available to view by anyone on the Sporting Life website here.

And as you’ll see there have been many other profitable years secured by Ben’s tipping service. There was a blip in 2019 but this was purely down to variance which is something that all profitable bettors are aware of and have to be comfortable with. But apart from that every other year has been a profitable one meaning 5 out of 6 profitable betting years.

So with the fact that Ben is clearly a profitable tipster, what is the best way to use the service? 

After all, it may not be completely clear on how to use Ben’s points betting system (especially for beginners) and at SBC we have been successfully using the service for years. 

So let us impart some gambling wisdom that will steer you on the right track when using this fantastic golf betting service.

Bankroll management

As with almost all golf betting services, long periods without winners are commonplace. This is due to the nature of golf betting markets with relatively large fields fighting for just one winning spot. Ben clearly has an edge in the golf betting markets, yet you do need to be patient for this to manifest itself at times.

With that in mind it is important to assign an amount of money you are willing to risk when following Ben’s tips and then assign a staking strategy based on that amount of money and the points tipping system he uses. 

Back in 2020 we took a deep dive into Ben’s service and did some in depth analysis on Ben’s results which involved independently reviewing a 12 month period of tips and calculating points return and ROI.

That period returned a healthy 116.29% profit at 11.13% ROI yet along the way there were all kinds of ups and downs to be contended with. 

It did allow us to see the biggest drawdown (losing period) which means we can calculate an appropriate bankroll and the number of points which is designed to deal with the biggest expected losing run based on historical results.

With the worst run seeing a drawdown of 344 points we would therefore advocate a betting bank in the region of between 500 to 600 points if following Ben in. The former figure is for those of you who take a riskier approach and the latter for those of you who wish to play it reasonably safe.

So if you allocate a £2000 bank to this strategy for example, that would be around a £3 or £4 point. You can see an example of Ben’s tipping below and how he tips in betting points each meaning a £2000 betting bank would be £8 each-way if using a 500 point bank.

As with all betting, only risk what you can afford to lose and make sure you stick to your bank roll strategy in order to de-risk going bust.

Odds movement and exchange strategy

With popular, free to follow tipsters, sometimes there is an issue of being unable to get on the advised odds due to bookies shifting odds after tips or due to the market moving the odds due to the weight of money behind popular bets.

Ben’s service does also suffer from this to an extent but as this is golf betting odds are either much slower to move or they move less. 

During our review of Ben as mentioned above, we found that often after odds moved the market shifted back in our favour and we were able to get similar prices to what was advised.

Better still we were able to get bigger odds at Betfair Exchange meaning we could eke out that extra bit of value whilst not risking the wrath of the bookmakers with account limitations and closures.

To give a live example of the odds movement in action – below are the tips as put up by Ben for the Portugal Masters. I have listed the original odds put up by him at 5.23pm on the Monday 7th September alongside those available 24 hours later.

Note – Coetzee won with Laurie Canter 2nd to make it a very profitable tournament!

3pts e.w. George Coetzee at 18/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
Best odds 24 hours later: 15/1 (bookmaker) and 18.5 (Betfair)

1.5pts e.w. Jason Scrivener at 30/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
Best odds 24 hours later: 30/1 (bookmaker) and 44 (Betfair)

1.5pts e.w. Wilco Nienaber at 33/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)
Best odds 24 hours later: 25/1 (bookmaker) and 29 (Betfair)

1pt e.w. Laurie Canter at 70/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
Best odds 24 hours later: 66/1 (bookmaker) and 75 (Betfair)

1pt e.w. Jake McLeod at 125/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
Best odds 24 hours later: 100/1 (bookmaker) and 130 (Betfair)

Bookmaker accounts you’ll need

Ben will mainly tip at 3 bookmakers: Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook – The firms owned by Flutter Entertainment who also own the Sporting Life website.

That being said, many of his tips can be matched at other bookies that are offering the same odds and place terms. 

Always check Oddschecker to see if the odds and place terms are either the same or better.

