Golfers can book definite tee times at The Old Course at St. Andrews either by booking a tour with a guaranteed tee time or by booking a group time in the fall for the following year's season. Golfers who fail to book a definite tee time can enter the Old Course Ballot, a drawing system that assigns tee times by lottery two days in advance.
Demand for tee times at The Old Course at St. Andrews is particularly high because of the course's history dating back to the 15th century, fame as host to the British Open and reputation as one of the world's best courses. However, it is a public course that requires only that golfers have a handicap of 24 for men and 36 for women.
Booking a full vacation package through The Old Course Experience guarantees a tee time but is also the most expensive option, according to Golf Advisor managing editor Brandon Tucker. Tucker recommends booking advance reservations through the St. Andrews Links Trust. Generally, the trust has a booking period between late August and mid-September for the following spring and summer.
Golfers who are feeling lucky enough to try getting a tee time through the Old Course Ballot lottery should book at least a five-day vacation to ensure a decent chance of playing, advises Tucker. Single golfers also can try checking in at the Old Pavilion on the day of play and might be lucky enough to join a group that doesn't have a full foursome.