Golfers tee up to play ‘Old’

visiting golfers are clamouring to play the famous Old Course at St Andrews.

More than 1900 applications were received by St Andrews Links Trust, which manages the seven courses at the Home of Golf, after the process opened at 10am last Thursday morning – an increase on the previous record of 1800 applications set for 2012.

The Old Course is renowned around the world as the place where golf was first played and has hosted 28 Open Championships, more than any other venue, with the likes of Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods in its gallery of champions.

The Old, along with The Castle, New and Jubilee courses has been ranked in the prestigious Golf Digest Top 100 Courses. Each year, tens of thousands of golfers travel from around the world to play the St Andrews Links courses and experience its rich heritage and quality.

Golfers are invited to apply online directly to the Trust for Old Course tee times each September for the following year. Demand exceeds the number of times available, although there is a ballot or lottery system in operation, which is drawn 48 hours ahead of play, and tee times can also be booked on the other Links courses.

Euan Loudon, chief executive of the Links Trust, told the Citizen: “We are encouraged to receive such a high number of tee time applications. ‘‘Normally in the second year after the Open Championship we would expect to see applications flatten off but this year has seen record numbers apply. These are still challenging times in terms of the economy so it is important for Scottish golf tourism that we continue to see high numbers of visiting golfers choosing to come to play here and elsewhere in Scotland.’’

The tee time applications will be processed in the coming weeks and golfers will be notified directly if their applications have been successful.