How To Golf At The Old Course St. Andrews
With No Reservation
My husband Kevin loves two things almost as much as he loves me; The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Golfing. In exchange for all the games and Sunday mornings he is out participating in his passion, he takes me traveling all over the world. However, he gets the itch to golf on long holidays and Scotland was no different. In fact, how could I say no to golfing in Scotland? Especially, when we are at St. Andrews. Small little problem, no reservation. Kevin is going to show you how to golf at the Old Course St. Andrews with no reservation. While you read his story, keep in mind I was relaxing in a lovely spa at the Fairmont.
Take It From Here Kevin: St. Andrews Golf Course Scotland
As a golfer, there are places that we all want to play, Augusta, Pebble Beach, Wing Foot etcetera, but the holy grail of golfers everywhere is The Old Course at St. Andrews. Sherrie and I recently took a trip to Scotland that lasted for two weeks. We had some great adventures and historic stops in Scotland. I was completely okay seeing all the fourteen or so castles that Sherrie is infatuated with but, I told her that I have to plan at least one day for me. Golfing at St. Andrews to have the Old Course experience.
The first thing that you need to know is that St. Andrews golf reservations at the Old Course for tee times are completely filled about a year in advance. We plan our holidays in advance, but not that far in advance, hence no reservation to golf at St. Andrews.
Fear not, there is a way for you to get on the old St Andrews golf course that has been trod by the greatest golfers in history, and me too.
Where is St. Andrews Golf Course In Scotland?
Sorry to interrupt, its me, Sherrie… but Kevin forgot to give some important information.
- Location of the Old Course- Please see map below.
- How much does it cost to play at St. Andrews? (All prices below reflect the time of publishing this article)
- Jan 1st to March 31st is low season the cost is 114.83 USD
- April 1st- April 15th shoulder season is 160.51 USD
- April 16th to October 14th high season is 235.00 USD
- October 15th to October 31st shoulder season is 163.12 USD
- November 1st to Dec 31st low season is 117.44 USD
- And of course lets add St. Andrews golf course map 🙂 here’s a link where you can zoom in on St. Andrews links.
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I Have To Get Up At What Time For A St. Andrews Tee Time?
The day before we went to St. Andrews, we met a couple who had just been there. For St. Andrews golf reservations, I was previously informed that you could usually show up and get in line around 5:30 am and wait until they opened to see what St. Andrews tee times had canceled and were available. This particular gentleman explained to me that I needed to get to the Old St. Andrews golf course by 3:30 or 4:00 am to get a spot! Not wanting to take a chance on missing out, I got up at 3:30 and was in line by 4:00 am and was 10thin line!
That particular day the first in line was there at 12:30 am. I ended up playing golf with him, he was a young gentleman, very polite and a good golfer. Over the next three hours the line extended to more than twenty-five people with more walking up as they opened the caddy shack. I waited my turn and was told that the first available time would be 10:45 so of course I took it. I was then escorted to the St. Andrews clubhouse to pre-rent my clubs to have them ready for my tee time. When I got back to the caddy shack I told the head caddy that I was going to get a bite to eat and wait just in case another cancellation came up. He then pointed at the first tee and said that if I was ready to golf the group on the tee box had an opening. Of course, you know what my reply was – Yes Sir! I was about to golf the Old Course at St. Andrews!
Your first time at The Old Course St. Andrews, get the caddy, spend the money, don’t think that you have seen it on tv so many times that you are an expert on the course, you are not, and they are. This is a links course that is relatively flat but has several blind shots that the caddies know, and you don’t.
I really remember four holes that day, although I spent the entire day with a huge grin on my face. Number 1, teeing off in front of everyone waiting their turn and listening to my caddy I hit a real nice tee shot right where he told me to hit and finished the first hole with a par. The next hole that stands out was number 13, this one did in the entire group, I won’t torture you with the details, but I won the hole with a double bogie, and the other two guys were definitely better golfers than me so be aware of number 13.
The next hole to remember is a completely blind shot on number 17, there is a wall right in front of the tee box and my caddy said to aim right over the right side of the wall – I won’t tell you my response, but I did as told and crushed the drive blowing the ball by the other golfers that I had at least 25 years on, yes inside I did a little dance, but finished with a bogie. My St. Andrews Old Course scorecard was looking pretty good.
Smile For The Crowd On St. Andrews 18th Hole
The last hole might my most memorable hole for that morning. First, I was able to get my picture taken at the famous bridge at the St. Andrews Golf course. Next I hit my drive to the road that splits the 18thfairway and my caddy told me that while in tournament play the road was in play, it is not for regular play and I was allowed to drop back behind the road with no penalty. My next shot ended up on the green, did I mention that the 18thgreen is surrounded by people that have just come to see the course and it is on the corner of a very busy street in St. Andrews? Furthermore, the people have been known to cheer or jeer approach shots on the 18thgreen.
I got a cheer the hard way, I hit the ball a little thin and it rolled onto the green to the cheers of the awaiting and adoring golf fans, (this part was in my head, but I did get a cheer.) Two putts later I parred the 18thin front of a crowd and finished this morning round of golf with the biggest smile you can imagine.
St. Andrews Golfers Bucket List
If you are a golfer and get the opportunity play the Old Course, you will not regret it no matter the score. Don’t be discouraged if you do not have a reservation, it is possible to golf, as I learned. Everyone there is really nice and willing to help you with every detail.
The one thing you need to know in advance is that men need to have at least a 24 handicap and the women a 36. Yes you have to show your handicap card when you check in. Other than that, just get out there and take a chance, meet new people, have fun…for goodness sakes you are travelling and getting to play golf where the game was invented. OH! Make sure you stop by the St. Andrews Golf Pro shop and buy St. Andrews golf shirts, a hat, and everything else they have.
Note from Sherrie on St. Andrews Scotland Golf
Compromising while traveling with your partner can be a good thing. While Kevin was golfing I was enjoying my day at the spa, nice and relaxing. See, both of us doing something we want to do, compromising works 😉 No worries, Kevin worked hard and accomplished the goal of golfing at Scotlands historic Old Course with no reservation. He deserved a nice massage too!
As you know there are spas all over the world and here is a collaboration by other travel bloggers and myself for you to indulge in: Spas Around the World
By the way, I did eventually golf while in St. Andrews at the Castle Course. Which I would like to brag a little, we had caddies, we walked and played the whole course in 3 hours- passing 6 groups while accomplishing this feat. And let me tell you- there were hills to climb too!