St Andrews Old Course, Carnoustie Championship Course, Kingsbarns, Dumbarnie, Gleneagles, Panmure, St Andrews (Castle or Torrance Course) & Carnoustie Burnside Course

St Andrews Carnoustie Golf Vacation
– The Character of this tour

Old Course – Most likely to play through the ballot.
Walk-Up-Rule close to guaranteed
Duration – 7 nights
Logistics – Regional twin centre; daily ‘back-to-base’ structure
Transport – Either Self-drive or Managed driver works fine.
Mileage – Moderate to low.
Travel Class – Luxury, Premier, & Affordable
Non-Golf offer – Strong (Edinburgh, Stirling, St Andrews & Fife)

Your St Andrews Carnoustie golf vacation features some of Scotland’s most illustrious names. The St Andrews Old course needs no introduction. It is the home of golf, and the course we receive the most interest in. Carnoustie is the toughest links course on the Open roster and a classic test that any golfer visiting Scotland will want to pit themselves against. Kingsbarns makes up the trinity of established top-50 ranked links. In 2020, and seemingly drawing from the Kingsbarns model, Dumbarnie opened and looks destined for the world’s top-100 list. We also add the St Andrews New Course, sister track to the Old course, and probably the most complete test of a links golfer that St Andrews has to offer. Faraway Fairways have gone further. The world’s finest moorland layout, the Kings course at Gleneagles is also slotted as your opening assignment, although you could always decide to play the 2014 Ryder Cup course. For good measure we’ve included a double day playing Carnoustie’s Burnside course, and the final Open Qualifying venue of Panmure. Finally we include a choice from a trio of dramatic cliff-top courses. ‘The Castle’, Kittocks and Torrance course are the most photogenic that St Andrews has to offer.

The St Andrews Carnoustie golf vacation is the most popular enquiry Faraway Fairways receive. Kingsbarns, Dumbarnie and Gleneagles add further world-class quality. Combinations involving these will normally feature in about 90% of proposals that we receive

The St Andrews Carnoustie golf vacation awaits you

Old Course estimate based on the ‘super-peak’ season


GLENEAGLES Stirling Gleneagles or Stirling
Monday PANMURE and CARNOUSTIE BURNSIDE Glamis Castle Carnoustie or Dundee (affordable option)
Tuesday CARNOUSTIE CHAMPIONSHIP Scone Palace Carnoustie or Dundee (affordable option)
Wednesday KINGSBARNS Falkland Palace & Fife St Andrews
Thursday CASTLE COURSE or TORRANCE COURSE St Andrews St Andrews
Friday DUMBARNIE Edinburgh or St Andrews St Andrews
ST ANDREWS (OLD COURSE) St Andrews St Andrews


Click Image to learn more details about the course

St Andrews Carnoustie Golf Vacation St Andrews Carnoustie Golf Vacation

7 Nights Duration -
  • Luxury
  • Premier
  • Affordable

ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE BALLOT- Anyone intending to play the Old Course through the ballot should make contingency to add £195. This is paid locally once the result of the draw is known 48 hours before play. It will likely mean forfeiting the provisional reservation to a cancellation (Jubilee Course), albeit the club will make every effort to reschedule you should you wish to play on the Saturday.

CHAUFFEUR GUIDE - The tour described is self-drive. Should you prefer to engage a chauffeur driver instead, this option is available. Please notify us accordingly.

NON GOLF ACTIVITY - Non-golfers get more time for non-golf activity than golfers. An asterisk (*) is used on the ‘Non-Golf’ button in the itineraries to indicate where a golfer could reasonably expect to be able to undertake an activity. Anything left unmarked is only practical for non-golfers to undertake. Check the button called ‘What’s Included’ that appears on the final named day ‘tab’ to see if it’s included in a price.

DISCLAIMER - The content of all tours are sold subject to availability and final confirmation of price. We do not speculatively book hotels in advance. Late bookings might be subject to a market led price increment. The prices displayed are strong indicators of what you would expect to pay but can also fluctuate in line with choices people wish to add or omit. Please check what's included. Prices are per person based on two sharing

Gleneagles, Kings Course

The King’s Course, is a masterpiece of golf course design, which has tested the aristocracy of game, both professional and amateur, and caused Lee Trevino to remark whilst standing on the first, “that if this is heaven I sure hope they have some tee times available”. Selecting the right club for each approach shot is the secret on the King’s. It is certainly one of the most beautiful and exhilarating places to play golf in the world, with the springy moorland turf underfoot, the sweeping views from the tees all around, the rock-faced mountains to the north, the green hills to the south, and the peaks of the Trossachs and Ben Vorlich on the western horizon.

