How to Play the Old Course

This brief outline will help explain all the different methods that can be used to obtain a tee time on the Old Course at St Andrews.

Guaranteed Tee-Times

SGH Golf are appointed Authorised Providers of Guaranteed Old Course Tee-Times by the St Andrews Links Trust. This makes SGH one of a select number of golf tour operators with the ability to sell guaranteed Old Course packages. We have been selling golf vacations to St Andrews for almost 40 years and are delighted to be able to assist you with your dream trip.

What does “Authorised Providers of Old Course Tee Times” mean?

This means SGH Golf receive an allocation of “Guaranteed Tee-Times” for the Old Course, St Andrews to be included in a custom, fully managed golf trip with golf tee-times, accommodation bookings and luxury ground transportation. With our local St Andrews PGA Professional on hand to look after your every need, SGH Golf are your perfect travel company.

Advanced Application Process

Each year, St Andrews Links has an allocation of tee-times that are sold directly to clients. Applications are accepted for these tee-times during a two-week period in August and these are drawn randomly by a computer. We can assist you in the application process but you must submit the forms directly. This is the most economical way to guarantee a tee-time for the Old Course*.

*Please note that the St Andrews Links Management charge an additional fee on top of the green fees. (The 2020 fees were 315 pounds per 4 ball)

The "Ballot" (Lottery)

Nearly half of Old Course tee times each year are allocated to the Ballot to give people who have been unable to book a chance of playing. It is drawn 48 hours in advance of play and golfers should provide their names, home club and handicaps two days before the day they wish to play. To enter there must be a minimum of two and a maximum of four players. (SGH Golf Scottish staff will enter you each day you are in St Andrews). Many visitors take advantage of this method of playing the Old Course. With a properly designed golf tour staying three to four days in St Andrews your odds of receiving a starting time via the ballot system are increased. However, this Is Not a Guaranteed Tee Time. 

Our Scotland office handles all the details of entering your names for the ballot.  The daily ballot or lottery is drawn 48 hours in advance at 5:00 pm for play 48 hours later. Thursdays and Saturdays provide clients the best chance of success due to the amount of available ballot times on these days.

If you are successful through the ballot, our Scottish office will take care of contacting and rearranging the golf course you were scheduled to play to another available day. You will be entered for the ballot each day you are in St. Andrews. 

*Please note: the ballot does not offer a guarantee for play on the Old Course.

The Lineup (Standing-By)

There are normally between 10 and 20 spaces on the Old Course each day that the starter will fill in with golfers that are registered on the stand-by list. Any golfer wanting to walk on will need to report to the Old Course Pavillion on the day they wish to play. Registered golfers on this sheet will be given any tee-times that become available in the order in which they registered. Success depends on the time of year and how early you arrive to get in line, there is no additional cost using this method but this is not a guaranteed tee time.