So you’ve decided!  You’re going to make the ultimate golf pilgrimage to St Andrews in Scotland, the Home of Golf.   You’re going to finally play on the same links where golf was first played 600 years ago.  But how do you actually go about getting a round on the Old Course?

You’ve heard so many different stories from friends and fellow club members.  But honestly, how important are Guaranteed Tee Times at the Old Course in St Andrews?

Golf & Tours ScotlandEach year, St Andrews Links only release a limited number of guaranteed tee times that you are able to book in advance, to play the Old Course.  These are applied for and given to either:

  • Private Advance
  • Authorised Providers
  • Daily Ballot

Private Advance

This application process is only open to individuals and small groups, not Commercial Operators.  If you wish to play in the High Season, between 20 April – 18 October you may make an application for between 2-8 golfers.  Due to the high demand for Old Course times, unfortunately it’s not possible for all applicants to receive a tee time.

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Authorised Providers

The best way to obtain guaranteed tee times at the Old Course is to utilise an Authorised Provider.  An Authorised Provider is a trusted Tour Operator who has been allocated guaranteed Old Course tee times in the High Season by St Andrews Links.   They are booked and secured approximately 12 months in advance.  Having these tee times locked away enables you to confidentially book all your other rounds of golf that you wish to play whilst in Scotland, knowing that you have the most important round sorted.

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Daily Ballot

If you do not have Guaranteed Tee Times at the Old Course secured before your trip to St Andrews, you will need to enter the Old Course daily ballot. This can only be done 48 hours prior to the day that you play.   You must have at least one other golfer to enter the ballot with.  You cannot do this as a single.   At around 4pm on that same day, you find out if you have been successful or not.  The number of golfers who play the Old Course via the ballot varies – on an average day there will be around 10 tee times allocated each day to the ballot.  The tee times run throughout the day.  Due to demand the ballot is oversubscribed each day. So just because you enter the ballot, does not mean you will be successful.  The ballot is not drawn on a Sunday (as no golf is played on the Old Course on Sundays) nor on Tournament Days.

Around 20 golfers get onto the Old Course each day as singles – spaces are left in the daily draw sheet for these singles.  They make up a list of golfers each day for these single slots from people who queue up from early in the morning – sometimes people queue overnight!  The list is made on a first come first serve basis.

Golf & Tours Ultimate Scotland Golf TourSo, how important are Guaranteed Tee Times at the Old Course in St Andrews?  At Golf & Tours, we say VERY IMPORTANT.

Don’t risk your possible “once in a lifetime trip”, without any guarantee of being able to play at the Home of Golf.

If all of this sounds a bit much, but playing on the Old Course is on your Bucket List, why not join an organised golf tour to Scotland, with Guaranteed Tee Times at the Old Course?  Golf & Tours travels to Scotland every year, so have a look at our upcoming tours.

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