Guaranteed Times on The Old Course
Epic Golf Travel has access to specific Old Course inventory by early June of the preceding year, and can provide a choice of confirmed starting times on the Old Course for clients who wish to have us create a customized golf trip to Scotland with guaranteed play on the Old Course. This is by far the easiest and most stress-free way to guarantee confirmed play on the Old Course.
For golfers who are either unsuccessful with the St Andrews Links Trust Advance Reservations program, or want to play the Old Course on additional days, the Ballot is an additional option.
Nearly half of the Old Course tee times each year are allocated to the Ballot to give people who have been unable to book an advanced time an opportunity to play. It is drawn 48 hours in advance of play and golfers provide their names, home club and handicaps either online, by phone or at one of the clubhouses before 2pm, two days before the day they wish to play.
To enter there must be a minimum of two and a maximum of four players. Each golfer may enter the Ballot each day for Old Course tee times. If you’re traveling with a foursome, this gives your group the opportunity to enter four times each day. Monday’s Ballot is for Wednesday; Thursday is for Saturday and so on. There is no Friday Ballot as the Old Course is closed on Sunday, and similarly, there are various dates throughout the year when the Old Course is unavailable due to R&A and other events. Successful applicants are posted online at 4pm.
The Ballot may be an acceptable alternative for golfers who are staying in or near St Andrews for a number of days (increasing the chances of success) or who do not have an absolute requirement to play the Old Course. Demand does vary at different times and due to various factors. Summer months are peak demand, less so in the shoulder seasons. Further, if there are more than four players in your group, there is a strong possibility that if you have success with the ballot, some group members may get to play and some not, and your group’s play would almost certainly be split up and may be on different days.
September Private Ballot Application
Old Course tee times may be acquired directly by our clients from the St Andrews Links Trust through their annual Advance Reservations program. The program accepts applications twice a year for starting times for the following season (for instance, apply September 2020 for 2021 tee times). The first deadline is in early September for an application. This application requires the dates you would like to play the Old Course plus one additional Links Trust course. The more flexible you are with multiple days to play the Old Course, the better the odds of acquiring a tee time. Epic Golf Travel will help with the nuances of the application and also work with the other golf courses we book for you to rearrange tee times to work around an Old Course date and time. Most golf courses in the area understand the Old Course tee time system and are happy to move your starting times to different days and/or times when needed.
The second application date is in early January, when a number of unused or returned starting times are resold. Applicants for both September and January are notified in about four weeks whether they have been successful or not in acquiring a tee time on the Old Course.
Daily Golfer Walk up
Golfers who wish to play the Old Course without an existing tee time are able to check in at the Old Pavilion (Starters Building) on the day of play and the staff will do their best to join them with a two or three-ball group, or slot them into a time that has become available that day. Lines begin forming very early each day, as early as 4am or 5am, so plan accordingly. The earlier you arrive, the greater your chance of acquiring a tee time that day. With patience, this has proven successful, and almost anyone who has gone this early route has been able to play the Old Course.