The Old Course

OldCourseEvery golfer has heard of the Old Course – it’s the oldest and most iconic golf course in the world, featuring landmarks such as the Swilcan Bridge, the Road Hole and Hell Bunker.

Despite the Old Course’s fame and status, it is a public golf course, not a private club, and it is open to visiting golfers all year round.

There are a number of ways to get a tee time on the Old Course, assuming you have a suitable handicap (24 or under for men and 36 or under for women). The ways to play are outlined below:

Advanced Reservations

Advanced reservations for the Old Course are now full from March to October 2016. Bookings can be taken by phone or email for the Old Course in February, November and December 2016.  To make a booking please contact the St Andrews Links Reservations Department by phone on +44 (0)1334 466718 or email.

Old Course Ballot

Nearly half of the total number of tee times on the Old Course each year are allocated to the Ballot (lottery), which gives players without advance reservations a chance of playing. The Ballot is drawn 48 hours in advance and golfers should provide their names, home club and handicap details either by phone or at one of the clubhouses before 2pm, 48 hours before the day they wish to play. To enter, there must be a minimum of two and a maximum of four players per card.  For more information on how to enter the Ballot and to view the results please click here. Please note – the Old Course is closed for play on Sundays and during tournaments. As with any golf course, there may also be very infrequent weather-related closures.

Single Golfers

Single golfers with suitable handicaps who wish to play the Old Course without a reservation should check in at the Old Pavilion on the day of play and the staff will do their best to join them with a two or three-ball group. There is no obligation on the existing golfers to make up a four-ball, but common practice is that single golfers are warmly welcomed. With patience, this can be successful, but there are no guarantees. The earlier in the day you arrive, the better the chance of success!

Winter Package

Experience everything the Home of Golf has to offer with a fantastic Winter Package. Including one guaranteed tee time on the Old Course, the package also offers a round of golf on two other St Andrews Links courses and is available for customers who book accommodation in the area. Playing over three consecutive days, in addition to the Old Course golfers enjoy two rounds on the New or Jubilee Championship courses, the more forgiving Eden and Strathtyrum courses or the award-winning Castle Course. More information here.

Old Course Experience

Through an exclusive contract with St Andrews Links, the Old Course Experience offers a range of programmes at the Home of Golf, all of which can be extended to take in Scotland’s other famous courses and resorts. Visit their website for more information.


One of the Old Course’s unique features is that it begins and ends within St Andrews town. Public roads run adjacent to the 1st and 18th fairways, making it possible for non-golfers to see the course for themselves. The most popular vantage points are behind the 18th Green and 1st Tee (adjacent to the famous Royal and Ancient Clubhouse) The Clubhouse is not open to the public but you are free to walk around its exterior. On Sundays (except during tournaments) the Old Course is closed for golf, making it possible for everyone to walk right around the whole course in safety and experience its magic up close (please do not walk on the tees and greens or step into the bunkers).

For a huge amount of further information on the Old Course, please visit the St Andrews Links website here.