It's the most storied golf course in the world, but when it comes to Sundays, there's strictly no golf allowed. George Cooper explains

If you’re fortunate enough to be passing St Andrews on a brisk Sunday morning, you might be in for quite the surprise. You’ll probably see people running, walking their dogs, having a picnic, or even kicking a football around. But when it comes to golf, that’s a complete no-go on Sundays at the Home of Golf. So why is the Old course closed on Sundays?

As the birthplace of the sport, St Andrews is steeped in history and unique traditions. One of which is that no golf is to be played on the Old Course during the day of rest.

Why is the old course closed on Sundays?

Slumber Sundays at the Old Course date back to the 16th century, with historians tracing the tradition to religious reasons. It is said that residents at St Andrews faithfully reserved the religious rule which forbid such activities on the day of rest.

Fast forward two centuries, and locals then lobbied for Old Tom Morris to reverse the rule in the late 1800s. Unfortunately for them, the legendary figure upheld the Sunday closure, maintaining that his iconic course needed the rest.

“If the golfer doesn’t need a rest, surely the course does,” he said.

Morris’s wisdom still holds true to this day, with the Old Course continuing to remain closed on Sundays.

The only exception is, of course, when tournament golf comes to town, such as the oldest tournament in the world, the Open Championship.


Visit our dedicated Open website for more from the 150th edition of golf’s oldest major at St Andrews


he R&A has announced details of how you can get tickets for the historic 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in 2023. Click here to find out more.

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