If you're reading this, you're probably still buzzing a bit from the thrilling 2022 Open Championship at The Old Course at St. Andrews. And if you've never been (or it's been a while since your last visit), chances are you've at least casually thought about the possibility of making every golfer's favorite pilgrimage to the course at some point in the coming years.
If so, good news: one of the best ways to secure a coveted Old Course tee time, which had been offline for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is returning for the 2023 golf season.
Getting a tee time at the Old Course can be tricky, to say the least. There are guaranteed tee times available through golf travel operators, but they end up being part of much larger, multi-round, multi-night stay-and-plays in Scotland, and you'll pay top dollar.
At the other end of the spectrum is the true fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants method: queue up at zero-dark-thirty the morning (more like middle of the night) of the day you intend to play and hope there are enough openings in the tee sheet to accommodate you and your group. This works best for singles and twosomes, but threes and fours typically need to be split up.
The St. Andrews Private Advanced Tee Time ballot
Think of the Private Advanced Tee Time ballot as The Old Course's version of the Masters ticket lottery. For a two-week period - August 24, through September 7, 2022 - you can apply online for a tee time at The Old Course sometime in 2023. As part of your ballot, you can select up to three date ranges into which your tee time will fall if your request is granted. In addition to your tee time at The Old Course, you will receive a food & beverage credit to St. Andrews Links, as well as a driving range credit (yes, the first fairway is wide, but you'll want to warm up).
There are more than 1,000 spaces set aside to be filled via the Private Advanced Tee Time ballot, which is particularly popular among golfers from North America. Once you submit your request, you will have to wait until October to learn whether it has been granted for a tee time at The Old Course in 2023. If so, you'll then be able to plan your trip around the blessed event.
How much is a tee time at The Old Course at St. Andrews via the online ballot?
Peak-season walk-up green fees for The Old Course are around £270. But the procedure is different - and more expensive overall - for the 2023 ballot.
In addition to requesting a tee time at The Old Course, you must also select a round at one of the Links Trust's other courses to be booked along with it. The all-in cost of this two-round package is £410 for shoulder-season dates and £550 for high-season dates. There are slots for single golfers or for groups of two to eight players (groups of up to 16 can be booked for shoulder-season dates).
To apply for one of these coveted 2023 St. Andrews tee times at The Old Course, visit https://play.standrews.com/. Happy hunting!