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Richard Choi

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What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« on: August 23, 2022, 06:30:08 PM »
I will be finally traveling to Scotland next year for golf. Unfortunately, due to our group size, our tour operator is saying it will be impossible for us to get a tee time at the Old Course. I am trying to figure out if it would be worthwhile for me to fly in early (Sept next year) and put my name for the daily draw.
What do you think would be the chance for me to get on and would this be worth it? Would the New Course be easy to get on in case I cannot get on the Old Course?

mike_malone

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2022, 06:35:01 PM »
 I was there in the early 2000ís in August and got there around 230 on a Saturday as a single. I got out at 430. Then I got there at 600 on Monday and got out around 1100.


Richard,
  I hope you have good luck.


On Sunday I walked it twice.
AKA Mayday

Erik Mosley

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2022, 12:21:20 AM »
Richard,


Good timing! The 2023 reservation lottery is just opening up in a couple of hours, is open through September 7 and they let you know in October.  Go to the St Andrews website and submit for a 2023 reservation for the day you want.  You're required to play a second course, but that would be worth it if you win that lottery. 


That being said, September will be tough to do the regular 48 hour ballot.  The course is closed September 1-4 and 11-22 for events.  Usually that means there's pent up demand for the other dates. However, someone has to win and there are enough other courses in the area that its probably worth trying if the dates align.  If you're trying to maximize your chances, Thursdays have a couple extra ballot spots and Saturdays have the most open ballot spots. 


Good luck!




Brian_Ewen

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2022, 02:07:00 AM »

What do you think would be the chance for me to get on and would this be worth it? Would the New Course be easy to get on in case I cannot get on the Old Course?

https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,71287.0.html

Mark Pearce

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2022, 06:36:46 AM »
Worth noting that singles cannot apply for the 48 hour ballot but can try their luck as an early morning on the day walk up.
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Mike Worth

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2022, 10:09:02 AM »
Iím not sure any pre-pandemic story is relevant in these times, but hereís mine


2007 playing as a single I put my name on the list with the starter to be paired up with any group that had an opening. I was something like 15th on the list.


I was advised that it would be four or five hours. So I played the New Course with 2 locals. Upon finishing my round there, I walked over to the starter shack on the Old Course and teed there 30 minutes later.

David_Tepper

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2022, 11:01:24 AM »
"Iím not sure any pre-pandemic story is relevant in these times"

Yes, that is the operative premise for golf tourism in Scotland this year and likely most of next year. It will be interesting to see how the golf clubs and places like St. Andrews respond to the overwhelming demand for tee times they experienced this year. It will also be interesting to see if the level of demand next year is as high as it has been this year. 

Bob Jenkins

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2022, 11:03:49 AM »



Hi Rich, hope all is well with you.


I was in St Andrews with my family about 15 years ago. I arrived at the Old Course about 5 a.m. and there were already many people waiting to fill any single slots. I hung around for the morning and then walked over to the new course and got on fairly quickly. My recollection from speaking to others that day was that chances of getting on as a single were netter in the afternoon, Bob

Richard Choi

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2022, 03:27:27 PM »
Thanks for the notice Erik! I was not sure when the lottery was going to open. Will put my name there and see what happens.
Good to hear from you as well Bob! Everything I hear is that due to COVID and whatnot, the demand for the tee time is highest it has ever been. Not sure when I will be back in Scotland after this, so I would like to try if I have any decent chance...

Adam G

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2022, 04:47:27 PM »
I have not been, but someone I know went this summer and did the singles queue. In the past I had heard you needed to be there by 4-5am. Before covid that crept to 2-3am. Last month it was 11pm the night before. I'm guessing as news of this gets out the time will creep up and up. In short -- be prepared to camp out or be okay with waiting for a while and being told there aren't slots.

Daryl "Turboe" Boe

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2022, 12:31:19 AM »
By the way, what is your handicap? Because that will play into what your success rate is as an early-morning walk up.


