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st andrews tee times

The days (or nights) of queuing up for a tee time at the Old Course are over

St Andrews Links Trust have introduced a singles daily draw that will replace the practice of queuing up for a spare tee time at golf’s most hallowed ground

 

Long before the dawn, with sleeping bag and flask in hand, there are some who see it as the only proper way to secure a time on the Old Course at St Andrews.

For others, it’s a long night, exposed to the elements, with just the hope of grabbing a precious gap on the tee sheet.

But the time-honoured practice of queuing up outside the starter’s hut at golf’s most hallowed ground has come to an end.

St Andrews Links Trust have introduced a daily singles draw for the Old Course, giving golfers a new way of getting a spot by joining them with existing groups of two or three-pre-booked players.

Labelled a “modern and equitable digital solution to its in-person singles queuing system”, the draw will be brought in from March 12.

Individual golfers need to enter their details in person at the Old Pavilion, which is next to the 1st tee at the Old Course, or at the St Andrews Links Clubhouse, between 9am and 5pm the day before they wish to play.

The draw will then take place at 5pm and lucky players will be contacted by text and email if they have been allocated a tee time.

The Links Trust said it would replace the previous practice, which began in the 1990s. “Over the past decade numbers have grown to such an extent that many golfers were queuing overnight for upwards of 12 hours, often in inclement conditions, in the hope of being offered a tee time,” they explained.

st andrews tee times

St Andrews tee times: A new way to the play the Old Course as a single golfer

Neil Coulson, St Andrews Links Trust chief executive, added: “We are excited to introduce the new digital solution for the Old Course Singles Daily Draw, which makes securing a tee time as a single golfer at the Home of Golf safer, more equitable and ultimately a more enjoyable experience.

“The significant growth in the number of golfers utilising the singles queue in the past decade has been such that we felt it was impacting the customer experience and becoming increasingly challenging for our dedicated team to manage expectations.

“For many golfers, playing the Old Course is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the new singles daily draw will ensure golfers successful in securing a tee time can enjoy the experience having had a good night’s sleep while maintaining the practice of allowing single golfers to join pre-existing groups of two or three.”

The new draw has been developed with technology firm ClubUp, which began working with the Trust last year.

The Trust said it would “maintain the requirement for a golfer to be in St Andrews in person to protect the original intention of the singles queue”.

A photograph taken by tablet will ensure only the player themselves can enter and will prevent multiple goes. While only one entry is accepted a day, golfers can enter for as many consecutive days as they wish.

Those unsuccessful in the draw will now be given a waiting list number and will be contacted on the day if there is the chance of a late-notice spot.

The new draw doesn’t affect the current Old Course daily ballot, for golfers in groups of two, three or four, which is drawn 48-hours in advice.

For more details, visit the St Andrews Links Trust website.

Now have your say

What do you think of these new ways to play St Andrews Old Course as a single? Will you be sad, or delighted, to see the single queue come to an end? Did you queue overnight for a precious spot? Let me know by leaving a comment on X.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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