Scotland · Travel

Golfing at St. Andrews

Any golfer who has ever stuck a tee in the ground has no doubt wondered what it would be like to play golf in the birthplace of golf: St. Andrews, Scotland. Step back in time to the year 1552 when Archbishop Hamilton recognized the right of the people of St. Andrews to play golf on the Links. For over 600 years, St. Andrews Links has challenged millions of golfers from all over the world and will continue to long into the future.

st-andrews-links

Made up of 7 courses, 3 clubhouses, and 4 pro shops, this quiet little town is the premier golf destination in the World. The Old Course alone (host to 29 Open Championships) has 45,000 rounds of golf played on it a year! So, just how exactly do you go about getting a tee time at one these courses?

Balgove Course

Specs: 1520 yards, par 30

Clubhouse: Eden Clubhouse

Green Fee: £15 (adult) high season

The Balgove is the only 9-hole course at the Home of Golf and caters to families, children and beginners. This course does not accept advanced bookings. Show up the day you wish to play.

The Castle Course

Specs: 6759 yards, par 71

Clubhouse: Castle Clubhouse

Green Fee: £120 (adult) high season

Opened in 2008, this is the newest addition to St. Andrews Links. Advance bookings can be made at least 2 days ahead and full green fee is payable in advance. For bookings less than 2 days ahead, call +44 (0)1334 466666 in the morning the day before play. This course is open from March 1 2016 until after play on November 6th 2016. Note: This course is located outside of town near the Fairmont St. Andrews Hotel.

Strathtyrum Course

Specs: 5620 yards, par 69

Clubhouse: Eden Clubhouse

Green Fee: £30 (adult) high season

With 15 cunningly placed bunkers, this course opened in 1993 puts considerable emphasis on iron play accuracy. Advance bookings can be made at least 2 days ahead and full green fee is payable in advance. For bookings less than 2 days ahead, call +44 (0)1334 466666 in the morning the day before play.

Eden Course

Specs: 6250 yards, par 70

Clubhouse: Eden Clubhouse

Green Fee: £45 (adult) high season

Built in 1914 by Harry S. Colt, Natural boundaries and severe bunkers make this course full of character. Advance bookings can be made at least 2 days ahead and full green fee is payable in advance. For bookings less than 2 days ahead, call +44 (0)1334 466666 in the morning the day before play.

Jubilee Course

Specs: 6742 yards, par 72

Clubhouse: Links Clubhouse

Green Fee £75 (adult) high season

Considered by many as being the most challenging of the Links courses, this course was originally intended for use by ladies and beginners when it opened in 1897; however, the course was converted to a championship layout in 1988 due to its prime location between the New Course and the North Sea. Advance bookings can be made at least 2 days ahead and full green fee is payable in advance. For bookings less than 2 days ahead, call +44 (0)1334 466666 in the morning the day before play.

The New Course

Specs: 6625 yards, par 71

Clubhouse: Links Clubhouse

Green Fee: £75 (high season)

The oldest ‘new’ course in the world, this course was built by Tom Morris in 1895. With undulating fairways and challenging greens, the New Course is a classic test of Links golf. Advance bookings can be made at least 2 days ahead and full green fee is payable in advance. Bookings made less than 2 days ahead can be made by approaching the Started on the day of play. Tee times are allocated on a first con first serve basis.

Old Course

Specs: 6721 yards, par 72

Clubhouse: Links Clubhouse

Green Fee: £175 (adult) high season

The oldest and most iconic golf course in the world with the Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker, the Old Course is recognized across the globe. It is also hosted 29 Open Championships over the years.

Playing this famous course is a bit more difficult than its 6 counterparts. First things first. Players must submit a handicap certificate to even be considered. Maximum allowed handicaps are 24 for men and 36 for women. If the golfer’s handicap qualifies, then the easiest and most expensive option is to book a golf package with a guaranteed tee time. These packages require a three-night minimum stay and are highly coveted, which makes them steep in price.

The smarter way to get a guaranteed tee time is email or write the St. Andrews Links Trust. The Trust holds an open period each fall accepting group-booking requests. This is a surefire way for smaller groups that can commit to a date well in advance to get to play.

Those not wanting to book well in advance or shell out money for a golf package can gamble. Yes, gamble. A ballot is held everyday the course is open to the public and golfers can enter the drawing (minimum of two golfers), announced 2 days prior to play. Although this sounds risky, nearly half of the total tee times on the Old Course are allocated to the ballot.

The last option, if all else fails or there is a golfer playing as a single, is to wake up at the crack of dawn, head to the starter’s shed, and give your name to the starter who will put the single with any incomplete groups.

Something else to note: the Old Course is closed to golfers on Sunday and open to the public to walk the course, have a picnic, and enjoy the scenery.

For a map of the Links Courses, click here.

Getting to St Andrews Links

(Getting here info taken directly from website)

By Rail

The closest train station to St Andrews is Leuchars station, just outside the town. From here travel into St Andrews either by bus or taxi which are normally available outside the station. The journey time is approximately 10 minutes. Visit National Rail for more information.

Flying to Scotland

Airports at Glasgow and Edinburgh offer plenty of connections both nationally and internationally. Car Hire is available from the major firms at both airports and in the city centres. Dundee Airport offers flights from London City airport.

Fly to:

Driving to St Andrews

From Edinburgh: Take the A90 over the Forth Road Bridge which connects to the M90. Continue north until junction 8 and take the A91 following the signs to St Andrews. Journey time is approximately one hour.

From Glasgow: Take the M8 towards Edinburgh, and turn onto the A80 seven miles outside Glasgow. Continue on the M80 over the Clackmannanshire Bridge which leads to the M90 (junction 6). Head north on the M90 until junction 8. Take the A91 and follow signs to St Andrews. Journey time is approximately two hours.

Sat Nav:

Links Clubhouse & Swilcan Restaurant (Old, New & Jubilee courses)
West Sands
St Andrews
KY16 9XL

Eden Clubhouse (Eden, Strathtyrum & Balgove courses)
St Andrews
KY16 9SF

The Castle Course
by St Andrews
KY16 8PL

To read about our day trip to St. Andrews, click here!

st-andrews-links-revised

 

 

 

 

 

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