Below is a list of valuable to have bookie accounts for when betting on golf in general:

  • Sky Bet
  • Paddy Power
  • Betfair Sportsbook (Note – Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook offer the exact same terms and odds)
  • William Hill 
  • Bet365 
  • Boylesports
  • Betfred (Note – you can match Betfred’s golf terms online in shops)

And don’t forget you can follow the bets at the exchange as mentioned above.

Summary 

So therein lies the reality of following Ben – a great tipster no doubt, but one where you might have to work and be shrewd to get the value odds. If able to do that and also willing to ride out the cruel nature of golf betting at times, then the rewards are clearly there. 

We continue to track and report back on the performance of Ben’s tips in our Tipster Profit Reports so you can keep a full update on proceedings and exactly how he is faring. Ben was also featured in our 2022 Golf Betting Guide.

If you would like to find out more about golf betting in general then our SBC Golf section is another fantastic resource to learn more. 

4 Tipsters Profitable On The Betting Exchange

If you’ve recently been struggling with bookmaker restrictions and limitations then my latest article and video for SBC may help a great deal.

I recently recorded a video on the subject which you can watch here.

In this article I feature 4 Tipsters that are profitable on the Betting Exchange.

This means, no restrictions, no closures and viable long term options.

Betting on Betfair or other betting exchanges such as Smarkets, Matchbook and Betdaq can be seen as the holy grail for some sports bettors. If you can find a profitable strategy at the exchange you will not have to subject yourself to the various issues you will face when winning at the bootmakers.

Such issues as account closures or bet restrictions are commonplace for winning bettors at bookmakers. If winning at the exchange however, you will not face these problems and your experience will be very different.

Unfortunately it is not an easy thing to do and people normally find it much easier to beat the bookmakers. This is mainly due to the fact that the smartest bettors bet at the exchange so you have to beat these guys if you want to make a profit.

Luckily for us, SBC have been proofing tipsters that are profitable on the exchange for many years now. This means we have long term records for these services and we can clearly see there is potential to make money on the exchange by following some of these services.

In this article I’ve highlighted 4 services that all have long term profitable records on the exchanges.

Hopefully this will provide some valuable insight to those of you that are struggling with winning at the bookies and are looking for a viable alternative.

Ben Coley

Service highlights

Ben is perhaps one of the biggest names in golf betting and tips for the betting website Sporting Life. He was reviewed by SBC in SBC Betting Magazine 119 and while the results assessment in that piece was based on bookmaker results, an odds comparison exercise was done showing that better odds could regularly be achieved at Betfair Exchange.

Pete who conducted the review mentions this in the ‘Odds Movement & Exchange Strategy’ section.

“The issue of odds movement is one that Ben freely admits to in our interview that follows. It is therefore important to be aware of this before committing to back his tips as you will find occasions when the odds on his selections have moved beyond what you should reasonably take.”

He went on to provide a previous example of this which clearly shows the better odds at Betfair. These selections were tipped for the Portugal Masters in September 2020.

Note – Coetzee won with Laurie Canter 2nd to make it a very profitable tournament!

3pts e.w. George Coetzee at 18/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
Best odds 24 hours later: 15/1 (bookmaker) and 18.5 (Betfair)

1.5pts e.w. Jason Scrivener at 30/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
Best odds 24 hours later: 30/1 (bookmaker) and 44 (Betfair)

1.5pts e.w. Wilco Nienaber at 33/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6)
Best odds 24 hours later: 25/1 (bookmaker) and 29 (Betfair)

1pt e.w. Laurie Canter at 70/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
Best odds 24 hours later: 66/1 (bookmaker) and 75 (Betfair)

1pt e.w. Jake McLeod at 125/1 (1/5 1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
Best odds 24 hours later: 100/1 (bookmaker) and 130 (Betfair)

The caveat here being you will not get the place concessions on the exchange like you would at a bookmaker. Bookies often will pay anywhere from 7 to 11 places rather than the standard 5 places at 1/4 odds.

