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PGA DFS: How to play, how to win and average draft position

Apr 10, 2022; Augusta, Georgia, USA; Rory McIlroy celebrates after holing out from a bunker on the 18th hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

PGA DFS Contests Overview and Quick Facts

PGA daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests are growing in popularity, and not just when it comes to the 4 annual majors — The Masters, the U.S. Open, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship. Golf is a global game and something daily fantasy sports enthusiasts are paying more attention to every year.

There are numerous ways for fans in states where sports betting isn’t legal to get in on the action. We’ll detail a couple of those options in this article, including Underdog Fantasy and PrizePicks.

Both fantasy apps are fun and easy to use. Join using the links below to get in on the action ahead of the next major!

PGA DFS Average Draft Position (ADP): Week of May 13, 2024

This is a section PGA DFS players can use to stay up to date on who is being drafted where when it comes to Underdog Fantasy PGA DFS contests. Currently, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler are the top-3 picks in most Underdog PGA DFS drafts. Thus, unless you get an early pick in your daily draft, you’re likely to miss out on the big-name stars.

Considering Scheffler just won The Masters with relative ease, it’s tough to argue with him being your top pick in any draft moving forward.

While the big-name guys who are highly ranked are sure to go early in almost every PGA daily draft, there’s value to be had later on in the proceedings. Here’s a look at the current average draft position (ADP) for PGA DFS:

Scottie Scheffler 1.1
Jon Rahm 2.2
Rory McIlroy 3.0
Viktor Hovland 4.4
Xander Schauffele 5.5
Brooks Koepka 6.1
Patrick Cantlay 7.0
Ludvig Aberg 8.6
Collin Morikawa 9.5
Justin Thomas 10.1
Jordan Spieth 11.0
Max Homa 12.5
Cameron Smith 13.3
Will Zalatoris 14.2
Tommy Fleetwood 15.8
Matt Fitzpatrick 16.1
Wyndham Clark 17.3
Dustin Johnson 17.9
Bryson DeChambeau 19.6
Sungjae Im 21.2
Tyrrell Hatton 21.4
Tony Finau 21.5
Sam Burns 22.9
Hideki Matsuyama 23.1
Cameron Young 25.7

Why We Love PGA DFS

I’ve always been more of a Saturday/Sunday guy (with a heavy emphasis on Sunday) when it comes to watching golf tournaments. I’m interested in golf and love to watch, but I prefer to save my viewing for when each stroke matters the most. That’s usually on Saturdays and Sundays, once you know who has made the cut and who has a legitimate shot at winning the trophy (and a significant amount of money, of course).

But ever since I started playing PGA daily fantasy sports, I’ve been more interested in watching the first and second rounds of tournaments. Everything is more exciting when you have real money on the line!

I’m a big Rory McIlroy fan myself, but I also have come to realize there’s nothing better than entering a contest involving Tiger Woods, one of the all-time greats, and rooting for him to come through one more time. I also like Jordan Spieth, as he’s a huge college football fan like me. (Even though he is a Texas alum, I still like him. Alabama alum Justin Thomas is someone I can root for even more.)

It’s exciting to have real money on the line. No longer do I have to live vicariously through the bets placed by my friends who live in states where sports betting is legal. Now I can have real stakes in each round of golf, whether it’s Sunday at The Masters or the first round of the Honda Invitational.

Plus, when you win a contest (like I did here with a bet on Woods and McIlroy), seeing the boxes light up green is a great feeling:

Even when I lose (as I did in this contest), it makes every swing of the club feel more important. I literally came 1 stroke away from a push on this parlay:

I remember distinctly that Rahm’s birdie putt on the 18th hole of that round was distressingly close to finding the bottom of the cup. Instead, he had to settle for par and I had to take a loss in the contest.

No matter how you play, there are fun contests out there to participate in. So now, let’s dive into some of those contests and what they entail.

PGA DFS How to Play

Whether you’re playing on Underdog, Thrive or any number of DFS apps, there are generally some common contests you can enter. From over/under pick’em contests to daily drafts to rivals competitions and more, there are numerous ways to win!

