St Andrews Links: The Old Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

The Old Course at St Andrews has more atmosphere, history, drama and goose-bump factor than any other course in the world

St Andrews - The Old Course
A huge double green
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

(Image credit: Future)

St Andrews Old Course Key Information

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Header Cell - Column 0 Header Cell - Column 1
AddressWest Sands Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9XL
Phone Number01334 466718
Green Fees£295 in high season, £135 in Winter
Visitor TimesEvery day but Sunday when the course is closed
ParMen 72, Women 76
Slope RatingBlue/M 129, Green/W 138
Openedcirca 1400
Designed byNature, Daw Anderson, Old Tom Morris

St Andrews - The Old Course

Golf Monthly Verdict

The 17th green and 18th hole of the Old Course at St Andrews

(Image credit: GMS)

Golf Monthly Verdict

If someone wrote a book entitled Bucket List Golf, or Courses You Have To Play, the Old Course would be on the cover. This is a completely timeless classic with vast amounts of history and character at every turn. Just the atmosphere here, regardless of any design, is immense. The Old Course is the most iconic in world golf.

Reasons To Play The Old Course

– Walk in the footsteps of every legend in the game of golf

– An interactive history lesson

– More character and more unique design features than anywhere else


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 02

When thinking of The Old Course, then without question, figuratively and perhaps even literally, St Andrews is the very home of golf. At its centre, The Old Course is its beating heart, the most revered course in the world, and there is only one word to describe it; unique. Rather than simply heading the list of the most famous golf courses in Scotland, it is the most famous course in the world.

Golf has been resident over this gently rolling land for hundreds of years. And while Old Tom Morris rightly gets credit for the evolution of the Old Course, it is so much a product of time and chance that it’s equally fair to credit Nature as architect.

Playing here is an experience very different from any other in golf. It is one where atmosphere and ambience is paramount as just about every legendary golfer has competed over this historic, iconic stretch of links. With its double greens and crossovers, challenging slopes and world-famous bunkers, there is nothing quite like it. You play out and back past some of the most famous landmarks in the game, with every hole bringing back memories of past champions and championships.

The prospect from first tee may seem over-generous, but simply standing there with club in hand can be a nerve-shredding experience. Former Open champion Ian Baker-Finch managed to hook his tee shot out of bounds in the 1995 Open, and even when you find the ample fairway, there is the burn!

Bunkers lurk in the most unexpected places, so a caddy here is more necessary than perhaps anywhere else. Each and every hole is an adventure, and if you are struggling early on, there is some hope for relief in the loop that begins and ends with the two short holes at 8 and 11. As you head for home back towards town, the round builds to a real crescendo as the recognisable buildings of St Andrews draw ever-closer. The closing pair never disappoint. The Road Hole 17th with its famous greenside bunker is one of the world’s classic, iconic holes. It has been the scene of just so much drama and despair. A blind drive over the corner, the world’s scariest bunker, the road waiting behind; anything can happen. And then Home. Up over the Swilcan Bridge, over (hopefully!) the Valley of Sin to the sloping green. Strangers watching you putt. Perfect.

This is one of the very best links courses in the UK, indeed the world, and although getting a tee time is not always easy, it should be at the top of the bucket list for any golfer who has not yet had the fortune to play it.

St Andrews Old Course

The iconic Swilcan Bridge

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Paula Crabtree UK&I Top 100 panel
Paula Crabtree

What more could you ask for than to play the Old Course - the Home of Golf? It has to be on every golfer’s bucket list and doesn’t disappoint when you finally step onto that first tee. The course and experience are outstanding. Would I come again? Yes, at the drop of a hat!

Richard Healy UK&I Top 100 panel
Richard Healy

With so many iconic holes and bunkers, to have watched tournaments and then to be there is surreal. At the Road Hole, playing over the sheds is exhilarating, but teeing off on the first with so much fairway to hit and so many people watching was totally nerve wracking! A once in a lifetime experience that exceeded all of my expectations.

Steve Hollis
Steve Hollis

The course was absolutely impeccable. I played just after the spring growing season and there really was nothing to fault. An absolutely magical experience. It really is greater than the sum of its parts.

Matt Weavers UK&I Top 100 panel
Matt Weavers

This is probably still my favourite (but not necessarily the best) course in the world!

St Andrews Location

St Andrews Old Course Green Fees

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18 holes£190Apr 1st to Apr 16th
18 holes£295Apr 17th to Oct 15th
18 holes£210Oct 16th to Oct 31st

St Andrews Old Course scorecard

St Andrews Old Course scorecard

(Image credit: St Andrews Links)

Best Courses Close to St Andrews



Kingsbarns opened for play in 2000, and rather than a standard out-and-back routing, there are three sections to the modern links. The main body is home to the majority of the holes, the clubhouse and extensive practice facilities, and two wings are home to holes two to five and twelve to fifteen.



Like Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart, this fabulous new Clive Clark design is effectively a pay and play. It is a wonderful addition to Fife’s immense golfing artillery and is a brilliant blend of the old and the new. Risk and reward features strongly, as do the views both over the course and out over the Firth of Forth.

Best Places To Stay Close to St Andrews

The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews - Book now at

Overlooking the famous Road Hole on the Old Course, this fine hotel features a luxury spa and award-winning restaurant. The refurbished bedrooms have sumptuous décor and modern bathrooms.

Fairmont St Andrews - Book now at

This 5-star hotel has two very enjoyable courses of its own, the Torrance and the Kittocks, and there is a complimentary shuttle service to the town centre. The large rooms are equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV and modern bathrooms with heated floors.

St Andrews Old Course Gallery

Historical Top 100 Rankings UK&I

  • 2023/24 02
  • 2021/22 02
  • 2019/20 02
  • 2017/18 04
  • 2015/16 03
  • 2013/14 03
  • 2011/12 04
  • 2009/10 03

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Old Course so famous?

Links golf dominates the rankings and is immensely popular globally. This is all the more so as there are relatively few genuine links courses outside the UK&I. St Andrews has hosted The Open 30 times over the last 150 years and is considered by most to be the its spiritual home and centre of gravity. The immensely strong supporting cast of golf nearby makes this a year-round attraction for golfers from all over the world.

How can I get to play the Old Course?

The more notice you give the better, so check the St Andrews Links Trust website for details. Regular bookings are closed for 2023, but there is also the famous Ballot which is drawn 48 hours in advance of play. To enter, there must be a minimum of two and a maximum of four players.

Is the Old Course still the force it was?

More than ever! The R&A would not host The Open Championship here very regularly - generally every five years - if it wasn’t up to the job of challenging the best players in the world. In addition, every element of its history and every unique feature seems to become more fascinating and fun with every passing year.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2022, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He is a member of Tandridge in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at