St. Andrews and Carnoustie

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By Dale V

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  • 27 Replies
  1. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Found out the other day that I would need to do a business trip in October to London. Looked at the flight prices and it was significantly cheaper if I stayed over the weekend so I am willing to stick around and take a side trip to St. Andrews for the weekend. Didn't get to Carnoustie on my first visit back in 2016 so I made a tee time for there on Friday. I will put in for the 2-day-ahead lottery in hopes of getting on The Old Course on Saturday. If not, will try to play one of the other 5 local courses. If any other TT members will be there October 18-20 let me know and we can meet up for some fish n chips, beer, or maybe a single malt. No haggis please.

  2. Andym076

    Andym076
    paisley

    London to St Andrews is about a 9hr drive, unless ur getting the train, 10 min taxi ride from Leuchars Station
  3. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Have our flights already booked, round trip LHR to/from EDI. Taxi from EDI to St. Andrews. As long as the planes are flying we are all set.
  4. I was stationed in England few years back and took a similar trip. You can take the train from Edinburgh to Dundee, then cab it to your hotel. Save you some £££.
  5. 19hole

    19hole
    Reading, MA

    Skip the Old Course and play Kingsbarns.
  6. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Thanks for your recommendation. I played Kingsbarns in 2016 along with Castle, Jubilee, New, and Old. It is a great course. My buddy's first trip so if I can get him on the Old via the lottery, that will be the priority. If not, we will have two days to work in whatever will be available. At least on Sunday when the Old is closed, he can walk it and get a look up close and personal.
  7. It’s a bit of a drive, but if you can make it
    To Gullane, it’s definitely worth the trip. Amazing views and a good mix of holes made it one of my favorite courses on our last trip. Right up there with Muirfield and Kingsbarns.
  8. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Thanks Tim. Maybe some day in the future. Pretty much set for this quick trip. Kicker will be Saturday. If we don't get on the Old Course with the 2-day advance ballet system on Thursday, we will be scrambling for a twosome spot on one of the other St. Andrews courses. Might have to bring along some of my TT swag to bribe my way on.
  9. Jerry M

    Jerry M
    Dallas, TX

    Never pass up an opportunity to play the Old Course. Carnoustie has 3 of the toughest closing holes I've every played. Good luck Dale, you're going at a great time of the year. We definitely want to hear about your thoughts after you return
  10. John P

    John P
    Danbury, CT

    Carnoustie is the hardest course I have ever played and I have played many of the top courses in the world. Unless someone has a way to get on Augusta that will be the last one on my bucket list!!
  11. Christopher V

    Christopher V
    Edmond, OK

    That's awesome! Congrats on the hassle of having to travel early for work to "save money"!!! :)
  12. Jeff M

    Jeff M
    North Carolina

    What a great excuse to stick around and play! Looking forward to seeing your photos
  13. Look forward to hearing more about your trip! Take a phone full of photos!
  14. If you cant get on the old course at st andrews play the jubilee course, its reckoned to be the hardest and best course on the estate. Played the jubilee course last year and thought it was fantastic. Also played at carnoustie on the same trip (although it was banside course and not the big course) did expect the food in the clubhouse to be expensive, 3 coffees 2 sandwiches and 1 scone was 50 pound and was just overpriced for what it was in all honesty. Food at old course was a bit more reasonable
  15. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    PTemple said:

    If you cant get on the old course at st andrews play the jubilee course, its reckoned to be the hardest and best course on the estate. Played the jubilee course last year and thought it was fantastic. Also played at carnoustie on the same trip (although it was banside course and not the big course) did expect the food in the clubhouse to be expensive, 3 coffees 2 sandwiches and 1 scone was 50 pound and was just overpriced for what it was in all honesty. Food at old course was a bit more reasonable