Gleneagles, Queens Course

Threading through high ridges on the north and west sides of the estate, the Queen’s course is the most aesthetic of the Gleneagles trinity and presents you with lovely woodland settings, lochans and ditches as water hazards, as well as many moorland characteristics.At 3,192 yards long, the challenge of the first nine can be deceptive, with even some of the best players finding it a test to make par into a fresh south westerly breeze.


Panmure golf course is less than 2 miles from Carnoustie and played host to final Open qualifying and many national and regional championships. The greens are fairly small and the bunkers deep. Accuracy is often more important than length and each hole should be played strategically with thought always given to the approach shot. Whins and thick rough abound throughout the course and can destroy a poorly managed game. Tight fairways lined with gorse demand good placement from the tee at the expense of distance. Approach shots also require accuracy and on occasion clever improvisation is necessary. The course is perhaps most readily associated with Ben Hogan who practised extensively at Panmure prior to the 1953 Open at Carnoustie. The sixth hole of the course was rated in his top 18 holes.

Image with thanks to Andrew Crear, Panmure GC, tour operators release

Carnoustie Burnside

It lacks the length of its monsterous neighbour, but otherwise the course is similar in style to the Championship course, playing inside of it as it does. Mercilessly though, it is shorter. Sensible driving will let you test your mid to short game as the key is working out where you think you can most effectively play your second shot from given the heather whins and rough that come into play. The closing two holes are normally cited as the round wreckers and better suited to the neighbouring championship course. The fifth is worth noting. A natural meander in the Barry Burn has created an island green similar to the 17th at Sawgrass. The Burnside proved to be a decent overture for Ben Hogan in 1953. He qualified on the Burnside before going onto lift the claret jug.


Carnoustie Championship Course

American media commentators wasted no time dubbing the Tayside course ‘Car-Nasty’. Few would deny the claims of Carnoustie to the crown of toughest Open venue of them all. Carnoustie is long, dark, and menacing. It has a number of challenging holes, particularly the par fives. The Spectacles’ (14) and ‘Hogan’s Alley’ (6) are the two toughest assignments on the stroke index. The par 3 sixteenth is another shocker. It’s the enduring image from the 1999 Open of Jean van de Velde paddling about in the Barry Burn however, that cemented Carnoustie’s legend. Sports Illusrated described the course as being “a nasty old antique brought down from the attic by the R&A after 24 years” as scoring soared. Carnoustie revels in such notoriety. If the wind gets up (and surprisingly a lot of people hope it does) you’re unlikely to ever play a tougher assignment

More information

Qualification requirements for play

Carnoustie operates a handicap threshold of 28 for gentlemnen, and 36 for ladies respectively. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead


Records of golf being played at Kingsbarns date to 1793. The modern course itself opened in 2000, and is set on three-tiered levels, sloping towards the coast. Nearly every hole has stunning views of the North Sea. The 12th and 15th require you to play a tee shot over the ocean! Kingsbarns is often compared with Pebble Beach. Its noticeable just how many people familiar with both accept this. Perhaps of greater significance is the number of times it beats more illustrious neighbours in surveys. It did so again in 2013 when it topped the poll for Scotland’s favourite course amongst visiting Americans, as its always immacuately presented. It completes the trio of East Coast giants that host the Dunhill links challenge each year alongside Carnoustie and the Old Course

Image by Iain Lowe
with permission from, and supplied by Kingsbarns Golf Course

St Andrews Castle Course

‘The Castle’ is the newest addition to the clan St Andrews. Set atop cliffs it’s perhaps more Pebble Beach, than Scotland, yet the course has strangely managed to cultivate something of a links character about it. The elevation provides stunning vistas of the bay and town below, making it one of the most photogenic courses in the country. You won’t the first person to pause and smile as you look down into the town of St Andrews itself with all the historic landmarks on the skyline and simply think Wow! The course is really quite dramatic as the sea can usually be relied on to put up a display of raw energy. The eighth and and the par 3, seventeenth, ‘the Braes’ are particularly awesome.


The Kittocks and Torrances courses are slight departures from the links tradition of St Andrews, being a few miles outside of town on a stunning cliff-top location overlooking the bay and town below. The result is spectacular. With a splendid sense of isolation and exposure they both play ‘linksy’. The venture has been a tremendous addition to the St Andrews portfolio.