My experience is pre-pandemic so maybe a little dated.  A friend and I got in line at probably at probably 5 AM 5 about sixth on the list so it was not an issue.  Our third and somewhat lazier friend slept in and didn't get down until closer to 7 AM.   His name was way down the list I heard the starter telling some people in front of him with higher handicaps that they would not get out until mid afternoon.  my friend who was a 1 handicap was then told to stick around and they got him out probably no more than 3 or 4 groups behind my buddy and I (the early risers).


So if you're a super low handicap guy I think they purposely try to get you out earlier in the morning to keep play moving then they will a higher handicapped player.


I have walked on as a single successfully three times over the years.  [size=78%]Good luck![/size]
"Time spent playing golf is not deducted from ones lifespan."

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

Instagram: @thequestfor3000

Mark Pearce

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2022, 03:37:53 AM »
By the way, what is your handicap? Because that will play into what your success rate is as an early-morning walk up.


My experience is pre-pandemic so maybe a little dated.  A friend and I got in line at probably at probably 5 AM 5 about sixth on the list so it was not an issue.  Our third and somewhat lazier friend slept in and didn't get down until closer to 7 AM.   His name was way down the list I heard the starter telling some people in front of him with higher handicaps that they would not get out until mid afternoon.  my friend who was a 1 handicap was then told to stick around and they got him out probably no more than 3 or 4 groups behind my buddy and I (the early risers).


So if you're a super low handicap guy I think they purposely try to get you out earlier in the morning to keep play moving then they will a higher handicapped player.


I have walked on as a single successfully three times over the years.  [size=78%]Good luck![/size]
I have stood in the walk up queue several times.  I have never heard any announcements regarding handicaps, or seen or heard any evidence that handicap makes any difference to queue status.  Has anyone else heard this?
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Daryl "Turboe" Boe

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2022, 11:32:26 AM »
By the way, what is your handicap? Because that will play into what your success rate is as an early-morning walk up.


My experience is pre-pandemic so maybe a little dated.  A friend and I got in line at probably at probably 5 AM 5 about sixth on the list so it was not an issue.  Our third and somewhat lazier friend slept in and didn't get down until closer to 7 AM.   His name was way down the list I heard the starter telling some people in front of him with higher handicaps that they would not get out until mid afternoon.  my friend who was a 1 handicap was then told to stick around and they got him out probably no more than 3 or 4 groups behind my buddy and I (the early risers).


So if you're a super low handicap guy I think they purposely try to get you out earlier in the morning to keep play moving then they will a higher handicapped player.


I have walked on as a single successfully three times over the years.  [size=78%]Good luck![/size]
I have stood in the walk up queue several times.  I have never heard any announcements regarding handicaps, or seen or heard any evidence that handicap makes any difference to queue status.  Has anyone else heard this?


I don't know that there is any published policy or even that it is a regular practice, I can only tell you what I heard with my own ears and saw with my own eyes. maybe it was just that particular gentleman working that day or the circumstances of that morning but I know I heard several people in front of my friend with higher handicaps being told to come back in in at 2 in the afternoon and check back.  I remember because the fellow early riser and I were thinking our late sleeper was going to ruin our afternoon plans somewhere else, then when our buddy got to the front of the line and said that he was a 1 handicap the guy said "stay close I'll get you out pretty soon"  my friend ended up being three or four groups behind us.



"Time spent playing golf is not deducted from ones lifespan."

"We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

Instagram: @thequestfor3000

Garland Bayley

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Re: What are the odds of playing The Old Course as a walk-on?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2022, 11:32:54 AM »
My experience with the three day advance ticket in May 2019 was that it was easy to get on the other courses in the afternoon without a reserved tee time.

Want to get saturated with golf at St. Andrews? Buy an advanced ticket, reserve an early tee time each day in May, then walk on two more courses after your early round. However, being up in years, we only did a second round each day.
"I enjoy a course where the challenges are contained WITHIN it, and recovery is part of the game  not a course where the challenge is to stay ON it." Jeff Warne

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