From 1st tee to 17th green, and from 2nd tee to 18th green… That’s how the Old Course will be playing in the spring!
Ever wondered how the Old Course at St Andrews would play the other way round? Now is your chance to find out.
The Home of Golf will switch to its reverse routing over six days in March and April next year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of St Andrews Links Trust.
A limited number of packages are available to play the world’s most famous golf course in this alternative way.
The history of the reverse layout
Go back into the history vaults and you’ll find the Old Course, which has existed in some form since the 1400s, could be played in either direction.
The tradition, which was regularly practised, fell away in the early part of 20th Century as the current routing became standard. But that often left golfers asking questions, such as: ‘why is that bunker there?’ These posers were revealed when you turned round and looked at how the course ran in reverse.
The Old Course has played host to the Open Championship on 30 occasions, with the most recent of those coming in 2022 when Australia’s Cameron Smith lifted the Claret Jug.
But it’s reverse routing is only usually laid out once a year. It proves a special experience for those who get the chance to try it.
In 2019, Huddersfield member David Hall was one of those lucky few.
“On the 1st, you hit towards Swilcan Bridge, which was a 260 yard run out. I was aiming as far left as possible,” Hall said about his experience.
“It’s still a really simple, easy, opening drive but my ball fell off the tee about four or five times I was shaking that much.”
Neil Coulson, St Andrews Links Trust chief executive, said: “We are excited to introduce Old Course Reversed, which will give more of our ticketholders and golf visitors the opportunity to experience something unique in the world of golf.
“The anti-clockwise routing is such a vital piece of the history and evolution of the Old Course we feel it is important to celebrate this during a dedicated event open to all golfers from near and far.
“We believe the introduction of Old Course Reversed will be hugely popular and will capture the imagination of golfers around the world.”
How can you play the Old Course in reverse?
Applications will be open for just 48 hours – on December 11 and 12. There are a range of packages available for golfers to grab their chance of playing the Old Course in reverse between March 28 and April 2, 2024.
One package, priced at £575, will include playing the Old Course twice, including once in reverse, along with a round on the Castle Course as well. That package also includes food & drink vouchers, and vouchers for the Academy.
Check out the St Andrews Links website for more information.
Now have your say
Have you been lucky enough to play the Old Course in reverse? Is it something you would like to do? Have you been lucky enough to play the Old Course at all? Let us know your thoughts with a post on X!