How to get on the Old Course St. Andrews

It seems just about all the golfers I send to Scotland want to include the Old Course at St. Andrews. There are 4 ways to do this of which I handle one of them.

  • Old Course Package with guaranteed time - This is the one I handle. Requests can be made after March 1st of the year prior to when you want to play. This is the most costly but comes with some great perks and most of all all you are guaranteed to play the Old Course.
  • Ballot - The Ballot or Lottery is entered with the starter at the Old Course 48 hours in advance. The lottery names are drawn the day before you want to play and posted at 4 PM. There are usually very few spots for many golfers wanting a time.
  • Online Booking - The last is to book your own time on their website You request a time starting in September for up to 4 people for each request. If you have more you have to make 2 requests. If successful will be notified in January. This is less expensive but again your chances are limited. Tour operators such as myself cannot book groups online. If you are lucky enough to get a time this way I can coordinate the rest of you trip – courses, lodging & transportation.
  • Starter - If you are a single or two ball you can check with the starter each morning and he will do his best to fit you in. This doesn’t work for larger groups.

For example this year all the online tee times are gone along with all the guaranteed times. These for the most part were all filled before the end of 2013.

I did have a few people book online but they applied in September and were successful. I also had some that applied online and there was nothing available the dates they wanted. I have not had any in a while that were successful in the Ballot.
If You are interested in playing in 2015 and want to be sure you get to play the Old Course I suggest contacting me any time after March 1st when they open up the guaranteed times and let me book it. As time goes on the chances get less. This will be even tighter in 2015 since the British Open is on the Old Course in July 2015.

One thing I forgot to mention is to book a guaranteed time it must be done in even numbers such as 2,4,6 or 8. They don’t want any spots open that odd numbers would make.
For 2014 I have 4 groups using the guaranteed option and 2 groups that were able to book online and I handled the balance of their trip. Unfortunately I have had to turn down 4 or 5 in the last month because they waited too long.
So my advice is to book EARLY with the guaranteed option if you plan on playing The Old Course in 2015 or later.
Give me a call if you would like more information on the Old Course Packages I offer.
Check the Scotland Sample itinerary link on this website for a great tour including the Old Course guaranteed.

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