The Kittocks course is a long and challenging, requiring nerves of steel to navigate its many holes running alongside the coastline. It’s played host to Europro Tournament 2007 and 2009 and Scottish Youths National Championship 2016.The Torrance course is characterised by its deep revetted bunkers, and large greens and has hosted the Seniors European Tour Event six times between 2009 and 2014. They tend to be held in similar regard and its genuinely difficult to recommend one over the other


Dumbarnie is Scotland’s newest world class golf links, and opened in 2020. It’s located on an escarpment which is 80 ft above sea-level at its peak. This has allowed the design to adopt two loops of nine, and make good use of the natural contouring this affords to introduce views of the sea. A number of elevated tees have been used to provide the drama of hitting drives out to the ocean. The terrain has been worked into a series of hillocks, knobs and knolls. Perhaps uncharacteristically for a links, Water has also been introduced albeit mainly confined to burns rather than lakes. The fairways are wide and forgiving with driveable risk and reward par 4’s a particular feature of the lay-out

St Andrews Old Course

St Andrews, the home of golf, needs little introduction nor hype from us. The first surviving record of the game being played here dates to 1522. The town oozes atmosphere and the course is soaked in heritage. The view from the iconic Swilcan Bridge on eighteen, looking back up the final fairway to the magnificent R&A headquarters, flanked by the red bricked Hamilton Hall is one of the most instantly recognisable in world sport, never mind golf. The Road Hole 17th, is another signature assignment, as are the unique and massive double greens. The secret? don’t be over-awed. Keep out the 112 bunkers, especially so ‘Hell Bunker’ at the 14th. Then attack the course! St Andrews is actually one of the more obliging links, so don’t leave wondering what might have been. It can be tamed!

More information

Qualification requirements for play

“A current official handicap card (Golf Club affiliated to a Golf Union/Association) record or certificate must be presented to the starter prior to play. Maximum handicaps – 24 Men, 36 Ladies. St Andrews will not accept letters of introduction from a local Club Professional”. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead

The Ballot

One of the most remarkable things about St Andrews is that it’s actually a public course. Luckily the Scot’s also have a tradition of egalitarianism and although golf has often taken on an exclusive aura in many countries, the Scot’s have guarded a sense of open access quite preciously.This means that the Old Course is subject to a public ballot drawn 48 hours before play. It’s important that we stress that we rely on this method. The ballot does NOT guarantee you a tee-time.

We’re often asked ‘what are the chances of success on the ballot’?. The time of year is an important factor. Applications that avoid July, August & September are more likely to succeed. We also make more than one application using the different days available to us. Thursdays and Saturdays have the most ballot times available. It also depends on how flexible you’re prepared to be, regarding days of the week, times of the day, and group size. We’re normally confident for April, May, June, October & November. We’re more cautious regarding the summer months, but more people who set out to play the Old Course succeed than fail. This guidance stops short of being a guarantee though.

Guaranteed tee-times

There is a price premium to guarantee a tee-time. This involves a minimum hotel stay in St Andrews of three nights, and playing additional St Andrews courses. If you’re playing the Old Course as part of a wider ranging tour across Scotland or Ireland however, then you won’t always have the luxury of being able to spend three days here. In this case you either have to extend your stay, or take your chance through the ballot or the ‘walk up’ rule.

St Andrews New Course

“New” in the context of St Andrews means 1895! The course is often said to be the town’s favourite. It’s a tighter and more defined course than its regal neighbour, and aided by the yellow peril of gorse bushes, it tends to be more aesthetic too. The ‘New’ runs adjacent to the Old course and as a consequence has similar characteristics. The fairways are undulating but not as dipped as the Old course, leading to fewer hanging lies. A traditional out and back nine, only the 3rd and 15th share a green. The burn wends its way through a low dune system and features some particularly charismatic holes. The 464yd tenth is often cited as the pick. Think about it logically. It’s likely that the newer course that was designed for purpose, would be the better golf course than the ancient artefact. The good folk of St Andrews know!

Time to say goodbye

Time, as they say, waits for no man, and sadly we’re no exception. Today it’s time to bid you farewell, hope you enjoyed your stay, and will consider returning soon. Better still, the return match awaits. We’ll ensure you get to your airport for a safe, and comfortable return across the Atlantic, where the benefits of flying east to west will now become apparent, as you land a mere two hours after you took off! Don’t forget to stay in touch through our blog, email, or the social networks, as we update information. Once again, thank you

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