We’re able to get round this by splitting our place bet between the top 5 and top 10 markets on Betfair.

If taking this course of action, here is how the returns would vary if staking £100 with either the bookmaker at 18/1 or on Betfair as per the above.

  • Coetzee wins: £1080 Bookmaker profit & £1042.23 Betfair profit
  • Coetzee top 5 finish: £130 Bookmaker profit & £85.73 Betfair profit
  • Coetzee top 7: £130 Bookmaker profit & £27.47 Betfair loss
  • Coetzee top 10: £130 Bookmaker loss & £27.47 Betfair loss

So here you can see slightly less money was made at Betfair but if some of the other selections had won, you would have made more. Plus, a small sacrifice of profit is well worth it when considering you won’t be losing accounts at the exchange.

Ben’s all time record as proofed by SBC stands at +1187.4 pts @ 26.5% ROI. So you can see even if you lose a small chunk of profit it’s very much worth betting at the exchange. Our findings regularly show you can get much better odds there so there’s potential to even increase this ROI.

The Poacher

Service highlights

  • SBC Premium service
  • Specialises in Spanish football markets
  • All tips are advised at the exchange
  • Market conditions have to be right – odds/liquidity
  • All time record +46.88 pts @ 4.03% ROI
  • Discounts for SBC members

The Poacher is a football tipster that actually tips all of his bets at Betfair Exchange. This means there is no bookmaker comparison to do, no involvement with the bookie at all and the betting record that has been proofed by SBC is 100% based on exchange prices.

That betting record shows an all time record of +46.88 pts @ 4.03% ROI. This is going back to 2019 so it’s a steady long term profitable record, beating one of the sharpest places to bet around.

As it’s a football service the ROIs are smaller than some other sports but you’ll often find a lot more liquidity in football markets meaning you can get a lot more money down. The strike-rate is higher too so it is suitable for those of you with bigger betting banks that want reliable returns and lower variance.

The Poacher specialises in the Spanish football markets, mainly La Liga and the 2nd division.

CD Systems Daily Bargain

Service highlights

  • https://www.cdsystems.uk.com/
  • All time record +484.92 pts @ 31.02% ROI
  • Tips at bookies but exchange bets are possible as explored in SBC 118
  • Profitable at Betfair SP
  • Discounts for SBC members

The 3rd tipster I’ve featured is a horse racing tipster called CD Systems – Daily Bargain. SBC reviewed this service in magazine 118 and the results proofed were based on bookmaker bets and the Betfair starting price.

The bookmaker bets have shown an all time profit of +484.92 pts @ 31.02% ROI.

The Betfair SP record showed an all time profit of +147.27 pts @ 6.01%

Both these records are going back to 2012.

You can see there’s a big difference in profits here but betting at BFSP since 2012 has still shown a profit. This is very interesting and suggests Steve Jones who runs the service has an edge over the market.

This is because BFSP is seen as ‘true value’ in horse racing meaning you’d expect to break even if betting at that price over the long term.

In SBC 118 Steve mentions this point in his interview with Pete.

“Betfair SP is perhaps the closest thing we have to true chance, albeit retrospectively. Given that the aim of the game is to make bets at better than true chance, my job is to unearth bets that can be placed at prices bigger than perceived true chance.

Clearly, the most basic rule of betting is that we cannot possibly win in the long term if we don’t consistently make bets at greater than true chance odds.

On that basis, I don’t feel that producing performance stats in comparison to true-chance prices is beneficial. No professional would dream of making bets at true chance and any variation between Betfair SP (a 100% market) and true chance would only be either temporary, coincidental or the result of some outside factor (such as an influential tipster or a trader manipulating the market).”

In a nutshell – Steve is not a fan of Betfair SP betting and it is easy to understand why. Beyond setting the minimum price you can take; it doesn’t allow you to know what price you obtain until after the event – something that goes against the whole theory of value betting.

But as Steve went on to explain, there is certainly value (and sometimes huge value) in betting on his selections in the pre-race and in-play market…

“Having said all of the above, I do have plenty a number of members who successfully use the Betfair exchange in conjunction with my bets.

