What to Know About Golfing at St. Andrews 2022

Thousands of golfers from around the globe flock to St. Andrews each year to relish in the rich culture and beauty of the town. This is a visit that everyone who loves the game should make at least once in their lifetime. But with so much culture to absorb, many courses to try, and a wealth of off-course landmarks to visit, how can you plan to see it all on your next trip? Simply follow the simple guide below to plan a fun and engaging trip to St. Andrews. 

The Courses (What to Know About Golfing at St. Andrews 2022)

There are many good reasons to visit this beautiful corner of the globe, but taking in the game and having some fun should be high on your priority list. There is the famous and iconic Old Course that everyone should see. The entire town and layout are geared toward accepting golfing parties of all sizes, ages, and skill levels. 

The St Andrews Links Trust presides over seven amazing courses, The castle, The Eden, The New, The Old, The Balgove, and the Strathtyrum. As you would expect from a world-class golfing resort, all of these courses are well-maintained and to the highest possible standards. Despite the name, the New Course was constructed back in 1897, Jubilee and Eden are both over 100, adding to the rich heritage set by the Old Course, aka the Grand Auld Lady. 

At other places in town, the Fairmont Hotel also has two very fine golf courses, the Torrance and Kittocks, but these courses are not managed by Links Trust. But they have also hosted some very prestigious European Tour events throughout the years. Their proximity to the idyllic Fairmont Hotel adds to the luxurious experience of this St. Andrews. The Duke’s Golf course on the other side of town also presents an alternative style of course that is worth checking out. 

One special beauty at St. Andrews is its proximity to many other classy courses. The Lundin Links and Grail have been in service almost as long as the course under the management of Links Trust. Nevertheless, with the great number of visitors flocking to these courses over the past 50 years many new layouts have been opened. Some of the more notable mentions among these new courses include the Kingsbarn and the highly acclaimed Dumbarnie Links. 

Playing The Old

It’s the main attraction that brings many thousands of visitors to this hallowed golfer paradise each year, therefore the Old Course deserves a section dedicated to planning a successful play on this prestigious course. 

The first two ways to play on the Old Course are decided by a ballot. Each year the Links Trust will open up a certain number of openings for this grand course and golfers from all over the globe hope they will have their slot confirmed. This is probably the best way to “book” your tee at the Old Course. The ballot takes place at the end of the year and you will have the following year to properly plan your trip. 

Then there is a second ballot held closer to the actual tee time. The Ol Closer holds a second ballot where available slots are given to applicants as early as 48 hours before tee time. This often means that applicants will have to cancel their plans to play at other courses. This is the best way to secure a slot at the Old Course if playing at this course was not the primary focus of your visit here. Visitors can plan their trip as they see fit and change their plans if they are successful on the ballot.

Then there is a third option for getting onto the Old, which is through an authorized provider, like Golf breaks. Spaces provided to these providers are limited and often included as part of a larger package of activities and accommodations throughout the town. But if you are looking for the security that buying your spot on the course can bring, this is the best way to do that.  

But there is another way that will require the most effort and little sleep. Some spaces are made available each day for single golfers who enquire at the Starter’s Hut. If you are willing to arrive early, you may find this is a fairly effective way of getting a spot on the Old. The Starter’s Hut opens at 6:30 am but many determined golfers will claim their spot in line since the night before. 

The Accommodation

 There are plenty of St Andrew’s hotels to choose from. Here are some favorites.

Old Course Hotel

With more than a hundred years of visitors from around the globe flocking to St. Andrews to experience a rich golfing heritage, it is no wonder that some world-class accommodations can be found here. Some of the larger and more famous hotels include the renowned Old Course hotel and the Rusacks, these hotels can be found just off the 17th and 18 fairways of the Old Course. 

These beautiful accommodations would be a good choice for those traveling in larger groups as everything they would need is conveniently close and services are stunningly attentive. Larger groups would also be greatly rewarded by checking out the Fairmont St. Andrews, which can be found just a couple of miles from the center of town — there is a courtesy minibus that takes guests to and from the hotel and town center. 

Other comfortable accommodations in town include the Ardgowan and Hotel du Vin. Both are centrally located, so you will be right in the heart of the action. Greyfriars and Albany are also suitable Inns with plenty of character. Furthermore, in addition to the many beautiful hotels, the ‘Airbnb properties are the perfect option for small groups. The only thing left to do is decide who will be making breakfast. 

The Local Hotspots St Andrews Beach

St Andrews is home to some of the best watering holes on the planet — and certainly in the world of golf— The Jigger and the Dunvegan. Both are close to the Old Course and have seen some of the greatest people in the world of golf walk through their doors. The Dunvegan has its walls tiled corner to corner with small picture frames of the great names who have been welcomed there. It is certainly worth a visit. 

The wider town is also full of great spots for a post-game debrief, fine dining, and pubs that line the streets in this small university town. Look for names like Forgan’s and Hams Hame Pub & Grill which are especially popular with golfers.

Tulsi serves amazing Indian and Thai cuisine but also serves some good English dishes as well. In short, there is something for everyone here, and the food is delicious. For those looking for a more protein-heavy meal, Ziggy’s is a rock-themed restaurant that serves ribs, steaks, and wings. 

A final recommendation from us, on the topic of finding good eats, would be to check out the spread at the golf courses themselves. The Old Course may not have its own ‘club house’ per se — at least not one that is open to the public— but they are near the Tom Morris Bar & Grill within the St. Andrews Links Clubhouse. We consider this venue to be a real treat and is only a minute away from the 18th greens of the Jubilee and New Course. 

The History of St Andrews  

If you want to head out in the brisk morning air to clear your head and get ready for some intense games on some of the finest courses on the globe, you should head on over to the West Sands, which runs along the edges of some of the courses in town.

This beach was used in that iconic scene in the famous Chariots of Fire movie where a group of runners runs down the beach to the haunting soundtrack by Vangelis. There are two full miles of beach as well as access to the R&A World Golf Museum and the stunning St Andrews Castle. 

Finally, don’t overlook the opportunity to tour the buildings around the town itself, as they are certainly worth exploring. There are some amazing churches and cathedrals that date as far back as 900 years. The university itself was built in 1440. And there is plenty more history and culture to ponder and experience—just take a sunny afternoon to walk around golfing meccas in more quiet and relaxing spots.