There are several ways to get a tee-time on the St Andrews Old Course.
If you are organised well ahead you can submit an application for tee-times in high season the following year from the end of August. The current system offers a two week window from late August when applications may be submitted.
An application can be for from 1-8 golfers and must request a time on the Old Course and a time on one of the other courses managed by the St Andrews Links Trust. All golfers' names and handicaps have to be included in the application. No payment is made at the time you make the application.
A recently introduced revision is that during the shoulder season, which in 2023 is 1-16 April and 16-31 October, advance times are available for groups of up to 16 golfers.Back to top
A ballot is drawn every day that visitor times are available on the Old Course. There is never visitor play on a Sunday.
Groups of between 2 and 4 may apply. Single golfers may not enter the ballot.
Entries can be made from around 2:30pm three days before play till 2pm two days before play. It is possible to enter online, as well as by phone or in person. It is best not to limit the time of day you are available for play to give yourself the best chance of success.Back to top
From November to the end of March you may book a package for 3 rounds of golf in St Andrews, including a guaranteed round on the Old Course.
Being organised well in advance is recommended as bookings open at the start of August for times the following year.
Fairway mats are in use on the Old Course from 1 November to 31 March so this, along with better weather, means April and October winter package dates are particularly popular and book up quickly.
Full details on availability of times are on the St Andrews Links website.Back to top
A number of Golf Tour Operators are designated 'Authorised Providers of Old Course tee times'. These operators receive an allocation of tee times between April and September for them to incorporate in a total package, including accommodation and, normally, transport.
Tee-times are confirmed with the tour operators early summer the year before play so the earlier you are organised the better chance you have. Tour operators may have people registering their interest long before their allocation and dates of tee-times are confirmed. Expect to pay a premium through an operator for a package rather than securing times directly yourself through the Old Course advance booking process.
Do check that your chosen operator is an authentic Authorised Provider and is offering you guaranteed times. If they are only proposing entering you for the daily ballot these times are not guaranteed when you book your package, so be clear about what your operator is including. Information on some of the Scottish based tour operators who may be able to help you can be found at the Scottish Incoming Golf Tour Operators Association.Back to top
The final option for those without pre-arranged times is to visit the Old Pavilion, close to the 1st hole of the Old Course, on the day they wish to play. Not all pre-booked groups are 4-balls, so spaces can be filled by other golfers, most often as singles, on the day. Nothing is guaranteed and some visitors queue at the Pavilion from very early in the morning to give themselves the best chance of getting on the Old Course.
We cover more information in our blog post on how walk-up times on the Old Course work.Back to top
All golfers on the St Andrews Old course are required to have a recognised handicap. Both men and women should have a handicap of 36 or lower. This is a recent higher limit for men, introduced in 2020. All golfers must be able to present an official handicap or certificate prior to play on the Old course.Back to top
The St Andrews Links publish busy dates (course closures) for all courses. These should be checked when planning your trip. September is a particularly difficult month to plan for play on the St Andrews Old Course as the course tends to be closed for a full two weeks for competitions. The course is also closed for a week each year, along with Kingsbarns Links and the Carnoustie Championship course, for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, normally at the start of October.Back to top