In this section, we’ll break down some of the most-popular contests when it comes to PGA DFS, starting with pick’em competitions:

PGA DFS Pick’em Contests

The important thing to remember when entering a PGA pick’em contest is that you’ll have to make picks involving multiple golfers in order to legitimize the contest. For example, you can’t pick Rory McIlroy to shoot 69.0 strokes or fewer in a round and also pick him to have 4.5 birdies or higher.

What you can do, though, is pick McIlroy to shoot 69.0 strokes or under in a round and also pick Adam Scott to have 4.5 birdies or more in a round. That makes it a legitimate contest and you can put your money on it.

The 2 contests I mentioned above — Rahm/Homa and McIlroy/Woods? Those are both examples of Underdog pick’em contests. PGA contests are scored in real time on Underdog, which is an added bonus. They’re also scored live on Thrive.

These are similar to over/under bets on sports-betting sites, but it differs in that you have to pick multiple players to make a contest legitimate. Higher/lower pick’em contests are some of the most fun and most accessible options in the DFS world.

Pick your favorite golfers and cheer them on to great rounds, or pick that golfer you just can’t stand and root for them to hit the ball into a pond. Either way, it makes watching every round of golf that much more fun!

PGA DFS Daily Drafts

Daily drafts are contests where you choose a team of 6 golfers for a round at a tournament and watch as they rack up points for you. Each hole is scored based on how your golfer fares — 1.1 points for a par, 4.0 points for a birdie, -1.2 points for a bogey, etc.

You can find contests like that on Underdog Fantasy. You can compete against as few as 1 other person or as many as thousands of other entrants in a daily draft contest. Entry fees range from as low as $3 up to $250 or more.

PGA DFS Rivals Contests

Rivals contests pit 2 golfers against each other in a head-to-head format. For example, that McIlroy/Woods pick’em contest I shared above? It would have been a Rivals contest where you could pick Woods +2.5 strokes against McIlroy. Based on the end result, Woods (who finished only 2 strokes worse than McIlroy) would have won.

These contests are a great way to pit golfers against each other with your money on the line. If you have a feeling one golfer is going to be red-hot while another is trending toward being ice cold in a particular round, Rivals contests are for you.

PGA DFS Best-Ball Contests

These are very interesting contests from Underdog Fantasy. Best-ball contests are intriguing because they feature season-long competitions. For example, Underdog offers several best-ball contests involving the 4 PGA major events for 2023, starting with The Masters in April.

Your job? Select 10 golfers for your team in a draft. Those 10 golfers are then your squad for the 4 majors. The top 6 golfers for each tournament earn scores for you (Underdog picks the top 6 golfers for you, so you don’t have to set a lineup like other fantasy teams).

So if a golfer like Jon Rahm has a great performance at The Masters but struggles at the U.S. Open, you won’t have to suffer if you have at least 6 other golfers on your squad who fare better at the U.S. Open.

Let’s be real — you’re going to be watching all 4 majors anyway, so you might as well put some money on the action and try to win big! Best-ball contests are exciting for that very reason. Play against thousands of other golf fanatics or just 1-5 others, depending on which contest you want to enter. Learn more about Underdog Fantasy PGA best-ball contests here.

PGA DFS Strategy

One of my key PGA DFS strategies is to look at how golfers fared in their final rounds of the previous tournament. There’s something to be said for momentum. Putting, especially, can be streaky.

Thus, I like to bet the “lower” option on total strokes for golfers who finished the previous tournament with great putting numbers.

As far as how many players you should bet on, there are some differing strategies. I like playing 2-player contests, because fewer things have to go right for you to win those parlays. But since those contests usually only pay out at 3x your entry amount, you have to win them at a higher rate in order to make money.

Contests involving 3 or more entries pay out more, so if you’re feeling confident, it’s worth making at least 3 picks in every contest. For example, if a 3-way contest pays out at 6x your entry amount, you only need to win 16.7% of the time (as opposed to 33.3% of the time for 2-way contests) in order to break even.