    Yep, hoping if we can't get on The Old Course, that either the New or Jubilee are available. I liked them both when I played them in 2016. Problem will be that Saturday is their peak day and I can't commit to anything until I know how we do in the ballot on Thursday. Food should not be an issue. Big breakfast at the hotel each morning and know about several good spots for dinner each night. Too busy with golf to worry about lunch. After watching Royal Portrush this weekend I am getting anxious for October to get here. Whistling Straits in August should help me keep my mind off this trip.
  16. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    Good planning on playing the lottery for a Thursday. I put in for Thursday through the Old Course Hotel because I was arriving on a Thursday. So there were like 80 bids for 72 slots, unlike Friday that was for a couple of hundred. I hadn't actually figured in the 5 hour drive to get there, so it was a mad dash to the course for a 12:30 time. There were opportunities for 2 on both the New and Jubilee courses on Friday without advance signup. Nice touch to take your buddy there - anyone remotely serious about the game needs that storied experience. Hope the weather is dry enough for him to love it as much as I did.
  17. No'l

    No'l
    Palmdale, CA

    Great thread... is it October yet!

    This, your side golf planning is fantastic, Dale. ...and your friend is lucky to know you.

    Play well!!
  18. Bart van der Does

    Bart van der Does
    The Netherlands

    Hi Dale,

    Well I see you allready booked your trip.
    But next time I can reccomend to visit Royal St. Georges, Royal Prinses and Royal Cinq ports are amazing courses in the south of England. It's closer than St. Andrews. Of course you can drive...

    I always (with other caddies) in B&B: 5Gables in Arbroath. Amazing place, Gary is the owner and he has his B&B on the 18th hole of Arbroath golfcourse. It's within 20min drive of Carnoustie and 40min. drive to St. Andrews.
    If you want I can give him a call or tell him you spoke to me to get some discount!

    / Bart
  19. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Thanks anyway Bart. We are all locked in with our plans and other than the taxi ride over to Carnoustie on Friday, will be able to do everything within walking distance of our hotel in St. Andrews. My buddy's first trip over there so giving him the full, local experience is important. Next trip might work for golf in England. I also need to get to Ireland and play some of those courses. Time and budget... but not getting any younger.
  20. Drew D

    Drew D
    Missouri

    Hey Dale, sounds like a great trip! I’ll be heading there next year, and I was just wondering about the process of playing the Old Course. Is it possible to set up a tee time a couple months in advance? Is the ballot system the only way to get on? Insight would be much appreciated. Thanks, DD
  21. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Sorry Drew, didn't mean to leave you hanging. Just now got back to this thread as it had fallen down the list. There are multiple ways to get on the Old Course. You can find several companies that have "guaranteed" times but you will pay a premium to get one. The earlier the better as they go a year in advance. Check out the Old Course website for all the details and ways to book. My first trip (back in 2016) i was going solo and found the St. Andrews Golf Week to be the best way to experience Scottish golf and get on the old course without pulling together a group of four (which most charter companies require). They have both a spring and fall outing but you will have to be able to travel on those specific weeks. The "ballot system" is the only way for last minute and non-guaranteed play for two or more players. Singles have a decent shot at getting on as early morning walk-ups, especially on weekdays or when the weather is a bit sketchy. Its risky if you go all that way and really want to play the Old so I suggest paying up and getting on at least once and then any other chances to play you can use the more economical but low probability methods.
  22. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    The Old Course Hotel will compile groups of 2 for their guests to be included with the daily lottery. Certain seasons and weekdays can be successful. I went before holiday season and on a Thursday there were 72 lottery slots and 80 groups vying. ...Winner, winner, winner! On Friday, there were almost 200. I did walk up to play the New Course on Friday and waited less than 20 minutes as a single.
    I believe they start taking open reservations about now for next year. This is similar to the tour packages, but I don't know if there is an additional fee to book direct or if you need a foursome.
  23. Madhatter

    Madhatter
    Glasgow

    I got to admit I like the New Course more than the Old.


    Madhatter
  24. North Berwick is a hidden gem along with the Castle Course
  25. Lance P

    Lance P
    Hillsborough, NC

    I enjoyed the Oliver Horovitz book "An American Caddie in St. Andrews". Maybe someday my wife and I will get lucky, hit the lotto, and travel to Scotland...
  26. Eric H

    Eric H
    Ridgway, PA

    Post some pics!
  27. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    And yes, it was a great trip, even getting slammed by cold rain on Carnoustie. More pictures are posted on the Facebook site.
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  28. Eric H

    Eric H
    Ridgway, PA

    Looks like a dream! Thanks for posting the pictures

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