Their techniques involve placing unmatched money at a range of prices, upwards of the recommended minimum price and going out further than the biggest bookmakers’ prices, then selecting the ‘in-play’ option, as there are a significant number of big prices matched in-running.

All the highest matched Betfair Exchange prices can all be viewed historically on the Timeform Results site.”

A really interesting angle here then when mentioning placing bets using the ‘in-play’ option at Betfair. Often in-play prices can fluctuate wildly and winners can hit much much bigger prices in-play than their SP.

You can see how to do this in the below example…

At the very least we would advocate checking the Betfair pre-race market and requesting your bets be taken at the value odds put forward each day by Steve. It might make more sense to also request larger prices in case the bet drifts in price significantly.

As ever, the more time and effort you can put into following the Daily Bargain, the more you can make out of it. If able to take 10% better prices than Betfair SP, you can expect your ROI in turn to rise to 15.24% and if taking 15% better prices than Betfair SP, it would go up to 19.87% ROI.

This backs up when Steve also told us that “The bigger the gap between my minimum advised price (which is my idea of true chance – in other words, what SP should be) and the price you are able to secure, the better for your long-term profit.“

PGA Profit

Service highlights

  • SBC Premium service
  • Tips PGA Tour only
  • +498.38 pts on the exchange since November 2020
  • Provides bookmaker and exchange prices
  • Featured in SBC 121
  • SBC discounts available

The final tipster featured is an SBC Premium service and another golf tipster in PGA Profit. It’s actually a service that I use myself at Betfair Exchange and I’ve already made huge returns from it…more on that in a minute.

For this service we’re lucky to have a big chunk of the results that have been proofed by SBC based on exchange bets. Since November 2020, the service’s record at Betfair is +498.38 pts. To put this in context, bookmaker profits from the same period stand at +524.83 points. So slightly less, but as mentioned before you should be more than prepared to take a hit on profits to be able to find a profitable strategy at the exchange.

And from a personal point of view, when I’ve used this service I’ve been able to regularly get better odds than what has been quoted in the tips. So if I had been using this service for the same period of time I may well have beaten the recorded points profits of +498.38.

Just for transparency, here is my personal betting record when using the service. I’m only 62 bets in but clearly have joined at the right time having hit 4 winners since I started following.

Here’s an example of a couple of PGA Profit’s tips which show exchange prices advised alongside bookmaker prices.

You can see that PGA Profit will tip the price in the top 5 finisher market at Betfair Exchange so the exchange points profit is based on this strategy. It’s also the strategy I’ve been following myself.

To Sum Up…

In my opinion any viable profitable strategy at the exchange is gold. If you find one, hold onto it, cherish it and put your time and resources into making the most out of it. You should be well rewarded if you do.

Hopefully this article has provided a first step into the world of betting profitably at the exchange. If you can dedicate some bankroll to any of these strategies then it is certainly worth giving it a go. It may allow you to grow your bankroll like you never have before.

As always, if you have any questions I’m happy to answer them at alex@smartbettingclub.com

Your 3 top free tipsters & the expert with winners at 66/1, 45/1, 20/1, 12/1 & more this year already

Last month, we announced the winners (and losers) of the 2021 SBC awards as voted for by you.

If you missed it – you can download the free Awards Report via this link

One of our most popular categories in the awards was the Best Free Tipster award which, as the name suggests, rewards tipsters for services that are available completely free of charge.

And ever since the Awards were released, one of these free tipsters has fired in several winners at 66/1, 45/1 and 12/1 (Read on for more)!

First though is a breakdown on how you voted in the Free Tipster category with Mark O’Haire taking Gold, Andy Holding the Silver and Ben Coley the Bronze…

Mark O’Haire Podcast & Ben Coley’s Awesome 2021 So Far

Mark O’Haire of We Love Betting was crowned the best free tipster in the SBC 2021 awards and to celebrate I spoke to him on Episode #13 of the Smart Betting Club podcast.