Check out the PGA ADP section above and also make sure you’re referencing the PGA Tour rankings to get a good picture of who is playing well and who is struggling. Then make your draft or pick’em selections and try to win big!

Where to play PGA DFS

Daily Fantasy Sports are legal in many states. Underdog Fantasy is legal in 41 states across the U.S., with these 9 exceptions (plus Ontario): CT, DE, HI, ID, IA, LA, MI, MT, NV, and ON (Canada).

Thrive is slightly less available, but still legal in 31 U.S. states. It is not currently available in AL, AZ, HI, ID, IN, IA, LA, ME, MS, MO, MT, NV, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VT, VA, WA.

Some options for contests are not allowed on some apps. For example, Underdog Fantasy does not allow users to play pick’em (prop contests) in AZ, CO, MD, MO, NH, NJ, OH, PA, TN, WA, WV.

Underdog Fantasy Promo Code: SDS

Using our promo code “SDS” will unlock a full deposit match of up to $100 when you make your first deposit. That’s a great welcome bonus! To claim your bonus money, all you need to do is sign up at Underdog and make the first deposit in your account. Underdog will match your money up to $100.

How does Underdog Fantasy work? Well, that’s simple! Check out the table below to learn more about what Underdog is and what competing in PGA contests on the app entails:

Underdog Fantasy Promo Code SDS
💰 Underdog Fantasy Promo Offer 💰 Up to $250 bonus cash + special pick
✅ Underdog Fantasy Legal States ✅ All US States Except: CT, DE, FL, HI, ID, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MI, MS, MT, NV, NH, NJ, OH, PA and WA
📱 Underdog Fantasy Sign-Up Link 📱 Play Underdog Fantasy
💵 Underdog Fantasy Deposit Methods 💵 PayPal & Debit/Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)
✍️ Terms ✍️ New players only, 18+, must be a resident of legal state.
🗓️ Promo Code Last Verified 🗓️ May 17th, 2024

Underdog is one of the top fantasy apps around, and it is very convenient and easy to use. There are contests every day across a variety of sports, and Underdog has some of the best PGA contests out there, too.

Sign up today and get your welcome bonus before The Masters begins!

Thrive Fantasy Promo Code: SDSXL

Using our promo code “SDSXL” will give users a welcome bonus of up to $250, matching that user’s initial deposit. Make first-time deposit of $250 or less? Thrive will match it, allowing you to have bonus money to enter contests with.

To claim that excellent welcome bonus, all you have to do is sign up at Thrive and make your first deposit today! Check out the table below to find out where Thrive Fantasy is legal in the U.S. and Canada:

Thrive Fantasy Promo Code SDSXL
Thrive Fantasy Sign-Up Link Click here
Thrive Fantasy Offer Deposit Match up to $250
Where is Thrive Fantasy Legal? Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts (21 minimum age), Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska (19 minimum age), New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Deposit Methods PayPal, Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)

Our Team

Adam Spencer

Adam has been on the editorial team at Saturday Down South for several years and has covered college football and fantasy sports. Adam loves playing daily fantasy involving a variety of sports including college football, college basketball, NFL, NBA, soccer and even PGA. With a long history of fantasy sports participation, Adam has recently become a major participant in daily fantasy pick’em contests. He appreciates when daily fantasy apps offer a great app experience with live scoring and accurate player cards.

Ethan Stone

Ethan joined the editorial team at Saturday Down South in 2022 and has covered college football, college basketball and fantasy sports. Ethan plays daily fantasy with a variety of sports including college football, college basketball, NFL, NBA and more. Ethan has recently become a big fan of daily fantasy best ball drafts. He appreciates when daily fantasy apps offer plenty of options and a variety of daily drafts.

Adam Spencer
A 2012 graduate of the University of Missouri, Adam now covers all 14 SEC football teams. He is the news editor at Saturday Down South and across all Saturday Football brands.

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