The Old Course, St Andrews

Old Course, St Andrews

Key information:

The Old Course, St Andrews is the Home of Golf where golf was first played 600 years ago. The fabled original links course is synonymous with The Open Championship which it has hosted an unparalleled 30 times (last time 2022).

– Senior Open Championship 2018
– Women’s British Open 2007 and 2013
– Co-host Alfred Dunhill Links Championship

I fell in love with it the first day I played it. There’s just no other golf course that is even remotely close

Jack Nicklaus

The Old Course is the oldest and most famous stretch of golfing links in the world, running from the main street of the old grey town. 6721 yards par 72 of history featuring 112 bunkers – all named and mostly of the pot variety, clusters of gorse bushes – many in the firing line, and several huge double greens with valleys, humps, mounds, hollows and undulations.

The first and 18th fairways are just one wide expanse of sand-based land, featuring the famous Swilken Bridge and burn. Every hole on the out-and-back course is memorable, but the 17th Road Hole requiring a drive over the corner of the hotel and a second to avoid the wicked greenside bunker and the road on the right is the most feared.

A public course that attracts visitors from all over the world.

If you are looking to plan your next golf vacation to Scotland and prefer the certainty of your St Andrews Old Course tee time guaranteed, then contact me now to discuss itineraries and to request my assistance.


  • Clubhouse with Tom Morris Bar & Grill restaurant and Links Clubhouse Shop.
    Free parking, showers, drying facilities, lockers.
  • There is a warm up putting green area dedicated to golfers waiting for their allotted Old Course tee time, adjacent to the Old Pavilion.
    Full practice facilities available at the St Andrews Links Academy, a short walk from the Eden Clubhouse. It has 60 flood-lit bays, 22 indoor bays, short game area and Toptracer Range.
  • A free Shuttle Bus service runs between the Links and Eden Clubhouses, The Old Pavilion (by the first tee of the Old Course) and the St Andrews Links Golf Academy in high season from Monday 27 March to Saturday 28 October 2023 (no Sunday service).

Course Statistics:

 Length (m)Course Rating (M/W)Slope Rating (M/W)
black667073.4 / –136 / –
blue635271.8 / –133 / –
green603770.2 / 76.5127 / 140
Par 72/76

How do other courses in the area compare to the Old Course?

Compare the difficulty of the Old Course and 30 courses in the area and see what you might expect to score.

Location information:

Parking and extensive golfer facilities available at St Andrews Links Clubhouse (for Old, New & Jubilee courses), West Sands, St Andrews, KY16 9XL

Use what3words  for a precise location.

Good to know:

  • The only St Andrews Links course which requires a handicap certificate. The maximum handicap is 36 for men and ladies. A valid handicap certificate (paper or digital) must be presented to the Old Course Starter on the day of play. A letter of recommendation will not be accepted.
  • Caddies are available (pre booking recommended and subject to availability). Forecaddies – only allowed on days of high demand as agreed by the Caddie Manager. On all other occasions the policy of one caddie per player applies.
  • Buggy policy – golfers with a permanent condition of disability and relevant supporting documentation may request a buggy for use on the Old Course. Golfers’ disability documentation should be provided at the time of booking or when entering the Old Course Ballot.
  • Calloway golf clubs and shoes are available for hire.
  • Trolley hire – no need to book. Both manual and battery available.
  • For those without an advanced tee time the Links Trust offer a ballot service. The Ballot is drawn 48 hours in advance of play and golfers should 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. (see below for information on single golfers and the ballot). The course is closed on a Sunday and so there is no ballot on Friday for Sunday play.
  • The course is shut for play on Sundays but is available to pedestrians.

Single Golfers:

There are a limited number of slots available each year to single golfers in the Private Advanced Tee Times process: How to get an Old Course Tee Time – 4 ways to guarantee success

Single golfers with suitable handicaps who wish to play the Old Course without an existing tee time should check in at the Old Pavilion on the day of play and the staff will do their best to join them with a two or three-ball group (the ‘walk-up’ option).  

Playing the Old Course as a Single Golfer : An in depth analysis of your chances of a tee time slot

How to enter the Old Course ballot as a single golfer: Ginger Beer Golf Travel’s Ballot Buddy Service

You may also like:

How can you get a tee time on the Old Course?

Read my in-depth guide to maximising your chances of securing an Old Course tee time.

How to plan your golf trip to St Andrews

Everything you need to know about planning your trip to St Andrews.

How do other courses compare to the Old Course?

Compare the difficulty of 30 courses in the area and see what you might expect to score.

Are you a single golfer?

Singles cannot enter the daily ballot. Find yourself a ‘Ballot Buddy’.

Old Course Ballot

What are your chances and how you can improve the odds.

Failed in the ballot?

How to maximise your chances of play as a single golfer using the ‘walk-up’ option.

Further reading:
Why St Andrews makes The Best Golfing Weekend Ever


Would you like to play the Old Course St Andrews?

I can help you plan your perfect golf trip

Contact me