In it we discuss the underlying process behind how he finds value and why he gives his advice out for free. If you’re looking for a new tipster then you can try out Mark’s tips for free.

Listen to our podcast with Mark via any of the following directories:

Apple
Google
Spotify

Bronze award winner, Ben Coley is Sporting Life’s resident golf expert and his free tips made a 38.7% ROI in 2020 for those following him in each week.

Already this year he has fired in several more winners including the likes of Smith/Leishman last week at 12/1, John Catlin at 66/1, Daniel Von Tonder at 45/1, Justin Thomas at 20/1 and Brooks Koepka at 45/1. He is currently up 136 points for 2021 alone!

Mindful of his expertise, we first analysed Ben’s service back in September 2020 and you can download this review in full to sample our forensic tipster analysis work via the following link:

Download Our Review of Ben Coley’s Golf Tips

How To Access The Expanded Awards Report

For those of you interested in reading more on the 2021 SBC Awards results, including who won the prizes for several vital ‘Best Tipster’ categories, you can also access all of this with our special expanded SBC-members-only Awards Report.

This includes details on the Gold, Silver & Bronze Award winners for:

  • The Best Horse Racing Tipster
    The Gold winner made a 33.4% ROI from all advice supplied last year
  • The Best Sports Tipster
    The Gold winner made a 22.20% ROI from all advice supplied last year
  • The Best Overall Tipster
    The Silver winner made a ridiculously good 63% ROI from all advice supplied last year. Best of all SBC members can enjoy a huge discount if joining them.
  • The Best Tipster Newcomer
    The Gold winner is free to follow to all SBC members and made a 8.24% ROI from 491 bets in 2020 alone.

If interested in reading this extended SBC members Awards Report, you can gain instant access with a Smart Betting Club membership – now available at the lowest ever prices for 2021.

Ben Coley Tipster Review – The free-to-follow golf tipster with a 21.8% ROI since 2017. Who he is and how to follow (includes full interview)

Happy New Year!

If one of your goals in 2021 is to add a winning golf tipster to your betting portfolio then this FREE sample tipster review is one to read.

It features our in-depth review and interview with top tipster, Ben Coley who advises his bets free of charge on the Sporting life website each week.

First published in September 2020, this review is a great example of how a Smart Betting Club membership can help provide you with everything you need to make money betting using tipsters.

Here is what you can read about in this review:

  • Ben’s profits over the last 4 years totaling a 21.8% ROI since March 2017.
  • His excellent performance levels during 2020.
  • How you can implement his strategy on the exchanges allowing you to match, if not beat quoted odds with bookmakers.
  • A full interview with the man himself.

With golf and the PGA Tour starting again this Thursday, there is no better time to improve your golf betting by downloading this free report.

Simply click the link below to download your special free PDF and discover more.

Download Your Free Review

 

Want To Know More About The Best Tipsters?

If you want to learn more about the best tipsters such as Ben Coley, then you might like to consider a Smart Betting Club membership.

Ben is just one of hundreds of tipsters we have reviewed in the past with the very best and most profitable experts listed in the SBC Hall of Fame and featured in our Betting Magazines.

We also constantly track and monitor these very best tipsters and feedback to you as a member on their ongoing progress with tipster league tables, ratings, charts and analysis.

Helping you keep track on tipsters like Ben and their ongoing performance.

So, why not try out the Smart Betting Club service to see how we can help you and your betting?

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

Win or lose today at the US Open, here are 3 ways to make a long-term golf betting profit

It’s the final day of the US Open golf tournament today and several well tipped up players such as Harris English (66/1), Xander Schauffele (14/1) and Hideki Matsuyama (33/1) are all in with a fighting chance of success.

Yet whether these bets win or lose, golf betting continues to be extremely attractive for several reasons (ease of getting on, profitability, exchange usage) and if yet to do so, make sure you check out the special golf betting report now available to SBC members.

