5 ways to get a tee time on the Old Course at St. Andrews
Golf fans around the world were once again treated to the sights, sounds and sights of St. Andrews during last weekend’s British Open (or The Open as it’s also known).
While it doesn’t have the flowers and lush greenery of Augusta National or the breathtaking ocean views of Pebble Beach, no golf course on the planet can match the history, names of the bunkers and the general impression that you have been in the holy ground of golf since the game was invented there hundreds of years ago.
With St. Andrews fresh in people’s minds after seeing the footage over the weekend, one might wonder the following: How hard is it to get a tee time at the Old Course, the home of golf?
It’s actually not as difficult as you might think since the course is open to the public.
Despite the high demand for tee times from golf fans around the world, here are the top five ways to get a tee time at the Old Course, according to the St. Andrews website.
1. Win a ballot.
Golfers who want a tee time in St. Andrews can play their luck and have their name drawn in a lottery that takes place 48 hours in advance.
Golfers must provide their name, club and handicap either online, by phone or at one of the clubhouses by 2:00 p.m. two days prior to the desired tee time. There must be a minimum of two players and a maximum of four players.
As the course is closed on Sunday, there is no draw on Friday.
2. Be a single golfer joining an existing group.
This is similar to “camping” before tickets for a concert or sporting event go on sale. Single golfers with appropriate handicaps can hang around the teeing area and check with the staff at the Old Clubhouse to see if there’s a two- or three-member playgroup to join.
During high season it is difficult not to have a group with a maximum of four players. But a little patience might pay off on the right day.
3. Book a winter package.
While it’s not as desirable (or hot) to play the Old Course from November through March, it may be easier to book a package during the off season. This requires an application process and you will also need to book rides on three different courses. But one of them is definitely the Old Course.
4. Apply for general tee times.
This doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a tee time, but by applying early enough, you might get an opening at a certain time slot. Tee times are already booked for 2022, but again, if you plan ahead for 2023 or 2024, there might be a chance.
5. Book a package during the high season with an “approved supplier”.
During peak season, it’s incredibly difficult to gain access to the Old Course without luck on a ballot, finding a group of two or three people to partner with, or being assigned tee times.
The best way to guarantee access to the Old Course is to book a travel package with what is called an ‘approved supplier’. Of course, this will be expensive as you will need to purchase a package that includes things like rounds to other courses, meals, and hotel stays.
But if you think it’s worth guaranteeing yourself a game at the Old Course, this might be the best bet.
To know that a provider is legitimate, look for an “Authorized Provider” logo displayed on their websites or social media platforms.