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New Opportunities to Play The Old Course at St. Andrews

by | Mar 7, 2024 | WHERE TO PLAY

Golfers looking to secure a coveted tee time on the Old Course at St Andrews will have the opportunity to enter a new singles daily draw, offering a modern and equitable digital solution to its in-person singles queuing system.

The Old Course Singles Daily Draw will be introduced on March 12, giving golfers the chance of securing a tee time by joining with existing groups of two or three pre-booked golfers.

The daily draw requires individual golfers to enter their details in person at the Old Pavilion next to the first tee of the Old Course, or St Andrews Links Clubhouse between 9am-5pm the day before they wish to play. A randomized draw will then take place at 5pm with golfers being notified by SMS message and email whether they have been allocated a tee time for the following day without the need to queue for lengthy periods.

The new digital system will replace the previous practice of golfers queuing outside the starter’s hut prior to play, which was formalised in the 1990s to cater for single walk ups to the Starter. Over the past decade numbers have grown to such an extent that many golfers were queuing overnight for upwards of 12 hours, often in inclement conditions, in the hope of being offered a tee time.

Neil Coulson, Chief Executive of St Andrews Links Trust, said: “We are excited to introduce the new digital solution for the Old Course Singles Daily Draw, which makes securing a tee time as a single golfer at the Home of Golf safer, more equitable and ultimately a more enjoyable experience.

“The significant growth in the number of golfers utilising the singles queue in the past decade has been such that we felt it was impacting the customer experience and becoming increasingly challenging for our dedicated team to manage expectations.

“For many golfers, playing the Old Course is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the new singles daily draw will ensure golfers successful in securing a tee time can enjoy the experience having had a good night’s sleep while maintaining the practice of allowing single golfers to join pre-existing groups of two or three.”

The Old Course Singles Daily Draw has been developed in conjunction with golf technology firm ClubUp, a Troon Golf company, which began working with St Andrews Links Trust in 2023 through provision of their caddie software to offer a more efficient way to schedule and communicate with caddies across the seven courses at the Home of Golf.

Michael Rose, Chief Operating Officer at ClubUp, said: “At ClubUp we pride ourselves on delivering innovative digital solutions for golf resorts and are delighted to have worked with St Andrews Links Trust on the Old Course Singles Daily Draw.

“From the beginning the brief was to retain the opportunity for single golfers to join pre-existing groups on the Old Course but in a way that would mitigate the need to queue for lengthy periods, deliver an experience befitting of the Home of Golf and maintain the integrity of the singles queue.”

The new process maintains the requirement for a golfer to be in St Andrews in person to protect the original intention of the singles queue. A photograph taken by the tablet device when entering the draw ensures that only the golfers themselves can enter the draw as well as eliminating the opportunity for multiple entries on the same day. While only one entry is accepted per individual per day, golfers can enter for as many consecutive days as they wish. A golfer can enter the draw at any time between 9am-5pm and the time of entry will have no impact on the chances of being successful. Golfers who are unsuccessful in the first instance with securing a tee time will receive a specific number on the waiting list and may be contacted via SMS and email on the morning of the day of play should there be a possibility of a late-notice tee time. A golfer can remove themselves from the waiting list at any time.

The current Old Course ballot system, which caters for groups of two, three of four golfers, is drawn 48-hours in advance and is not impacted by the new singles daily draw. The Old Course ballot can still be entered online at standrews.com prior to 2pm two days before the intended date of play.

For a full list of ways to play the Old Course, see our website here: standrews.com/golf/courses/old-course.

The introduction of the Old Course Singles Daily Draw does not impact the ability to book or play any of the other six courses operated by St Andrews Links Trust.

Photo Courtesy of St. Andrews Links Trust

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