The Clubhouse

4 Tips for Getting a Tee Time On the Old Course, St Andrews

How to secure the most elusive tee time of them all!

Chris Williams
Chris Williams
2 mins read
LinksBucket listScotlandUK & Ireland

If you are itching to play the Old Course at St Andrews and have not yet done so, then you need to ink a St Andrews golf trip into your diary this year. It's a must-visit golf destination for any golfer and a pilgrimage that should be taken at least once in your lifetime.

During your trip, you'll no doubt want to play the world's most famous golf course and the main ways to get a tee time on the Old Course, St Andrews are as follows:

How to play St Andrews Old Course:

  1. Buy a guaranteed Old Course package
  2. Enter the Old Course Ballot during your stay
  3. Walk on as a single
  4. Apply for an advanced reservation

The good news is that we can help you which ever route you choose:

1. Guaranteed Old Course Packages

VIP packages that guarantee a tee time on the Old Course, get booked up fast, so if you know your travel dates, drop us a line so that we can secure your tee times. They do cost a bit more than our other packages, but they do 100% guarantee you will be playing the Old Course and also include rounds on Kingbarns, the New Course and Carnoustie as well as staying in 4* or 5* accommodations; giving you a very special golfing experience.

The 9th hole of the Old Course, St Andrews Links

2. Enter the Ballot

The chances of being successful in the Ballot vary with the time year from over 80% in the Spring and Autumn to under 50% in peak season. However, it is a well-trodden route and many golfers in the past have got to walk the hallow turf through this method. Our St Andrews packages include playing Kingsbarns, The New Course and Carnoustie, as well as Dumbarnie Links, The New Course and the Old Course. Alternatively take in some of the hidden gems in the area such as Crail, Elie, Scotscraig and the Jubilee Course.

  • Top Tip: Enter the Old Course Ballot every day that you are in St Andrews. If you are successful, just give us a ring and we will rearrange all your tee time to accommodate the tee-time-of-all-time!

The 5th hole of the Old Course, St Andrews Links

Note that the ballot takes place daily for tee times 48 hours before the day of play and there needs to be at least two of you to enter it. Good luck!

3. Walk On as a Single

If ballot success is alluding you or you are a night owl, set your alarm and get yourself to the starter's hut at first light. The starter will then proceed to fill the gaps in the day's tee sheet with singletons. To stand a chance of securing an Old Course tee time, you need to get there early, stand in line and be patient, as no doubt quite a few other golfers will have had the same idea. Note that if you are a group you will need to split into singles, but on the upside this is a well-trodden path to Old Course glory, and you'll make lots of new friends!

The Swilcan Bridge on the 18th hole of the Old Course, St Andrews

4. Advanced Tee Time Reservations

Due to the large number of reservations scheduled from 2020 and 2021 into next year, and with reduced capacity from hosting The 150th Open in 2022, there are limited opportunities to apply for reservations. For those that did apply and were successful, firstly huge congratulations, and secondly, we can arrange your trip around your Old Course dates. No doubt you will be wanting to play the other great courses in the area like Kingsbarns and Carnoustie, or perhaps add a few days in the Scottish Highlands playing the likes of Royal Dornoch, Nairn, and Castle Stuart.

New Course, St Andrews Golf Links

Feeling inspired?
Secure your golfing legacy, visit the 'Home of Golf' to tick off the course at the top of your bucket list! And don't forget to enter the ballot below!


Chris Williams avatar
Chris Williams

UK Travel Consultant

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