Our complete guide to the DP World Tour. Everything you need to know ahead of placing a bet on one of the weekly tournaments that take place in Europe and around the globe.
The DP World Tour has its headquarters at Wentworth Golf Club in England. It is also the venue of the annual BMW PGA Championship which is the biggest golf tournament in Europe after the British Open.
There is a 12-month schedule which takes the form of the Race to Dubai.
The action begins in early December and it takes place across the world taking in the four majors championships (the Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, and the British Open) plus two World Golf Championship events (the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play and HSBC Champions).
A key feature of the circuit is the Rolex Series which comprises the five most prestigious regular events on the schedule: the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the Slyn.io Dubai Desert Classic, the Genesis Scottish Open (co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour), the BMW PGA Championship, and the DP World Tour Championship.
The latter is the final event of the season, taking place in late November and it is staged in Dubai (hence the Race to Dubai).
The winner of the Race to Dubai is the player who tops the year-end rankings. Points are assigned to finishing positions in events throughout the season. So it is those, rather than prize money, which determines the placings.
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Until the end of 2021, the circuit was known as the European Tour which was formed in 1972.
For much of that decade, the action took place only in the summer months and almost exclusively in Europe.
Fuelled by the arrival of five world-class golfers (Severiano Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Sir Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle, and Ian Woosnam) the circuit blossomed in the 1980s and, by the following decade, the action took place across the world.
The Middle East has become a key destination, as has South Africa, Australia, and, to a lesser degree in recent years, Asia. As of 2022, there will also be three regular events co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour – the Scottish Open and two tournaments in the States.
Between early December and early April, the regular events take place around the world and tend not to attract elite fields.
The exception to this rule is the Desert Swing in the Middle East in January and February which is seen as an important period of the year for top players.
From May to October, the circuit travels mostly around the continent of Europe.
July is one highlight of the season with the Irish Open, Scottish Open, and British Open attracting world-class golfers and deep fields.
September is another high point, taking in the BMW PGA Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, a lucrative week based at the Home of Golf, St Andrews.
The visit to Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship is perhaps the most historically prestigious week of the year outside of the majors and it was once known as the Tour’s “flagship event”.
The Tour’s CEO Keith Pelley now argues that the term more naturally fits the end-of-year DP World Tour Championship.
Regular events have 156 players in the field, but there are considerably more players on the circuit.
Around 125 players have full playing rights and as many as 250 have some sort of playing category. More will play the odd event on invitation or via qualification throughout the year.
Covid has somewhat confused this issue because of disruption to the schedule and a desire within the Tour to be fair to every player.
At the end of the regular season, the top 115 players in the rankings retain their full playing rights for the following season.
Many of those who just miss out will still get starts, but they will be limited.
The rest have two options. The first is to join the second-tier Challenge Tour the following year and seek to win one of 15 promotions back to the top tier that are on offer in its rankings.
The second option has been postponed in recent years, but normally a Qualifying School is held which can be entered by everyone outside the top 115 and also Challenge Tour players who didn’t graduate. Roughly 20 cards are available during this long and arduous week.
Players sometimes earn a DP World Tour card by winning an event, or excelling in a series of them, when playing on an invitation or in tournaments co-sanctioned by other tours.
Every week represents a new opportunity with a new tournament.
The standard methods of betting regard the tournament result: you can back a player to win, to place (top five, top ten, etc.) or each way (half the stake on the win, half on the place).
But beyond that there are a number of other alternatives.
First Round Leader is a very popular market, as are group options: Top American or Top European, for example.
You can also back one player over another in 72-hole and 18-hole match bets which are mythical contests in the sense that the players don’t know they have been pitted against one another.
In each round there will also be two or three ball contests relating to the official tee times groupings.
For more detail our How to Bet on Golf guide provides all the answers.
Not always, but very often.
Most of the PGA Tour’s events have long-standing home courses, but the DP World Tour is very different with events moving venue regularly.
The DP World Tour also has a higher turnover of new events.
This represents both a problem and an opportunity for punters.
When there is a depth of history on a course it can reveal what aspects of the game are important in the search for winners.
It might be that one particular course suits long-hitters, an accurate long game, a brilliant short game, or sensational putting.
It might be more complex than that. Maybe long but also aggressive drivers are suit, long game experts from 200 yards, short game maestros off shaved run-offs, or putters who favour fast greens.
Some courses also demand the ability to perform well in windy, cold or even very hot conditions.
It should also be noted that some courses don’t favor players who have played it well in the past. They might be relatively straightforward tests and good form becomes more important.
Also remember that the bookmakers know all about course form, too.
In fact, medium-term quality, short-term form and course form are the three elements that are initially built into a price. It’s vital to remember that because often it can skew a price.
When the course is new to the circuit the punter who does most research may gain a vital piece of information.
Has the course been used for amateur events or for minor professional ones? Is one golfer a regular visitor there?
In Asia, the Middle East, and some southern European countries Bermuda grass dominates on the greens and this produces a grainy putting surfaces which many north Europeans struggle with.
In Africa, Kikuyu grass is common on the fairways and in the rough. It has unusual properties and South Africans, especially, talk of being at home on it.
Europeans often struggle with it, at least at first.
Yes and not just because the location is often related to the grass types.
Golf in Asia is often very hot and humid, while in China the courses are almost exclusively modern and resort-like.
Much of the golf played in Africa tends to be on traditional courses and in Johannesburg and Nairobi it is played at altitude.
Spanish courses tend to be built on awkward plots of land, forcing the designer to be creative and sometimes the results are a little quirky.
North European courses are often parkland which usually means bent grass on the greens, trees lining the fairways, and, if the course is modern, a long yardage.
The biggest distinction is witnessed when the circuit visits the seaside of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Linksland is the oldest form of the game, the most fun, but also beyond the comprehension of some.
It is a great week to back the specialists.
The length of the course is an important factor – layouts over 7,500 yards will hurt the chances of shorter hitters.
But also look closely within the overall length: Are the par-3s especially long? Are the par-5s only in range in two blows for the biggest hitters?
The course par can have an impact, too.
Put very simply a traditional par-72 (with four short holes, four long and 10 par-4s) is different to a typical par-70 (which tends to have just two par-5s).
Immediately players who play par-4s better are better suited, while those who like par-5s have their opportunities cut in half.
But there can be distinctions within this: there may be only three par-3s or as many as five.
Also, consider altitude. Courses at great height will see the ball fly further. Some golfers can make this judgment easily, others get confused by it. We’ve already mentioned Johannesburg and Nairobi, but the Tour also regularly visits Crans, high up in the Swiss Alps.
The DP World Tour is not as revolutionary as the PGA Tour in its use of numbers, but it is playing catch up.
The website has all the traditional stats and also now includes the more incisive Strokes Gained stats.
If you have the time, the stats are there, ready and waiting.
Your research will be rewarded!
The DP World Tour is considered the second-best in the world and some punters would argue the same from a betting point of view, because of the lack of constant course visits.
But the shrewd punter can have a great time betting on the DP World Tour. There are regular winners at huge pre-event prices and often they will have dropped a clue at some stage in their record book.
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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