This 45-page special report includes 3 major golf tipster reviews including:

  1. Our review of Ben Coley’s free tips from the Sporting Life and how to follow on the exchanges. Ben has made 696 points profit since 2017 and is up 75% ROI already for 2020!
  2. Our in-depth review of the the New ‘Hall of Fame’ rated golf system ideal for everyone from the big staking professional to the small staking newcomer.
  3. Our review of another long-running golf service and the profits consistently made since 2014 for subscribers. At the last count, this stood at 30.65% ROI from 2143 bets at simple level stakes. SBC members can also gain access to an exclusive 33% discount on the cost of membership.

Access to this golf betting special report is available NOW with a Smart Betting Club membership. Sign-up now to gain instant access

See you on the inside!

Peter Ling
Smart Betting Club Editor

An Interview With Golf Tipster, Ben Coley

Ben Coley is a golf tipster on fire with a 1-2 finish in the Portugal Masters at 18/1 and 70/1 on Sunday taking the profits from his tips this year alone up to 466 points at a ridiculously high 75% Return on Investment.

Best of all – Ben supplies all of these tips for free via his weekly Sporting Life columns and so I am delighted to share today an exclusive interview with him on his long-term golf betting success. Perfectly timed for those of you thinking of following him in during this weeks US Open and beyond.

If you enjoy this interview, you can read a full review of Ben’s tipping performance dating back to 2017, including our guidance on how best to follow his tips each week in the new Golf Betting Special Report now available to Smart Betting Club members.

Access to this golf report and our detailed reviews of the 2 other profitable golf tipsters inside it (read more on review#1 and review #2), can be gained the instant you join the Smart Betting Club

Ben Coley Interview

SBC: Hi Ben, thanks for agreeing to this interview! You are a very well-known name on the golf betting circuit these days, yet can you begin by outlining what attracted to you to betting on golf?

Ben: A love of golf, primarily. I started playing from a very young age and was handy for a while and it was always my favourite sport to watch on TV. The betting side was of course just as important; as the son of a betting shop manager I grew up settling football coupons at the dinner table on a Saturday night and I got a job at the head office of an independent firm when I was 16, again through the old man. It very much runs in the family.

SBC: Most people know about you from your Sporting Life tipping columns on golf betting, which continue to be very popular. How did this come about and when did you start writing and tipping for them?

Ben: I’ve been very, very lucky, and worked hard. After studying journalism at university (‘studying’ used loosely), I went back to work at the same place I’d been at since I was 16 and could easily have settled in for the long haul. Instead I took a chance on a low-paid radio job in Leeds and moved there at 23, and I’m still here at 34. The radio gig was in the same building as Sporting Life, who were under the same umbrella at the time, as was the digital side of Sky Sports. That’s how I met my first editor and Dave Tindall, who was working for Sky and Golf365 but writing betting previews for the Life, too. I’d been an avid reader of his for a long time and he was good enough to give me a chance.

I think it was my second or third preview when Bubba Watson somehow won a mad renewal of the Travelers at 50/1 and from that moment I became a regular contributor. I moved across to work full-time for Sporting Life not long after, and since 2015 I’ve been deputy editor there. I say that only to confirm that my job isn’t just golf tipping, thank heavens.

I think it was my second or third preview when Bubba Watson somehow won a mad renewal of the Travelers at 50/1 and from that moment I became a regular contributor

SBC: What is your normal column schedule for Sporting Life and what time and day can readers expect to find them published each week?

Ben: I begin writing my first preview at around 3pm every Monday and typically publish around 7pm, much of the research having been done the previous week. It varies as to whether I begin with the PGA or European Tour but generally the former now as for obvious reasons they reach a broader audience. Whichever preview comes next, that would usually be out by Tuesday lunchtime but sometimes other things get in the way. Mainly Zoom at the moment.

SBC: You preview and tip in both the PGA and European Tour events. Do you have any preference as per which tour offers the best value betting opportunities?

