Can I use a golf buggy at St Andrews?
The subject of golf buggies (or golf carts) comes up regularly in my discussions with clients when organising their golf trips to Scotland, in particular the use of a golf buggy at St Andrews, and of course, how to reserve a buggy on the Old Course, the hottest topic of all.
Golf buggies in Scotland – an overview
Traditionally Scottish golf courses are maintained as a ‘walking experience’ and as such the use of a buggy is generally restricted to those with specific needs. While the hiring of a caddie (or a pull trolley) to carry your bag is widely available, in some cases, such as at North Berwick a buggy is not permitted under any circumstances – “The undulating terrain is not suitable for golf buggies / carts.” (see more here)
There are a few welcome exceptions such as Gleneagles (see below), but even there the use of a buggy on their premium courses is strictly under a medical exemption.
So, returning to the question ‘Can I use a golf buggy at St Andrews?’, the first thing to note, is of course, that there are 7 courses run by the St Andrews Links Trust, one of which is the Old Course, and the rules vary.
There are an extremely limited number of buggies available. All requests are always:
Be sure to check the most up to date Links Trust buggy policy:
|Golf Course||# Buggies available|
|New / Jubilee courses||6|
|Eden / Balgove / Strathtyrum courses||10|
Note: the available buggies will be shared between visitor golfers and Links Ticket holders.
#1 Using a golf buggy on the Old Course St Andrews
These are the official statements from the Links Trust on the use of buggies on the Old Course:
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.
The Trust Golf Courses were not designed for buggy use. The hazards on the Trust Golf Courses make navigating the golf course a greater challenge. The Trust is proud of its heritage as hosting the Home of Golf and it has the responsibility to ensure that its golf courses are maintained to a high standard. Therefore, the Trust is not able to provide buggies to all golfers and must minimise the impact of golf buggies on its golf courses.
Tip: ‘Suitable ground conditions’ are usually weather related. I have had a client holding the relevant documentation who was unable to take a buggy as the ground conditions were deemed too wet (and therefore dangerous) to be suitable for a buggy.
Can I request a buggy if I am registered disabled (with a permanent condition)?
You can make your request at the time of booking or when entering the ballot.
Can I request an Old Course buggy if I am a senior (over 65 years old)?
See below for other courses.
Can I request a buggy if I have a medical certificate?
Full details here
What does a buggy cost?
The buggy cost is £30.
If your ability to play a round on the Old Course is dependant on the use of a buggy then the rules are very specific. It is essential you read and understand the policies outlined by the Links Trust:
If something happens to you while on your trip that affects you ability to play then, of course, there is nothing to lose from speaking to the Trust as soon as you can. They will always do their best to provide the best possible experience on the golf course but there is no obligation to provide a buggy outwith their Old Course buggy policy and you should be sure to make your ‘Plan B’ accordingly.
#2 Using a buggy on the other golf courses at St Andrews
While still tightly controlled, the use of buggies on these other St Andrews courses is slightly more relaxed.
Be sure to keep up to date with the current buggy booking policy at St Andrews when planing your trip:
#3 Using a golf buggy at other golf courses near St Andrews
Despite being a relatively new course with design and marketing aimed to be particularly appealing to golfers from the USA, the use of a golf buggy at Kingsbarns is also strictly limited. This is what they have to say:
Kingsbarns is a walking experience golf course, however we have two buggies available for mobility restricted golfers by advance reservation.
As with the Old Course at St Andrews, the official policy regarding the use of a buggy at Carnoustie states:
Personal buggy use is not permitted. Registered disabled golfers may apply for the use of a buggy which is subject to availability. Due to the set up of the course the buggy must be driven by a Caddie. There is no charge for the buggy but the caddie fee applies.
Gleneagles is a notable exception to the stringent buggy rules applied at the other nearby premium courses.
Buggies (carts) are available for hire on the PGA Centenary Course for £55 and you can self-drive.
St Andrews Duke’s Course
The Duke’s Course has self-drive 2-seater buggies, bookable in advance. Available at £50 per round and available for general use.
Fairmont St Andrews, Torrance & Kittocks courses
Crail Golfing Society
Dumbarnie is a ‘walking experience’ golf course.
Scotscraig Golf Club
Scotscraig offer 4 self-drive buggies, bookable in advance and cost £20.
Leven Golfing Society buggies available for hire for visitors for £30. They are for general use and are self drive. Pre booking is advised.
Lundin Golf Club have 1 self-drive buggy available. No medical certificate is required but pre booking is advised.
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