How to Get a Tee Time on the Old Course, St Andrews

6 ways to book the tee time of all time!

Playing on the hallowed turf of the Old Course is arguably one of the best and most memorable experiences in golf and if you are planning on making your golf vacation that much more special, here’s how to go about getting a tee time on the Old Course, St Andrews.


1. Make an Advanced Reservation

Remember, remember the month of September! If you know that you want to play the Old Course next year, mid-September is the cut-off date to apply for advanced reservations through the St Andrews Links Trust.

After thoroughly reading the guidelines and information sheets on the St Andrews Links Trust website, golfers can submit an application for an advanced reservation during a 20 day period from mid-August BUT there are few notable points to raise;


-          Advanced reservation applications will be selected at random from all applicants


-          The Old Course is closed to play on Sundays – so, don’t apply for a Sunday! However, you’re very welcome to walk the course on a Sunday (…which would be good preparation for your round)


-          Check the ‘busy dates’ as you are much more likely to be unsuccessful in your application if you apply for one of these days, examples include; public holidays, Saturdays and September in particular. The busy dates can be found on the St Andrews Links website.


If you don’t manage to get your hands on an advanced reservation through the St Andrews Links Trust but you are planning to tick off the Old Course from your bucket list then the question; ‘How to get a tee time on the Old Course, St Andrews?’ still remains, but don’t fret there are a number of other options!

If you are successful with your application... then congratulations! Feel free to contact to organize your trip around your Old Course tee times.


2. Enter the Daily Ballot

Cross everything and enter the ballot! Almost half of the tee times on the Old Course, St Andrews are allocated in the ballot and anyone can enter 48 hours before the day of play as long as there are at least two of you. Applying for a Saturday or a Thursday will definitely aid your chances of being successful as these days have a greater number of ballot tee times available. And, don’t forget your handicap certificates…. you’ll need to present these before playing the course. Note that the minimum handicaps requirements are; 24 for men and 36 for ladies.


3. Use a Tour Operator

There are a number of benefits to organizing this bucket list golf vacation with a recognized Tour Operator, such as A major reason is by doing so you are guaranteed an Old Course tee time on a set date and time, allowing you to plan your trip itinerary and flights around it. You’ll also cut out the anxiety of going through the ballot system or having to stand in line at the starter’s hut at dawn hoping on the off chance for a spare slot in a 4-ball…!

Speaking from a point of view there are many additional benefits of booking with a tour operator. We’ll manage your whole itinerary; booking up all your tee times, accommodation, transport and even flights (which will save you hours of your time), plus we will give you top tips on where to visit, eat and go out. Furthermore, if you have any changes of plan, either before or during your trip, we are on hand to help and make those amendments for you. All this and we still guarantee you a good price for your package!

SEND US AN INQUIRY if you'd like to speak to our vacation specialists about a St Andrews trip. 


4. ‘Walk on’ as a Single

Get up early and experience the excitement of meeting the starter on the first tee at first light! Yes, this really happens! The starter will fill the gaps that feature in the tee times across the day and with any luck you could be playing golf on the most famous course in the world in no time. This method requires patience and a lot of luck. It’s also a well-trodden path to take, to the extent that even by day break there will be a reasonably sized group of golfers waiting in line – so you need to get there early to stand a chance of getting on the course. If you are lucky, the upside is huge… and you may end up making new friends for life or find yourself in the depths of a tight match against some locals!


5. Play in the Winter

If you are prepared to play in low season and endure some “seasonal” Scottish weather, then you can apply for a three round package directly from the Links Trust. This includes a round on the Old Course and the pick of two others from the seven courses in Links Trust, such as The New, Jubilee or Castle courses. Note however, and this is a big note, you’ll need to be prepared to play off mats on the Old Course and you need to have booked accommodation in either St Andrews or North East Fife. Oh, and remember to bring lots of thermal layers…!


6. Find a Member

Finally, there is always a chance you might happen to bump into your tee time on the Old Course in the Jigger Inn. Residents of St. Andrews and members of local golf clubs have priority on the ballot and reservation system. So, be friendly to everyone you meet in St Andrews as you never know, you could find yourself in the express lane to playing on the Old Course.

So there you it, a brief summary of all the ways that you can play the most famous golf course in the world. The main thing however is to make sure that you do play it as your golfing legacy will not be complete without it!

If you need help in planning a trip to St Andrews then please get in contact. We have been booking trips to Scotland since 1998 and have a wealth of knowledge on St Andrews and the surrounding areas, and as always, our aim is to save you time and money!

Gary Williams

Author, Gary Williams

I am lucky enough to be a member of the digital marketing team here at I enjoy playing golf (well, most of the time) and have a handicap of 12. My ideal round would be on the Ailsa course at Turnberry with Rory McIlroy, Jack Nicklaus and Gianfranco Zola – for those that don’t know… he is an ex-soccer player and Chelsea legend!