PGA Tour Set to Make Available Official Data for Worldwide Sportsbooks

  • Official data partner of the PGA Tour is Sportradar
  • Exclusive data is provided by ShotLink technology
  • It tracks all manners of information using multiple lasers and cameras
  • Concerns that the demand may not be sufficient for operators to purchase access
Illustration of the PGA Tour logo displayed on a smartphone.
Sportsbook operators around the world will be able to access exclusive PGA Tour data from early 2020. [Image: Shutterstock]

Valuable data for sportsbooks

The PGA Tour is preparing to offer exclusive data packages to sports betting operators around the world.

The organization has had a data partnership in place with IMG Arena since November 2018. As part of this exclusive data offering, there will be an extension to the original deal between the PGA Tour and IMG Arena.

ShotLink data for every player on every hole in each PGA Tour event

There will now be exclusive play-by-play data provided to sportsbooks who pay for the privilege.

This will see ShotLink data for every player on every hole in each PGA Tour event being made available to sportsbooks. DraftKings already has access to ShotLink’s data, but this can only be used for the company’s daily fantasy sports offering. 

ShotLink data 

ShotLink utilizes a number of different lasers and cameras in order to offer extremely detailed statistics and create odds. This is operated by US tech company CDW.

The new ShotLink package will be available for sportsbooks in the near future. Once these operators purchase access to this exclusive data, they will be able to offer more accurate odds during events. 

Demand for data

The big factor as to the number of operators willing to purchase access will depend on the price. The NFL is already selling their official data through the league’s relationship with Sportradar. 

For sportsbooks using this exclusive NFL data, Sportradar is charging 1.5% of betting revenue.

As football is one of the most popular sports to bet on in the United States, a lot of sportsbooks can justify this price. However, the same might not be the case for PGA Tour data. 

Potential issues

In reality, the ShotLink data may not even be very useful when creating more accurate odds for betting markets. The main information tracked through this system is the clubs players use, their striking, and their scoring.

However, it is difficult to turn this information into better odds. This information is not going to help bettors a whole lot in making more informed decisions when betting.

main information tracked through this system is the clubs players use, their striking, and their scoring

Currently, there is a lot of useful data available publicly through the PGA Tour website. The PGA Tour aims to make this data a lot more exclusive. They may incorporate it into the packages that sportsbooks purchase. 

The only other alternative would be to push for integrity fees on a state-by-state level. This is not something that has been adopted in any state to date as it is seen to undercut sports betting operators too much. 

Plans for release

The plan is for the exclusive ShotLink data to be available to global sportsbooks in the early months of 2020. It will only be then that sportsbooks will determine if it will be useful to them or not.