Scotland and St. Andrews trip

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By l

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  1. Myself and a few friends are making a trip to the place where it all started. We are trying to plan a trip and play the old course at St. Andrews and was curious if anyone has done it coming from the US. How long should we stay? What courses should we play? Where to fly to and everything in between. I’ve tossed around trying to go to Ireland as well but was curious what anyone who has done it suggests or recommends.

  2. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Twice to Scotland and once to Ireland. Barely scratch the surface of all the great courses over there. Scroll down on the threads here under travel for some great info and tips by many TT members that have gone over. Stay and play as long as you can and as many courses as you can. I did not self-drive so having a driver will be a big expense as opposed to renting a car and self driving. Easiest for me was flying into Edinburgh and taxi to St Andrews and playing courses in that area. You will love it over there. Have fun.
  3. How did you guys go about booking anything? I emailed and have looked on the website but wanna make sure because one of the links was to a place in Texas.
  4. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    My first trip to St. Andrews I used Links Golf's St. Andrews Golf Week. Look them up on line. Twice a year they do an outing, spring and fall. You can go individually or with a group. Really fun and hits a bunch of good courses including guaranteed Old Course play. Breakfasts and dinners provided. You just need to find a way to get from Edinburgh to St. Andrews. I used a taxi because once there, you don't need a car. Cheapest solution is to plan a trip yourself but paying a travel provider will save you a lot of work and they can help with guaranteed play or problems that come up on the trip. I like Pioneer Golf, the one based in TX but there are other ones that are good to use too. Golfbreaks.com is the provider backed by the PGA tour.
  5. Rick D

    Rick D
    Weston, WI

    My wife and I love Edinburgh and plan to go back. Good selection of flights into Edinburgh. St. Andrews is wonderful. We took the train up from Edinburgh, stayed and played there 4 days/nights. Played Eden as a warmup. New Course twice and the Castle Course.

    I was in line at the Old Course starter's shack, #12 in line at 4:00 am. 9 guys made it on. I could have played, but wouldn't have finished due to darkness.

    There's a lottery daily. At the Castle we were paired with a Dutch couple who got news they drew the lottery for the Old the following day.

    People in town are wonderful. Nice pubs, some sightseeing, pictures at the grave of Old Tom, etc..

    Go! You'll love it!

    We also spent 3 days in North Berwick. Played Gullane, The Glen, Dunbar and Kilspindie. My only regret is not playing the North Berwick west links. An amazing looking course.

    Our next trip, planned for 2024, will include a visit back to St. Andrews and train around the highlands to Inverness and back, making a circle route through Aberdeen, Inverness, Stirling back to Edinburgh, playing golf all along the way.

    We stayed at 1 Golf Place, next to the Dunvegan just a half block up from the 18th green, with view of the RNA clubhouse from our room.
  6. I used to live in St Andrews so here would be my recommendations.

    If you haven’t played it, you need to play the old course once. It’s steeped in tradition and every time I’ve stood on that tee I get chills from thinking that golfing gods like tiger and Jack have played on there. However, once you’ve played it, it isn’t the most challenging course up there and many holes are a bit meh in all honesty. Most are double greens and many holes have double fairways or a small patch of rough in between.

    The more enjoyable and challenging courses are literally over the path at the new course and the jubilee. The new is quite fun and the jubilee can be a monster in the wind and a challenging to even a great golfer. I regularly go back to play these three courses with maybe an afternoon time at the little 9 hole balgove to practice my short game.

    Not too far out at the other side of St. Andrews is the castle course. Very nice course with beautiful views over the town. The dukes course is also out of town and part links part moorland so a different challenge.

    If you travel 20 minutes up the road near Dundee there’s also Carnoustie which is a beast in itself. Well worth a visit. There’s also some smaller hidden gems such as Craig and Anstruther that aren’t far from St. Andrews if you fancy a cheaper day.

    Also, make sure you visit auchterlonies when in the town. I’ve not seen a better golf shop yet and the staff are very friendly. Some excellent finds can be had in the second hand shop as well.

    You can’t really go wrong in St. Andrews and the surrounding area. I would advise a late autumn or early spring visit if you want to get on the old course. It doesn’t tend to rain but the ballot is usually quiet.

    I hope my lengthy post is of use!
  7. Any recommendations on who to go through booking wise for hotels tee times etc?
  8. Rick D

    Rick D
    Weston, WI

    We booked our own hotels and tee times. There are various options for stay in St. Andrews, depending on how much you want to spend, with some just a block away from the Old Course 1st tee and 18th green. Most courses have links to make tee times online.
  9. Well I have been emailing back and forth with a few of the places I’ve found on St. Andrews website and only one has said about a guarantee tee time on the old course. I don’t wanna be a pain of course but this may be a once in a lifetime trip so I’d like my best chance at the old course (and others of course) but I’d rather not leave it up to a raffle. I’d be sick if only 3 of the 4 going could get on or something like that you know?
  10. Well I have been emailing back and forth with a few of the places I’ve found on St. Andrews website and only one has said about a guarantee tee time on the old course. I don’t wanna be a pain of course but this may be a once in a lifetime trip so I’d like my best chance at the old course (and others of course) but I’d rather not leave it up to a raffle. I’d be sick if only 3 of the 4 going could get on or something like that you know?
  11. Rick D

    Rick D
    Weston, WI

    I think the only way of ensuring the 4 of you will play the Old is to book through one of the touring companies. They get a significant percentage of the tee times. Another large block goes to the members of the various clubs of the links. A much smaller percentage to the lottery. Then standing in line, as I did, in chance for a spot as a single due to a cancelation, etc..

  12. Rick D has it already. If you look on Google maps there are loads of hotels round the 18th of the old course and in St Andrews. It’s only a small town so it takes a five minute walk to get anywhere. It’s common to see people walking through town with golf clubs, nobody bats an eye lid.
  13. Eric H

    Eric H
    Ridgway, PA

    Phil C said:

    Rick D has it already. If you look on Google maps there are loads of hotels round the 18th of the old course and in St Andrews. It’s only a small town so it takes a five minute walk to get anywhere. It’s common to see people walking through town with golf clubs, nobody bats an eye lid.

    It would really be awesome if this TT forum brought some ppl together across the pond to play some golf!
  14. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Agree Eric. The Inaugural Team Titleist International that was delayed for 2 years and finally done last March in the Dominican Republic was to be the first of many to bring us together globally at different locations. Sadly, it did not sell out and very few people outside of the USA participated. Yes, probably because there were still a lot of COVID travel restrictions at the time. I hope they continue to have an International each year and rotate it between geographic locations each year. Maybe Canada, UK, Mexico, Europe, Australia, and Eastern Asia, on a rotating basis. Maybe Titleist can lease a private plane for us to help offset the high cost of flights. :)
  15. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    Agree you’ll likely have to use one of the tours for a foursome. The Old Course Hotel will pair up singles to get them in the lottery. They suggested Thursday over Friday. There were 84 groups in the Lottery for 80 slots. On the weekends, more like a couple of hundred. The New Course on Friday had many open spaces for singles and doubles. Wife and I were in GB for 2 weeks so we drove in.
    Last I heard, if you don’t want to carry a mat in December or January, you might still be able to directly book a foursome in later 2023.
  16. If anyone is at St. Andrews this week for the Open and wants to play the Castle Course I have room for 1 on Tuesday 7/12/22 at 10:10am and room for 2 on Saturday 7/16/22 at 2:30pm. Regular pre-paid tee time cost is $175.

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