Playing the Old Course

Join Allianz Ambassador and 2014 European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley as he tackles the unique challenges awaiting you on the Old Course.



Customs and Traditions

Ten things you need to know if you are playing the Old Course


Picture the moment. Standing on the first tee of the Old Course, 600 years of history and innovation plays out in front of you. Old Tom Morris inspects the double greens, Seve Ballesteros punches the air, Jack Nicklaus waves goodbye. You feel excited, tense and sentimental all at once and now, it’s your turn. Make sure your experience is as good as it can be with these easy tips, leaving you to savour every moment.


  • Request a caddie in advance, their advice can prove invaluable and will give you the insight and experience only a St Andrews caddie can.


  • With 14 holes played to double greens, there’s not a lot of room for movement. Wear and tear is always the main concern on the Old so to ensure you and everyone else experience the course in all its glory, trolleys can be only be taken on after 12 noon between the months of April & October. Click here for more information.


  • We want everyone to experience walking in the footsteps of legends so buggies are limited on the Old Course however golfers with a permanent condition of disability can request a buggy. Request more information here.

Time Check

  • Give yourself plenty of time and check in with the Starter at least 20 minutes before your tee-off time. There is a practice putting area for you to warm up and plenty of time to get pictures before you start your round.


  • Make sure you bring your handicap certificate to the first tee and present it to the Starter. It’s your passport to the oldest course in the world.

Fairway Mats

New to Links Golf?

  • If you’ve never played Links golf why not visit our Golf Academy and get some tips? The ‘Prepare to Play’ lesson is the most popular with visitors. The Golf Academy is also the warm up area for the Old Course and a free shuttle service will take you round to the Links Clubhouse and first tee during high season.

Course Rangers

  • Our team of Course Rangers are on the Links whatever the weather to help maintain the pace of play and ensure your round is a memorable experience for all the right reasons. They are here to help so if you have any problems look out for them, they will always be happy to help you on your way.

Links Clubhouse

  • The Links Clubhouse is the clubhouse for the Old, New and Jubilee Courses. It has full locker room facilities as well as the Swilcan Restaurant where you can purchase pre-round drinks and snacks. A buggy will take you from the clubhouse to the first tee. There is a licensed food cart at the 9th of the Old Course which sells hot and cold drinks and snacks.


Enjoy the round of your life!