Ben: 100% the European Tour. I would say my best-known winners have still been the PGA Tour (Russell Henley at 300/1 in the Honda or Andrew Landry at 200/1 in Texas) but year after year it seems the standard increases and it’s very difficult to get the market leaders beat. Then you’ve got to establish whether it will be JT’s week, or Rory’s, or DeChambeau’s, or Rahm’s, and it’s difficult – especially when you’ve a general tendency to take on board more risk for a bigger price.

That’s why DJ winning the Travelers at 30/1 this year was so satisfying and why Koepka letting slip the St Jude at 33/1 was so infuriating. The European Tour is weaker, I would say those setting the odds know a little less about it, and there’s greater variety in terms of courses and conditions. All those things present opportunity, the one caveat being that players are far less reliable as a rule and Sundays can be fairly brutal if you are watching.

SBC: Onto the main reason for our interview – the excellent long-term profits you have achieved. Sporting Life have your record for the past 5 years at over 1000 points profit since 2016. Do you have any idea on other key metrics such as your Return on Investment, number of bets or the average amount staked per month or year?

Ben: Most months I stake 60-70 points, and on average it’d be around 750 per year on outright markets, meaning around 800 when you add major specials. Number of bets would be around five and a half per tournament on average, as I typically vary between five and six, sometimes seven or eight but occasionally only two or three. ROI-wise I hit between a 20 and 25% from 2015 onwards but I do appreciate it can be hard to get on at the advised prices sometimes, so all numbers have that asterisk for all that I’m proud of my record.

ROI-wise I hit between a 20 and 25% from 2015 onwards but I do appreciate it can be hard to get on at the advised prices sometimes

SBC: Furthermore – Sporting Life don’t list a record for you prior to 2016 but do highlight you were tipping between 2010 and 2015 and some of the winners you backed. Do you have any figures on overall profits, ROI etc… that you can share?

Ben: I’m afraid I don’t and it’s best I don’t get into the why – might swear and/or get in trouble. Suffice to say those records, both individually and for the entire site dating back as far as 2003, have been lost. I have some numbers but without any means of proving them I have to rely on 2016 onward, which I do think gives a fair indication of what to expect. Hopefully, 2020 will be my best year yet and I won’t have to bemoan the fact that 2012 and 2014 have been expunged.

SBC: Back to present day and you have been in superb form throughout this truncated golfing year with more than 450 points in the bag for 2020 already, yet in 2019 you lost 145 points. Do you feel this is ‘par for the course’ (pun intended) when golf betting and how patient do people need to be when golf betting and following your tips?

Ben: Yes, absolutely. I’ve probably improved in a couple of aspects, especially when it comes to the understanding and application of statistics. The PGA Tour has evolved rapidly in terms of breadth and quality of data and as a tipster you have to adjust, in the same way that a racing expert might now be incorporating sectionals and stride data.

It can throw you off, and I think that happened in 2019 as the European Tour also brought new numbers to the table – but the main difference between the two years can be described as rub of the green. I had a 100/1 play-off loser in December who ought to have won, and had he done so it basically takes care of everything; four or five tips won the week after I’d selected them, no end of close calls, and some potential season-changers just had difficult Sundays. Selections at 125/1, 66/1, 25/1 all leading with nine to play and not winning makes the world of difference and in 2020 things have just gone the other way. I’ve had 250/1 and 150/1 winners which went down the last, a 50/1 play-off winner who ought to have been beaten in regulation, and a couple of others who fell over the line somewhat.

Sami Valimaki winning in Oman at 250s was outrageous in the way the cards fell and last year I’d probably have been on Brandon Stone, who had been on my shortlist for the event and had his pocket picked on the very last hole. That’s golf betting in a nutshell.

Selections at 125/1, 66/1, 25/1 all leading with nine to play and not winning makes the world of difference and in 2020 things have just gone the other way

SBC: I can certainly relate to that as I am sure many readers can given how all-or-nothing betting on golf can be at times.

Given the above, I am interested to know how you cope with the frustrations that golf betting can bring. What advice do you have for punters following you in on dealing with the inevitable losing runs?

