Hi, I’m Chris Toll , Golf Travel Specialist and founder of Ginger Beer.
I have been working with golfers to plan their dream trips for over 20 years now. For much of that time I lived in and around St Andrews where I also owned and provided 5 star golfer accommodation.
In an increasingly competitive space I help source the best courses for your game, tee times, including the golden ticket of an Old Course tee time, transport and accommodation. My niche is personal, dedicated service and going the extra mile for my clients.
I am a champion of the single golfer, as I understand the difficulty for singles to source tee times and the inconvenience of queuing up overnight for a chance to play on the Old Course. Which is how my unique BallotBuddy service was conceived – a date-matching service to help you find a partner for an Old Course ballot application.
I am excited about a new service I will be offering soon – a one-stop-shop of last minute tee times for the best courses in around St Andrews. For golfers who have failed in the Old Course ballot and now have an empty golf day to fill with a stellar substitute, or simply need to re-arrange your golf itineraries around a ballot friendly itinerary – this service is for you.
As well as being a big fan of the game of golf I am also a bit of a numbers geek … so I have produced in-depth reports and analyses that you won’t have seen anywhere else to help with your trip plans. I reveal stats for St Andrews Old Course ballot success as well as single slots available for ‘walk up’ golfers waiting in line.
I also compare the Old Course with other top flight courses in the area – whether you are an expert or average golfer, playing off men’s or ladies’ tees. I’ve done a similar analysis for courses around Valderrama in Spain, my other area of interest and expertise.
Using data from previous years, I guide you through when to travel and how long to stay in St Andrews to maximise your chance of playing the Old Course via the ballot – the best-value ticket in the whole of golf.
My wife and I wanted to take our grandson somewhere to play golf as a college graduation present. When thinking about where to go, we said "Why not Scotland". We came upon Chris's name out of the blue and since our grandson is just taking up the game and we are both in our 70's/80's (age--not score), he sounded like a perfect match for us. We did it all by phone and e mail, and although I was pretty familiar with Scottish golf, I did not know of some of the courses that a beginner and two elderly might be able to play with caddies and buggies. In short order Chris had an itinerary together for us and off we went. His attention to detail was unquestioned and our whole trip went off without a hitch. Even the Scottish weather cooperated!!! Chris was an excellent communicator during the pre trip phase and even got in touch with us while we were there. E mails were answered promptly and I always felt I could get in touch with him at a moments notice. In short I would highly recommend using Ginger Beer Travel for a future trip. Not everyone in this world is a single digit handicapper and it is great to play some lesser known course which, nevertheless, have all the beauty and challenges that you would expect from a Scottish golf experience.
I used Ballot Buddy three times in June 2019 and hit the Old Course ballot 2 of 3 times. The process is quite simple, and Chris makes it easy to correspond with your "buddies". He keeps on top of things to make sure that all parties are in sync before ballot submission day. He pays very good attention to detail. I will use Ballot Buddy again on my next trip to St Andrews.
I used the BallotBuddy service and it made all the difference. I was able to play the Old Course and check it off my Bucket List (a month later I'm still smiling)! I paid Chris nothing, yet he was there writing all these emails to us as our foursome changed. I can only imagine what he can do for anyone who wants to hire him to set up their experience. His devotion and professionalism are second to none!
With Valderrama at centre stage, the Sotogrande area at the western end of the Costa del Sol now plays host to a collection of the finest golf courses in Spain. Perhaps in all of Europe, only St Andrews can claim to rival such a concentration and variety of fine courses.
Valderrama and the Sotogrande area
Think for a moment that in the course of a 7 night golf vacation you have the chance to play at venues which have hosted Ryder Cup, Volvo World Match Play Championships, PGA European Tour events and the Tour Qualifying School. Course designers like Robert Trent Jones Snr, Dave Thomas and more recently Cabell Robinson have shaped the local golfing landscape. Even Seve has left his mark on the design front.
I can source the best deals, find you the perfect accommodation for your group and organise our golf course transfers.
Extensive research reports. I have compared and contrasted the top courses in and around St Andrews and Sotogrande and pored over 1000’s of Old Course tee times to help you make the best decisions about your golf trip.