Taking a trip in January and my husband is hoping to golf the New Course. He tried to reserve a tee time but can’t as a single..does anyone have any advice?
This thread has some information
I know nothing about golf but there are lots of articles on the web about how to try getting a round as a solo golfer. They'd probably make more sense to your husband than me...Edited: 09 November 2022, 16:19
He could try his luck as a 'walk up'. Downside is that you need to be at the course at first light and may have to wait all day for a slot. You would then be hooked up with another group and hope to get on with them (in both senses!). Daylight hours would be limited. On the upside, January would probably offer more possibility owing to inclement weather deterring others. If you're in the area anyway drop in and try your luck.
My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Scotland, with a stay in St Andrews for my husband to try his luck at scoring a tee time on The Old Course. I’m not sure how playing the New Course differs, but here’s what he did for The Old Course.
About a week before departure he used the services of Ginger Beer Golf (link in first post). 10£ Fee He was matched with another single golfer. They communicated via email and text, where they then entered the ballot for The Old Course. They did not make it.
My husband got in line at the pro shop at 2:15am on Monday October 24th. He was #7 in line. When the pro shop opened at 7:30am, all in line were told that there were 8 guaranteed tee times. He barely made the cut. He was given an earlier tee time and switched with an Australian who needed to catch a flight back home that same day. He was thrilled to have gotten a tee time, but said the course kicked his butt. He said it was the toughest course he’s ever played.
Good luck to your husband.
Since January is a slow time, your husband should have a good chance in getting a tee time as a walk up. If you are staying at a hotel in St. Andrews, the concierge or front desk may be able to help you. Weather and day of maintenance are probably the big challenges in getting a tee time.
Do you think he would need to go at first light? We are planning on staying in Edinburgh and take the train but will consider staying in St Andrews if absolutely needed. I’m not a golfer so I was hoping to explore Edinburgh while he golfs
Daylight hours are still limited in January. So heading out from Edinburgh before the crack of dawn is highly advisable. If I’m reading a chart correctly, sun sets around 4 pm or a bit later depending on which day.
Staying at a hotel in St. Andrews is probably isn’t necessary to get a tee time in January. Given the variability of the weather, you probably don’t want to commit to 1 night if your husband can’t golf because of rain. Plus, I hate to pack and unpack just for a one night stay. However, the town of St. Andrews is very charming and worth at least a day’s visit.
< Do you think he would need to go at first light? >
Sunrise at the start of January in St Andrews is 8:45, at the end of the month 8:15.
But does the shop still open at 7,30?
And would people still queue beforehand?
Guess there's even fewer slots with short daylight hours.
There is a difference between demand for playing the Old Course and playing the New. The New doesn't have quite the same prestige, and therefore demand, as the Old.
You've been given information specific to the Old Course about the buddy system for the ballot which is not relevant to you.
The option as a single is a walk-up time. At the moment golf doesn't start till 8:20 in the morning and it will be a little later in January. Daylight hours will be limited. At the start of January sunset in St Andrews is 3:44, at the end of January it's 4:38.
You also have to allow for what the weather will be like. Fairway mats will most likely be in use on the course - policy is that they are used through to March.
The demand to get on the courses is nothing like the same in January as it is in high season. Even the Old Course can have empty spots, depending on the weather. If your husband is happy to allocate a day travelling to St Andrews and back, on the off-chance of golf, he has a reasonable chance of playing on one of the St Andrews courses. Be sure to check busy dates for the courses on the the standrews.com website.
At St Andrews head straight to the starter's hut at the New course (just by the main Links Clubhouse - not the R&A clubhouse) and check availability. The Jubilee starter is right next door if the New is busy.
There is no rail station at St Andrews. The train stops at Leuchars, from where a bus goes to St Andrews, or your husband could take a taxi.