Old Course

2013 Old Course Guidelines unveiled

The birthplace of golf is a rite passage for any serious golfer, yet it is not a one-time visit, but merely the first of many. This unique plot of land north of the 55th parallel is home to the highest concentration of Top 100 golf courses in the World (12 at last count).

In an ideal world, all golf trips to Scotland include a round at the incomparable Old Course at St Andrews.

Today, St Andrews Links unveiled their rates and policies for 2013, leaving just three weeks before you must have your lottery ballot for an Old Course Tee Time prepared for entry.

As always, the deadline to apply for an Old Course application is the first Wednesday in September at 10am Greenwich Mean Time. 

Yes, it means pushing the send button at 5am in Toronto/New York or staying up late on the West Coast on Tuesday Sept 4th and sending it at 2am.

It is imperative that you choose two courses to play. We recommend the second coure being the "New" Course, if you can call built in 1895, New!. If you don't want to play a second course, go for the Strathtyrum, as it is only £25.

Next year's green fees will be £155 in 2013, this is the cheapest you will pay. If you decide to add the Old Course after September 5, 2013, you have the following choices.

1) Play the ballot, which works if you are 4 or less golfers

2) Meet the starter at 6am and get your name on the list for play that day

3) Book a guaranteed time with the Old Course Experience

Of course, we can advise you on the process and plan the rest of the trip for you.

Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland

The Old Course, every golfer's Mecca.

With an interest in golf architecture, I've always been intrigued, when reading the Old Course described as having been "designed by God".  Therefore, it seems appropriate to describe the journey as a pilgrimage and the experience as religious.

It did not come easy. As a twosome on a Monday in April, we expected no trouble to win the daily ballot, but we were sadly mistaken. This meant a 5:30am wake-up call to line-up at the starter's hut to sign up for the walk-on list. Arriving at 6am, we were number 7 & 8 in line.

They asked us for our name, home club and a handicap card, the only course thus far on our trip to request one.  The maximum handicap for a male golfer is 24.  My Dad's handicap index is 24.9 and when converted to a handicap it comes out as a 27, so we strategically folded the paper above the handicap, only displaying the index.  The starter read it, looked at us, paused and said, "this is the max, but you're okay." We were relieved indeed.

We went back to the hotel for a rest, came back at the suggested time of 9:30am and luckily we were off by 10:10am with a couple of nice guys from California. The day could not have been better. 

It is often difficult to judge a course and the overall golfing experience independant of your score.  Fortunately, I had my best round of the week, making a special round even more fun.

For the entire round, one experiences a unique feeling, an awareness of walking in the footsteps of history.

A very special day indeed.

The rising sun bouncing off Rusacks hotel at 6am

In front of the starter's hut on the first tee

Looking back on the 1st hole, offering a generous fairway for nervous tee shots

Pete had to go backwards twice on one hole to get out of the bunkers

Tee shot from the 18th over 100 years ago

The same tee shot - April 2011

The perfunctory Swilcan Bridge shot on the 18th


on 2011-07-13 15:55 by Travel Impresarios

The deadline for applying for 2012 Old Course Tee Times is Wednesday September 7 at 10am BST