Lining up to get a tee time at The Old Course is now a thing of the past

Ask anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to play The Old Course at St.Andrews and you’ll likely get a story about queuing up at 4 am in the hope of getting a last-minute tee time.

The Old Course at St.Andrews (Photo courtesy of golferlogic)

This antiquated system has been in place for many years. While the success rate of playing The Old Course via this method seems reasonably high, the queues to play at St.Andrews Old Course have greatly increased with some golfers lining up for over 12 hours. And when you factor in weather conditions in Scotland it’s often not a pleasant experience, especially considering you’re not guaranteed a spot.

We’ve often wondered if there is a better way to accommodate golfers who happen to be in town and try their luck, and it seems that time has come.

Bernie McGuire has reported that the body that oversees tee times, The Links Trust is changing the process and moving to a computerized tee time involving a random draw the day before a golfer’s intended day of play.

Visitors 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 offer golfers from around the globe 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 randomised 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.

Perhaps the only surprising thing about all this is how long it took them to implement this modern alternative. Then again, the traditions of golf are hard to change, especially at the Home of Golf.

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