As an Authorised Provider and one of the largest and firmly established golf tour operators, we are able to provide guaranteed Old Course tee times in our golf packages. These times are sold in a first-come first-served fashion.
Demand to play the Old Course far exceeds the number of tee times available, so if you’re looking to play there – start planning early! Most of our clients book about twelve months in advance.
Getting on the St Andrews Old Course
Some golfers go to St Andrews with a tee time in hand. Many others go without a specific tee time and hope to secure one when there. Here, we lay out the options available and their relative cost.
Option 1: The Guaranteed Tee Time
There are two principal ways of obtaining a tee time:
One way is by purchasing a guaranteed time. These times become available from select golf tour operators the year prior to play. Guaranteed tee times are generally more expensive than those obtained through the Application process described below, and through the Ballot or by Standing-By, also described below.
Another and less expensive approach is through an Application in early September of the year prior to play. The key is to start your planning early and to have your group names known by July / August. Results of the application are announced toward the end of October. This is the method used by the public at large, with demand exceeding supply.
Option 2: A Tee Time by Ballot or Stand-by
An alternative approach to a tee time is through what is known as the “ballot.” It is essentially a lottery that takes place daily for play two days ahead. While there is no guarantee of success, chances are quite reasonable, especially if you are to be in the St Andrews area for four or five days. We would enter your names into the ballot each day (the course is closed on Sundays), and do it in such a way as to avoid conflict with tee times on other courses. It is more difficult to obtain an Old Course tee time through the ballot in the months of July, August and September.
Lastly, it is possible to walk-on to the Old Course. You merely advise the starter that you wish to do so, and he’ll fit you in if and when an opportunity arises. Chances of getting on depend on the time of year and how early you arrive at the starter’s box. Those who get on via stand-by usually do so as singles.