Attaining a tee time to play The Old Course, St Andrews is not easy. The application process is multifaceted and can be difficult to navigate. That is why St Andrews for Golf have produced a simple guide to walk you through the four options available to try and secure a much sought after tee time. These options are:
- Guaranteed Old Course Tee Times & Authorised Provider Packages
- Direct Applications to St Andrews Links Trust
- Daily Ballot/Lottery
- Standby or Singles List
St Andrews for Golf are here to help you navigate the process and welcome you to The Home of Golf.
1. Guaranteed Old Course Tee Times & Authorised Provider Packages
St Andrews Links Trust govern the allocation and distribution of all Old Course tee times, including ones that are guaranteed. Guaranteed tee times means that you can purchase a tee time to play the Old Course on a specified day, and at a specified time. The only way to purchase a guaranteed tee time is through one of St Andrews Links Trust’s “Authorised Providers”.
St Andrews for Golf is proud to be an Authorised Provider of Guaranteed Old Course Packages.
St Andrews for Golf Guaranteed Old Course Packages include:
- Guaranteed Tee Time on the Old Course, St Andrews
- Accommodation whilst in St Andrews
- Additional Golf
- Golf and/or Airport Transport
- Activities/sightseeing options
The majority of packages are bundled up into a 7 day or longer trip including Open Championship Venues and other locations around Scotland, Ireland and the UK. Visit the Golf Vacation section of the website to view itinerary options offered by St Andrews for Golf or start a ‘Create My Own Tour‘ enquiry to make it more bespoke to you.
For your best chance to secure one of our limited Guaranteed Old Course Tee Times, you should make contact in the February prior to your year of travel. At this point we will record the requested dates for your planned trip. The exact Tee Times are released the following May to allow your trip to be planned for the following year.
2. Direct Applications to St Andrews Links Trust
This is the most cost effective way to secure a tee time on the Old Course, St Andrews in advance of arriving for your trip, however it cannot be guaranteed.
Golfers can go through the Advance Application Process with the St Andrews Links Trust to apply for a tee time. The application process starts in September of the year prior to play, with the results released in the November.
St Andrews for Golf are able to guide you through the Advance Application Process. This method is one that St Andrews for Golf uses when sold out for Authorised Provider Packages for your specific dates.
3. Daily Ballot/Lottery
The Old Course, St Andrews is the only course in the world that operates a “Ballot Application” process.
The process: golfers provide their name, home club and handicap either by phone, online or at one of the clubhouses before 2pm, two days before they wish to play. The ballot is drawn by St Andrews Links Trust 48 hours in advance of play, and the results are released around 5pm on that day.
The Old Course cannot be Guaranteed through this process.
St Andrews for Golf guide the applications towards days where there is an increased chance of success. St Andrews for Golf ‘Ballot Vacations or Trips’ are designed to allow flexibility and the ballot can be entered on multiple days to increase your chances of success. If unsuccessful, the scheduling of other courses can be arranged around re-applications through the ballot process.
The ballot process is not available to ‘Single Golfers’ there must be at least 2 players in the group to enter the process…to get around this challenge, St Andrews for Golf can often provide a Golf Instruction Experiences such as the Play with the Professional or Ultimate Golf Days where you will enter the ballot with a PGA Professional, therefore meeting the criteria. If successful, you will play The Old Course with a PGA PRO, if unsuccessful the experience would take place on another St Andrews Links Course.
4. Standby or Singles List
The final option to achieve a tee time of The Old Course, St Andrews, is to go on the standby list. This route is often used for golfers who are unsuccessful in The Old Course Ballot Process or are a ‘Single Golfer’.
St Andrews Links Trust open the First Tee Pavilion adjacent to the first tee, at around 6/6.15am each morning (in summer months). They add the names of people queueing to a standby list (this is based on a first come first served basis). Golfers on the standby list are allocated a slot in any groups that are 2 or 3 balls throughout the day. Once all of the available slots from the ballot results are taken, the remaining names are advised to stay in case a time opens up throughout the day. Times may open up due to last minute cancellations or no shows for tee times.
Playing in your group all together may not be an option, so you may need to be split into pairs or singles and join other golfers depending on what slots are available. Snacks and drinks are available to be purchased from the pavilion from opening.
The St Andrews Links Trust usually manage to get 10-20 players out per day through this method. However, this method cannot be guaranteed. The big question that St Andrews for Golf get asked is ‘what time should we go down to queue?’. The answer is very difficulty. It is impossible to judge how many golfers will be there, and what time they will join the queue. The best answer that we can give is…how much do you want to play the Old Course and what time would you be willing to wait outside from…It has been known for people to start queuing from 8pm the evening before and camp out at the pavilion to ensure they are first/early on the list.