What it costs to play the golf courses of the Open Championship rota

An aerial view of the par-4 15th hole at the host of the 149th Open Championship, Royal St. George's Golf Club in Kent County, England.

Now in its 149th staging in 2021, The Open continues to grow in viewership and purse size. The same can be said for the popularity of the venues - all of which provide some level of public access. That is something that can't be said for the three U.S.-based majors.

2020 was a lost year for international visitors to the golf courses of Great Britain and Ireland. 2021 has also been slow as COVID-19 spikes continue to drag on and delay reopenings. In 2021, some of the Open rota clubs have increased their fees from 2020 while others have kept theirs flat.

Exchange rate can play a huge part in whether or not the green fees truly rise for an international visitor. Case in point: 2016. The Old Course in St. Andrews was £175 that year and if you paid to play right before the pound crashed after the Brexit vote at a $1.47 exchange rate, your round would have cost $257.

In 2019, the Old is £195 but its USD conversion of $1.24 meant it was just just $235. In the summer of 2021, the £195 Old Course green fee equates to about $270.

We've looked up the summer green fees of the current rota courses cost in 2021. Some courses offer shoulder season rates in April and October. For comparison, Scotland's Prestwick Golf Club, the original home of The Open, is currently charging £170-220 peak season.

We've sorted the rota by the cheapest to priciest summer fees in 2021. These green fees do not include caddies. If you're considering a trip, take note that you can book golf packages to a handful of these links through GolfPass. We've included a link to the itineraries that feature an Open host below.

  1. 2019: £325 (£375 Fri-Mon) | Hotel guests: £250-325
    2020: £325-395 | Hotel Guests: £275-350
    2021: £350 (Fri-Mon) | £275 (Tues-Thurs)

    The most expensive round of the ten rota courses and the only bonafide "resort" course, the R&A still considers Turnberry to be in the rota even if they haven't announced a future hosting date since Donald Trump acquired the property. Since 2009, new seaside holes have been added to the famous course. (Read more)

    5 Images
    May 15, 2023
    View future venues in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland that have been awarded The Open by the R&A, golf's top British championship.

  2. 2019: £250 (£350 including afternoon foursomes)
    2020: £270 / £400
    2021: £285 / £420

    While St. Andrews is the most popular tee time to get, Muirfield is the most exclusive tee sheet, offering visitor play on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  3. 2019: £235 (weekday) | £265 (weekend)
    2020: £245 (weekday) | £275 (weekend)
    2021: £250 (weekday) | £275 (weekend)

    The "Links along the line" are chock full of courses to sample and Birkdale, where Jordan Spieth won in 2017 in emphatic fashion, is the main attraction. Plan your trip right and you can save on a car hire.

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    Courses to play near Carnoustie, Scotland

    2019: £210
    2020: £252
    2021: £270

    Carnoustie recently partnered up with nearby Panmure Golf Club to promote a "Hogan's Way" package for £450. Prior to the 1953 Open, Hogan warmed up at Panmure, qualified on the Burnside Links at Carnoustie and went on to win the Open on the Championship Course. See details.

  5. 2019: £250
    2020: £260
    2021: £260

    Royal Troon only allows visitors on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  6. 2019: £225
    2020: £230
    2021: £250

    The links hosts the 2020 Open, so be advised that like Royal Portrush this year, play will be off mats in the months prior to the event. One oddity at St. George's is that most visitor play is in the 2-ball format and only on Tuesdays are fourballs permitted.

    5 Min Read
    July 12, 2021
    This Kent County links has hosted more Open Championships - and had more unlikely finishes - than any other English venue.

  7. 2019: £220
    2020: £240
    2021: £240

    The newest course in the modern rota, Royal Portrush is actually slightly less expensive than its stellar neighbor, Royal County Down (2019 green fees £240-250).

    There is so much anticipation of the 2019 Open for various reasons. It's Northern Ireland's first Open since 1951, but also, TV and the world's best players are set to unmask a links widely Royal considered one of the Top 5 or 10 courses in the world.

  8. 2019: £200
    2020: £215
    2021: £220

  9. 2019: £200 (£250 on Saturdays and bank holidays)
    2020: £215 (£265 on Saturdays and bank holidays)
    2021: £230 | (£280 on Saturdays and bank holidays)

    This is a rare links in the rota that provides a significant discount of £45 for those who stay at the club's dormy house.

  10. 2019: £190
    2020: £195
    2021: £195

    Getting a guaranteed Old Course tee time without a tour operator markup isn't easy but possible, especially if you plan ahead, have a small group or can be flexible (or don't mind missing a night's sleep).

    Old Course at St. Andrews - 18th tee

Updated 7/13/21, 03:37 PM: Updated in 2021 with new green fees
Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.

The Old at St Andrew’s is a must. Carnoustie is a beast. Muirfield with the lunch and trip to the Smoke Room is one of the best golf experiences on the planet.

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I remember reading an article in Golf Digest in the early 70's about the Old Course...at that time the greens fee was fifty cents!

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So far I have played all those except for Birkdale and St George's. Also played Royal County Down, Prestwick, Royal Dornoch and Scotland's top 20. Little Shiskine on Arran and Cruden Bay are a couple of my favorites as well as Machrihanish, Aberdour, Brora, and 60 others! Can't get enough of courses in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

I've never played in the UK. What does it mean when you say "most visitor play is in the 2-ball format and only on Tuesdays are fourballs permitted."?

Means a 2-ball format is alternate shot. Four-ball you play your own ball.

Frank, it's twosomes (2 players) vs foursomes (4 players)

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What it costs to play the golf courses of the Open Championship rota