ST ANDREWS : a destination to suit all handicaps & budgets

St Andrews, the ‘Home of Golf’ and where golf has been played since the 1400’s.

Last Updated: March 4, 2024
Reading Time: 10 minutes

When you visit St Andrews you are surrounded by the finest collection of courses available for public play.

St Andrews Links Trust – an Overview

St Andrews Links Trust, manager and custodian of 7 courses and 117 holes of golf, can boast of overseeing the largest public golf complex in Europe with its jewel in the crown, the Old Course, being possibly the most famous public course in the world.

Over 230,000 rounds of golf are played annually on the 7 courses.

Golf for everyone

Despite its world class reputation St Andrews is ideal for golfing families, groups of mixed handicaps & abilities as well as absolute beginners.

With the exception of the Old Course, all of the St Andrews Links courses are at least half price for under 16s.

With the exception of the Old Course, none of the St Andrews Links courses require a minimum handicap.

As well as its six 18 hole courses St Andrews also has a 9 hole course – The Balgove – aimed at juniors, high handicaps and beginners.

St Andrews has a Golf Academy delivering instruction for golfers of all ages and abilities.

St Andrews Links courses

While the Old Course is the best known, the Links Trust manage a further 6 courses in and around St Andrews:

  • Jubilee Course
    Built in 1897 (redesigned in 1988), now thought to be one of the most challenging courses.
  • New Course
    Built by Tom Morris in 1895, so ‘new’ in name only, and was so called to distinguish itself from its neighbour, the Old Course.
  • Eden Course
    A local favourite, built in 1914, and designed as an ‘out and back’ course.
  • Castle Course
    The most recent addition to the Links Trust canon of courses (2008), located just outside town.
  • Strathtyrum & Balgove Courses
    Less challenging than their neighbours, these courses still reflect the same high quality of design and maintenance given to all the St Andrews Links courses. They lie alongside their better known neighbouring courses and are perfect for beginners and higher handicaps.

All the links courses have their own distinct character and suit a wide range of abilities, handicaps and budgets. The Links Trust provide a detailed overview of each course as well as a ‘Handicap Calculator’:

If you would like more insight into how each compares to the Old Course as well as others in the area then take a read of ‘How tough is St Andrews Old Course?‘. Where I compare 30 of the best courses in the St Andrews area, including the Old Course, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns. With tables and charts to show how tough they are to play and what a good (scratch) and average (bogey) golfer might expect to score on each course.

If the Old Course is a ‘must play’ for your trip, then pre-planning and study is required. A guaranteed tee time, the Old Course Ballot or playing as a single golfer – I have you covered. Check out my extensive golfer resources, using unique research data and providing you with everything you need for a successful golf trip:

Planning a trip to St Andrews?

If you would like my help and advice then please get in touch:

New to playing Links Golf? Take a look at Insights into playing Scottish links golf – a different game.

What serious (or even not so serious) golfer doesn’t dream of playing on a Scottish links – true links – where golf has been played for centuries and where the vagaries of wind and rain can embellish the challenge of hitting a small hard ball along grass covered ancient dunes until it falls into a 4 ¼ inch hole?

St Andrews Links green fees (2024)

Low1 Jan to 31 Mar£150£80£65£65£33£22£8
Shoulder1 to 14 Apr£210£112£92£92£46£32£8
High15 Apr to 13 Oct£320£170£140£140£70£50£15
Shoulder14 to 31 Oct£225£120£100£100£50£35£8

Note: With the exception of the Old Course, all of the St Andrews Links courses are at least half price for under 16s
Castle opens 1 Mar 2024

Offers and packages: making the most of your visit to St Andrews

St Andrews Links Trust champions both the golf courses and its home town. It encourages play on all the courses by offering a number of packages and offers as well as rewarding visiting golfers for staying locally with added bonuses such as food vouchers for their clubhouses.

– All offers are subject to availability.
– Unless otherwise stated, offers exclude the Old Course.
– Please check St Andrews Links ‘Offers & Packages’ for detailed, up to date information on any of these offers and packages.
– Before applying for these offers please be sure to check St Andrews Links ‘Busy Dates’ to ensure the courses you wish to play are open and available to play.
– Prices are in pounds sterling (£).

Unlimited Golf

3 day advanced ticket

The offer

Low1 – 31 Mar£175
Shoulder1 – 14 Apr£240
High15 Apr – 13 Oct£375
Shoulder14 Oct – 30 Nov£260

The highlights:
– Available for two or more golfers.
– Allows golfers to book one tee time per day in advance
– To be played over any three days within seven
– Ticket must be purchased at least seven days in advance
– From £175

Sample savings

# rounds played
* Savings:
Shoulder (Apr)£56£76£96£36

* savings based on comparison to purchasing tee times individually for each course

Why this is a good deal

This offer is perfect for those who like to get ahead and do as much planning as possible ahead of arrival.

It can be booked well in advance so if you are planning around balloting for the Old Course it provides you with great back ups on days you are unsuccessful. The Links Trust will try to be flexible to accommodate ballot success (within the 7 days of the offer)

3 & 7 day ticket

The offer

3 day
Low1 Jan to 31 Mar£140
Shoulder1 – 14 Apr£220
High15 Apr to 13 Oct£345
Shoulder14 Oct to 30 Nov£240

The highlights:
– Allows golfers to book one tee time per day.
– Available for single golfers.
– To be played over any three days within seven
– Ticket must be purchased from the clubhouses or Starter on the first day of play
– A similar 7 day ticket is available (7 courses to be played within 14 days).
– From £140

Sample savings

# rounds played
* Savings:
Shoulder (Apr)£76£96£116£56
Shoulder (Oct)£80£100£120£60

* savings based on a 3 day ticket and in comparison to purchasing tee times individually for each course

Why this is a good deal

If you want maximum flexibility and don’t necessarily want to to book all your courses in advance then this is for you.

