Playing a round on the hallowed links of the Old Course is one of the most sought after rounds of golf in the world. Liam Barn, Fife Golf Partnership Manager shares just how you can swing it:
One method golfers use is to book in advance through St Andrews Links website. The application is always hugely oversubscribed and only limited times available using this method. However, it does offer a guaranteed tee time for a full fourball – full (non-refundable) payment is required at the time of booking.
St Andrews Links works with a select group of leading tour operators located across the globe – these operators hold ‘preferred supplier’ status and will package a round on the Old Course for you alongside rounds at other outstanding courses in Fife and across Scotland. They will also be able to offer a variety of accommodation options and include transport and non-golfer itineraries if required.
If you’ve been unable or unwilling to book in advance, you can still try your luck in the Old Course ballot. Drawn two days prior to any day of play, a significant number of tee times are reserved for the ballot, often enabling St Andrews to fill the entire day with fourball tee times. A number of accommodation providers in town will enter you for the ballot each day, so it’s worth asking if they provide this service when you book.
If unsuccessful in any these above routes however, there remains one final way to get on the most fabled course in golf: ‘the queue‘.
The queue, that often starts late the night before any given day of play, enables golfers to take up any final remaining spots on the tee sheet due to gaps or cancellations. The number of spots available for queueing golfers can vary greatly (normally around 15), and offers real possibilities to those willing to wait.
The great thing about the ballot or queue is that, in addition to playing with other visitor golfers, you may have the opportunity of playing with a links ticket holder (equivalent to a member), meaning you’ll have the opportunity to ask them about everything there is to know about golf in St Andrews and Fife!
If you don’t mind a bit of cold, then a way of guaranteeing a round on the Old Course is to play over December, January and February. The rounds are part of a three course package that are booked in advance and prove enormously popular with golfers everywhere. Check out www.standrews.com for the current status and get in touch with the reservations team if you’d like to discuss.