Bucketlist Travels logo

Travel bucket list idea:

St Andrews Old Course

Last updated: 21 March, 2024

Pick your superlative: the oldest, the most famous, the most storied. Or, simply, the Home of Golf. All there is to say about the Old Course, the world’ most famous and revered course, has most likely been said many times. Carved by Mother Nature, golf’s spiritual home is an experience without parallel. The Valley of Sin, the Road Hole, the bridge over the Swilcan burn… these are a golfer’s hallowed relics, to be revered as part of the golfing divine.

There are harder courses, and ones in a more spectacular setting, but the Old Course is special; its famous tee shots and infamous bunkers, its huge greens and crazy fairways, make up the greatest walk-in golf.

When you set foot on the Old Course, you’re walking in the footsteps of every great golfer to have graced the game for the last few centuries. And if that’s not enough of a reason, consider this: it’s a public course, open to everyone who joins the tee time lottery. All you have to do is put your name down.


Price from: £250
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

St Andrew’s is in the middle of the town. You can only put your name down on the day for the ballot; show up early. You must book a caddy, but one will be assigned to you when you get your tee time.

Stay the night at the Fairmont St Andrews. Although it doesn’t overlook the iconic Old Course, the Fairmont has wonderful sea views, two great courses of its own and a tartan-meets-the-sea vibe that combines well with the contemporary manor house setting.

When to do it

The course is open all year round, seven days a week. It’s busiest from April to September, but it’s the only time you’re guaranteed not having to play off fairway mats.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


  • Edinburgh Region, United Kingdom (UK)

An overview of Old town Edinburgh and Edinburgh castle in Scotland. thousands of buildings covering the ground with on a blue sunny day with a scatter of white clouds

Destination guide

Capital treats abound, from mighty castles and royal palaces to gourmet restaurants and arguably the world’s best performing arts festival.



Round-ups that include this experience

34 World’s best golf courses


Spectacular landscapes, impeccable fairways and greens, brilliantly-designed holes and plenty of golfing folklore – we asked golf expert and journalist Fionn Davenport to recommend his top 30 golf courses from around the world.