Ben: I take to twitter, basically. Otherwise I’ve been doing it long enough that I can generally get over things quickly, after a tweet storm or a WhatsApp or two, and a sleep. I would also say that golf is a bit different to most other sports for those reasons – even the strongest favourite on the PGA Tour now might have a 15% chance of actually winning.

I write long, detailed previews, and fortunately numbers remained strong when the tips weren’t going well. That means I can sit down the next Monday and type knowing it’s not for nothing, whatever happens. Relatedly I think in general, there aren’t many people who follow every point and every selection. They read the analysis, read someone else’s, combine it with their own ideas, and might take one or two of mine. And at risk of sounding glib, if ever there was a time to remember this job is a bit daft – like, its very existence sometimes seems amazing to me – it is now. So what if things don’t go well for a while. I know what I’m doing, I’m trying my best every single week, and I feel lucky to have a loyal readership who understand the nature of the sport.

There’s some pressure, but not stress, and I think that’s an important distinction. Plus it helps that my wife really couldn’t care less and my son is far too young to. It’s hard to justify dwelling on things for too long.

I’m trying my best every single week, and I feel lucky to have a loyal readership who understand the nature of the sport.

SBC: Some good advice there – it sounds like you have a good mindset and setup on how to cope with the stress and strains of golf betting, especially when as a tipster you have a lot of people following you in each week.

Given the fluctuations across a standard 4 day golf event, do you ever trade on your tips in-play? For example if you back a golfer at 100/1 before the tournament starts and he is leading going into day 4. Would you lay him at a short price and lock in profit or simply let it ride out?

Ben: I used to, but trading was never really my forte. Enhanced each-way terms in golf also mean it’s less important, at least at a recreational level, and I pride myself on a record which can’t legislate for that. I put up Justin Thomas at Muirfield Village this summer and he led by three with three left, went 1.04, and didn’t win. I know some of my followers got out in front, some backed him each-way, but my win-only recommendation goes down as a loser. Silly as it may sound to your readers – serious, dare I say semi-professional punters – the things I value most in my job are the quality of my work and the record it helps produce. What I win or lose is secondary and always has been. I get paid to do it and that’s my priority.

SBC: A good staking plan is important whatever you bet on – can you outline how yours work and how you judge how much to risk on any given player or tournament in total?

Ben: I’m going to sound like a politician but there are many people with much brighter things to say about bankroll management and there’s nothing much I can bring to that table. I started off following the template Dave Tindall set for the website a long time ago and while the total investment has nudged up a little, a reflection of playing for seven or eight rather than five or six places, not much has changed. I tend to go win-only at shorter than 16/1, two points each-way from around 16 to 33, one from 40 to 200 and maybe a half from there, but it does vary according to confidence levels and each-way terms. I know some traders will tell you every price is bang on these days but I think that’s a total nonsense and if there’s a player I like at 250/1 who I think should be closer to 100s, I’ll go the full point, and so on. Sorry, this is a bit of a non-answer.

SBC: Finally, given your popularity in golf betting circles, what advice do you have for those worried about the odds on the golfers you identify being forced downwards by the bookmakers? I ask this as I note at times the odds do come under pressure!

Ben: I get asked this a lot and appreciate it can be difficult, although bookmakers do tend to be a little short-termist with it – six months ago most of my tips held in the market but now they shorten immediately. It’s a shame they can do so without laying a bet but I understand that side of the industry and the job they have to do. In terms of advice, have as many accounts as you can, be prepared to walk into a betting shop, and also keep an eye on the exchanges on a Wednesday.

Once things have died down you’ll often see my selections drift out again and while not reflected on the high street as it were, if you are an exchange punter you’ll often get a considerably bigger price

Once things have died down you’ll often see my selections drift out again and while not reflected on the high street as it were, if you are an exchange punter you’ll often get a considerably bigger price, particularly if they overreact to the weather forecast which does happen a fair bit.

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Inside this report you can also read about:

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