For those relying on ballot success on the Old Course then it allows you to shop around the area for your fall back course on any days you are unsuccessful (you will know 2 days ahead) without risking loss of green fee on any pre booked courses that do not allow tee time changes.

You rely on last minute availability but are rewarded by a discount on the 3 day advance ticket (above).

Take look at my ‘Last Minute Tee Times‘ to demonstrate tee time availability in and around St Andrews.

For beginners there is also an unlimited Balgove only ticket available (3 or 7 day). This is a good value course even at regular green fee, but savings can be made if you plan to play multiple times (4 times or more).

Group packages – for 8+ golfers

The Castle & Jubilee Courses

The offer

Package costOf which:Food voucherGolf

The highlights:
– Minimum group size of 8
– High season only – 15 Apr to 15 Sep. From 1:00pm onwards
– Includes a £20 food & drink credit for the Links or Castle Clubhouse
– £130 (Jubilee), £150 (Castle)

Sample savings

GolfFood voucher

* savings are per person based on comparison to purchasing tee times individually for each course

Why this is a good deal

If you are travelling in groups of 8+ then pre-planning is a necessity.

If you are playing either of these top courses then taking up this offer is a given.

Castle Course – Second round rate

Play one round on The Castle Course, get the second half price

The offer

Round 1£170
Round 2 *£85

The highlights:
– Play a second round on the Castle in high season for half price.
– Second round must be played within 7 days.
– £255

Sample savings


* savings are per person based on comparison to purchasing tee times individually for the course

Why this is a good deal

The Castle course is very popular.

This offer affords you both value and flexibility. You don’t have to book your second round until you have played your first and you can play your second round within 7 days.

Winter Golf – Nov to Mar

3 rounds of golf including a guaranteed tee time on the Old Course

The offer

The highlights:
– 3 rounds of golf including the Old Course.
– November to March.
– Fairway mats will be in use.
– £195 (Dec, Jan, Feb).
– £215 (Nov, Mar).
– Stay locally and receive a £25 food and drink voucher.
– Complimentary balls at Golf Academy

Sample savings

# rounds played
FebCastle closed£85

* savings are per person based on comparison to purchasing tee times individually for each course

Why this is a good deal

If you are prepared to take your chances on the weather then this is a terrific offer.

It is the only deal available that includes a guaranteed round on the Old Course.

If Scotland in the winter months does not appeal but playing the Old Course is essential then you need to plan. Take a look at ‘St Andrews Tee Times – 4 Ways to Guarantee Success‘ to review all the options open to you secure the hottest ticket in golf.

Other highlights

Golf for beginners and high handicaps

While the Old Course is the only one of the 7 courses to require a handicap *, if you are a high handicapper, a beginner or just want to play a relaxing round, there is almost certainly a course that is ideally suited to your needs.

* Note that the Old Course maximum handicap is now 36 for both Men and Ladies.

The Balgove Course, at nine holes, is perfect for the beginner and competitively prices at just £8 to £15 (£3 to £5 for the under 16s), depending on season.

Next door is the Strathtyrum course (a full 18 holes), while designed to be less challenging than the other courses you will still experience the magic of being on a St Andrews Links course. As you play it you’ll see the championship courses stretching just beyond you.

Scotland has its more than its fair share of some of the the best major championship courses around – the “Big Boys” – and for those with the right level of skill and handicap are a joy to play. However, several of these titans of Scottish golf, as well as St Andrews, also have delightful “Little Brothers” – shorter, less-demanding courses that treat you to a round of genuine Scottish links golf. Check out my ‘Golf for Beginners & High Handicaps’.

Golf Academy and practice centre

St Andrews golf for High Handicaps and beginers - Links Golf Academy

The Golf Academy offers the visiting golfer somewhere to practise their game in both indoor and outdoor bays as well as a short game area.

For those wishing to improve their game, take advantage of tuition from PGA professional. There is something to suit all golfing abilities – whether you want to improve your swing, learn how to adapt your game for play on the links courses or you are an absolute beginner.

The Clubhouses

St Andrews Links Trust has 3 clubhouses:

  • Links Trust Clubhouse
    Situated in the heart of the links complex with the Tom Morris Bar & Grill.
  • Castle Clubhouse
    Overlooking the Links newest course on the outskirts of town, with the Rock & Spindle for food & drink.
  • Eden Clubhouse
    Ideally located for golfers on the Eden, Strathtyrum and Balgove courses and those using the practice ground and Golf Academy, offering food and drink at the Spike Cafe

Primarily aimed at providing a full range of facilities for visiting golfers, the Clubhouses are also open to their friends and families.

The Himalayas

With The Himalayas, everyone gets a chance to ‘play 18 holes at St Andrews’.

The Himalayas putting green beside the Old Course is the oldest miniature golf course in the world. 

Conceived by members of the Royal and Ancient back in 1867, it was originally built for the Ladies Putting Club (who still to this day have an active membership and use it for their competitions) as it was deemed: …unacceptable for women to publicly perform such violent movements that a golf swing requires.

Do not be fooled, it’s not just for experienced golfers, it is excellent for all standards and all generations. You get a putter and ball at the starter’s hut and kids can get a club with a cut-down shaft.

Further Resources

Get in touch and start planning your trip now