Playing The Old Course at St Andrews in the winter is one of the most popular golf breaks to take for UK golfers. Heading up to this special part of Scotland between November and March each year can see you experience playing at The Home of Golf for a considerable saving compared to the Summer.
To keep the course continually playing throughout the winter period, there are certain restrictions in place when playing. These include fairway mats on St Andrews golf courses between November - February with it being extended to March for The Old and Castle Courses. There are also potential delays due to frost but the courses always play to full greens with no temporaries in play. The courses, as many across the world do, will also be undergoing some winter maintenance which could see some bunkers out of play.
Despite this, playing on the fast-running turf of The Old Course is something that every golfer should experience and travelling up to this special part of Fife in the winter is well-recommended.
Low Season Winter Dates: December '21 - February '22 & November '22 - March '23
St Andrews & Fife
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2 Nights, 2 Rounds
Each year a limited number of Advance pre-booked tee times are available on The Old Course. These give you the chance to secure a coveted slot on the world's most famous golf course and are offered in conjunction with our partner accommodation providers in St Andrews. Tee times are not available to purchase independently.
Old Course Options
Call us for up-to-date availability of tee time packages. Itineraries for a guaranteed time on the Old Course will cost upwards of £3,350 per person and normally include a minimum three night stay in the town; please call with your specific enquiry.
Keen to play the Old Course?
Then consider these two alternatives: the first is the ballot, which allows you to enter a draw for times on the subsequent two days. We will be happy to help arrange the other parts of your itinerary, which can be flexible in the event of success in the ballot. The second is to book a holiday with us packaged with local accommodation and green fees at other St Andrews golf courses.
Old Course Tee Time Availability
The best and most assured way to play The Old Course is to purchase one of our guaranteed tee times with three fellow golfers. These are available in the high season, packaged with local accommodation and green fees at other St Andrews golf courses.
Other options are:
Enter the daily ballot
A lottery system that is drawn 48 hours in advance. Golfers apply by phone or in person at one of the Links Trust clubhouses before 2 pm, 48 hours before the intended day of play.
Single Golfer Walk-up
The daily ballot is not open to single golfers, they need to check in at the starter’s hut positioned next to the first tee of the Old Course then wait to be paired with a two-ball or three-ball.
Hotel Guest package
The Links Trust allocates a limited number of Old Course tee times to local hotels and guest houses in St. Andrews, staying in one of these may entitle you to book a tee time.
Yes. All golfers playing The Old Course are required to present a valid handicap certificate to the starter before commencing play. Handicap limits are 24 for men and 36 for ladies.
To confirm your advance tee time reservation, we will require full names and valid handicaps for each member of your playing party at time of booking.
St Andrews Old Course is open year round, but is closed for play on Sundays.
St Andrews & Fife
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For many golfers playing The Old Course at St Andrews is a dream; something seemingly unattainable or beyond their reaches. It's certainly a round of golf with a great deal of urban mythology about price, availability or exclusivity.
The truth is that whilst there are a number of different ways to play The Old Course, around 50% of the available tee times each year are reserved for the ballot. It and all of it's wonderful sister courses are operated by The Links Trust of St Andrews, with a spirit that they are open for everyone to enjoy.
If you are not successful in securing one of the sought after guaranteed Old Course tee times but still wish to play, we will be happy to assist you in entering The Old Course Ballot. The ballot is a draw held each day for the next available day's play on The Old Course; the course is closed on Sunday, and the ballot for Monday's times is drawn on Saturday.
Due to its reputation and status in the golfing stratosphere demand for The Old Course is staggering, year after year. With a number of local clubs playing their monthly medals and annual competitions, University students and locals enjoying their rights as townsfolk to play, and authorised providers like Your Golf Travel providing packages for golfers from around the world it is enjoyed year round by around 50,000 golfers.
Ballot tee times are available throughout the year, Monday to Saturday with The Old Course closed every Sunday for traditional reasons. There are some days throughout the year where a local club will have the course reserved for its members, but otherwise the ballot is available every day bar Sunday.
For those golfers not wishing to book a premium package which guarantees The Old Course, the ballot can be an effective way of securing a tee time. Many visiting golfers choose to book a package in St Andrews with Your Golf Travel which will include accommodation, transport and tee times on some of the other incredible links courses in the area, whilst planning the trip to allow entry into the ballot for The Old Course.
Our tours specialists can advise on the best time of year to travel to maximise your chances of securing that tee time, and indeed when to avoid due to annual commitments such as The Dunhill Links Championship. A good example of when to travel would be May, when the weather is warming up but the number of visitors is still relatively low compared to July and August. September however, is best avoided as a local club takes the course exclusively for 3 weeks with no visitor play allowed.
The ballot is entered 2 days before the day you wish to play. So, if you wish to play on Wednesday, you would enter your details on Monday before 2pm. The results are posted from 4pm on Monday, which allows plenty of time to change your arrangements if you are successful. Your YGT tours specialist can guide you through this, and will switch any tee times around to accommodate your Old Course tee time. There are no limits on how many days you can enter the ballot, but you must hold a valid handicap certificate showing a handicap of 36 or lower, and any duplicate entries will be disqualified. Your Golf Travel will be pleased to assist with the process of entering the ballot but golfers that are successful will pay the standard green fee directly to the starter.
• To enter the ballot there must be at least two players and all names, Home Clubs and handicaps will be required.
• You may enter online, by phone on +44 (0)1334 466666 or in person by visiting The Old Pavilion or one of our Clubhouses.
• As the Old Course is closed on Sundays there is no Friday ballot.
If you are available to play at any time of day this will give you the best chance of success.
• The result of the ballot is available after 4.00pm the same day.
• If successful, a current official handicap card (Golf Club affiliated to a Golf Union/Association) record or certificate must be presented to the starter prior to play.
• Maximum handicaps - 36 for men and ladies. Unfortunately letters of introduction from your local Club Professional are not accepted.
• Only the named golfers on the ballot entry are permitted to play.
• Duplicate ballot entries will be disqualified.
While the course and holes may have changed somewhat, golf has been played over the famous St Andrews links since the 1400s. Today's course is a unique challenge, following approximately an anti-clockwise loop running out to the Eden Estuary and back into town.
While no single architect is given sole credit for the course, Daw Anderson, Old Tom Morris and Dr. Alister Mackenzie have each contributed to The Old Course, St Andrews, and to the legacy of some extraordinary holes and features; supremely penal bunkers like Strath and Hell are to be avoided at all costs, not to mention the dreaded Road Hole bunker that guards the front-left of the 17th green. The Road Hole itself, and driving over the corner of the Old Course Hotel, is one of golf's greatest thrills.
Finally, crossing the historic Swilcan Bridge and striding up the 18th fairway, with the R&A, Hamilton Hall and Grannie Clark's Wynd for company will be an unforgettable moment for any serious golfer.
The best way to play The Old Course is to experience a golf tour while visiting St Andrews, combining hotel accommodation with The Old Course and some of the best local courses. St Andrews Links itself has some seven courses, including The New Course, Jubilee Course and Castle Course, while no golf trip to St Andrews is complete without experiencing the phenomenal Kingsbarns Golf Links, around 10 minutes from the town centre.
Leading accommodation providers, both of which are perfectly suited to meet the needs of travelling golfers, are The Old Course Hotel, located immediately adjacent to The Old Course, and Fairmont St Andrews, home to two excellent courses of its own. Both are five-star properties that boast luxury spa and extensive dining facilities.