Before placing your bets on this week's US Open, it might pay to heed the following golden rules:
Don't accept the first price you see
Bookmakers are falling over themselves to take your money this week so shop around for the best price and do take advantage of any juicy account opening offers. For example, Paddy Power are going top price on last week's St Jude winner Dustin Johnson at 30/1 and new customers are entitled to a £50 free bet on registration.
Check the performance stats
The expression 'horses for courses' applies to golf too with some players more suited to a particular track than others. The US Open is being played at the Olympic Club, which is more of a test of accuracy than power, and staying out the penal rough will be key. However, the course's biggest defence is provided by the small, lightning-fast greens and the ability to scramble well and save par is going to be a requisite. Look no further than Luke Donald, who is ranked first for scrambling on Tour and is also eighth in driving accuracy and third in putting for good measure. Could this be the week he puts his poor US Open record behind him?
Don't be put off by a big price
Granted, last year's winner Rory McIloy was amongst the market leaders but few could have fancied the likes of Lucas Glover, Angel Cabrera and Michael Campbell, all winners in the last seven years. And the Olympic Club is not known as the 'Graveyard of Champions' for nothing, with three golfing legends in Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan all getting beat here by relative no-hopers.
Don't look too far down the leaderboard for the winner
The way the US Open is set up makes it extremely tough for players to come from behind and it's a fact that no winner in the last 16 years has come from more than two shots off the lead with two rounds to go. So, if you're betting in-play, it's best to focus on the players at, or near, the top of the leaderboard.
Be wary of backing American players
This used to be a great event for the home team but not so in recent years with just two American winners - Tiger Woods and Lucas Glover - since Jim Furyk in 2003. The last two winners, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, were Europeans of course and many punters will be backing either Lee Westwood or Luke Donald (12/1 and 13/1 with Paddy Power respectively) to make it three in a row.
Take advantage of generous place terms on offer
Some punters will always prefer to bet win only with Betfair the first port of call, but with most bookmakers offering place terms of a quarter the odds the first six places (as opposed to the normal five), an each-way bet looks the way to go this week. BetVictor go one better than that by offering a quarter the odds the first SEVEN places. Others may follow suit.
Get the timing right when betting in-play
The first six holes at the Olympic Club are particularly brutal so avoid backing players until they've safely negotiated these, with those players who are still on level par sitting pretty. Another good time to back players is just before they hit their tee shots on the 15th and 17th holes. The par-3 15th is relatively easy and should yield plenty of birdies, while the par-5 15th is reachable in two for most players and there will be eagle putts this week.
Lay the final round leader
That goes against the previous advice to concentrate on those players at the top of the leaderboard going into the weekend, I know, but it's worth noting that only two of the last seven third round US Open leaders have gone on to victory. A couple of these - Dustin Johnson and Retief Goosen - held healthy advantages and were odds-on chances, only to implode spectacularly as the pressure got to them.
Good luck with your US Open betting this week!