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ST ANDREWS WEEKEND GOLF BREAK

New Course, Jubilee Course, & Castle Course (Old Course - subject to successful ballot)

At Faraway Fairways we’ve become increasingly aware that a number of you want to ‘get away from it’, but don’t necessarily want the commitment of a longer ‘tour’. In other words, you want a top golf break over a weekend with a true world class course as the focus, but you have so many other things going on around you that have to get back to. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn therefore that Faraway Fairways have just the answer with our St Andrews weekend golf break, one of six options we’re excited to offer.

The St Andrews weekend golf break is designed for someone who can leave work mid-day Friday, or even early evening, so long as they can arrive in Scotland (Edinburgh or Glasgow) early on Saturday. Anyone taking it from the UK or continental Europe will be back at work by Tuesday morning. But here’s a twist, by virtue of flying back across time zones, so will anyone from North America.

The St Andrews weekend golf break isn’t exactly a new concept you might suggest? True, we’ll give you that ‘short putt’! But most of these weekend golf packages tend to be resort first and golf second. Faraway Fairways’ big weekend golf breaks put the golf first. Well to no small extent in Scotland, you have to, Spain we ain’t!

So it might sound a bit ambitious at first, and sure it’s probably not completely unfair to think that this type of Scottish weekend golf break is more likely to appeal to those of you who have fast moving lifestyles and a bit of ‘go’ about you, but this needn’t be an exclusive requirement. Ultimately the world is becoming a smaller a place however, and it is becoming increasingly possible to do these types of things. The more you think about it, the more you’ll come to realise it. When you walk back into work on Tuesday and someone enquires whether you “did anything interesting at the weekend?” it would perhaps be nice to reply “played golf at St Andrews, Scotland. And you?”


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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Friday
Not applicable Not applicable Flight to Scotland – arrive following morning
Saturday
ST ANDREWS (NEW COURSE) Falkland Palace & Fife St Andrews
Sunday
ST ANDREWS (CASTLE COURSE) St Andrews St Andrews
Monday
ST ANDREWS (JUBILEE COURSE) Edinburgh St Andrews
Tuesday
Flight home Not Applicable Not Applicable

 

St Andrews Weekend Break St Andrews Weekend Break
OLD COURSE
NEW COURSE
CASTLE COURSE
JUBILEE COURSE

3 nights
  • Luxury
  • SEASONAL PRICE GUIDE, SPREAD - FROM £1,395 - TO £895

The price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin or double room for three nights, and four people sharing the cost of the transport (a standard golfing four-ball)

HOW IT WORKS

Let’s be honest, anyone considering this tour is occupied by one big question. What chance have I got of the Old Course?

The Old Course experiences predictable busy periods during a season. Avoiding these improves our prospects. ‘Guaranteed’ tee times might occasionally work, but they aren’t really designed for this type of 72 hour ‘raid’. The best way we can do this then inside the timeframe available to us is to combine ‘the ballot’ with the ‘walk-up’ rule. The walk-up rule isn’t our ‘first choice’ option, but as a general guide, so long as you’re prepared to endure some discomfort queuing, you’ll nearly always succeed if our ballot application has failed

In addition to those featured, your ticket also permits you unlimited three-day play on any of the St Andrews Links (excluding the Old Course) for three days on activation. You could play multiple rounds therefore on the New and Castle, or add the Eden course and Strathtyrum course to complete the full set

The ballot (as the name suggests) is just that. It’s a lottery of equal chance. We are notified of ballot results 48 hours before teeing off.

So are we telling you that there is a chance you might not be able to play the Old Course? Well we’re afraid ‘yes’ is the simple answer. However much we might try and sugar coat it, there is little doubt that using the ballot does carry an element of risk. Faraway Fairways seek to manage this, and load things in your favour as much as we can, but even this stops short of being a guaranteed tee time.

Every other open time for a Saturday is normally set aside for ballot applications. It’s why we would discourage you from trying to arrive in Edinburgh on Friday evening or as early as possible Saturday morning. Although averages drawn across the season can misleading and disguise peaks and troughs, Saturday ballot success is estimated to be 30%. You will of course get a second arrow to fire on the Monday too, before we need to resort to a ‘plan B’.

The busiest months are the end of May through to the end of September. Your prospects of success during these bottlenecks usually drops, but don’t let that deter you. Sometimes slack periods present themselves even in busy windows.

It is only when you succeed with a ballot application that St Andrews will ask for payment of the green fee (£195 peak season). This is the reason we don’t include it in the price. For all this caution however, your prospects are actually better than you might imagine, but you can enhance them by being flexible in terms of preferred times of the day or months of the year.

Uncertainties regarding the ballot is the reason we have a ‘Plan B’ in place. The ‘walk up’ rule and is pretty much what it sounds like. A golfer can join a queue as early as they choose and ask for one of the spare tee-times in the days tee-sheet. There are typically between 18 to 25 such chances. As a general rule, the more discomfort you’re prepared to endure queuing, the more successful you’re likely to be. In our experience, golfers who invoke the walk up rule aggressively enjoy strike rates in excess of 95%

Travelling to Scotland

Long weekend golf breaks are designed to minimise disruption to your working week. Schedules are built on an assumption that you can leave work mid afternoon to early evening, on a Friday. We envisage you arriving at either Edinburgh or Glasgow international airports or respective railway stations.

Golfer’s travelling from within the UK, or flying from continental Europe, do have more margin. Many of you will be able to arrive in Edinburgh/ Glasgow on the Friday evening. This will incur an extra nights accommodation, but will allow you to make an earlier start the next morning

Those of you flying the Atlantic however will arrive early on Saturday morning. There are direct flights to both Edinburgh and Glasgow. The whole secret to the Long weekend is that you’re at least in Scotland early on the Saturday. The return leg is easier as you’re flying with the time zone, and can even sneak an extra round if routing back through London


Ordinarily Faraway Fairways would tend to advise that you aim to arrive as follows;

  • Edinburgh if playing St Andrews
  • Glasgow if playing Turnberry
  • Edinburgh if playing Carnoustie
  • Either if playing Gleneagles with slight preference for Edinburgh

The ultimate objective is to get you into the course as quickly as we can, especially if you’re arriving on Saturday morning, or playing St Andrews.

Glasgow and Edinburgh are about 60 minutes apart by road. It might happen that an earlier arrival at say Glasgow, can result in an earlier arrival at St Andrews, despite it being further away. You might even route through London or Dublin

We wouldn’t necessarily discourage those of you who practically can do, to arrive on Friday evening. This extends your scope for securing favourable tee times and would be particularly helpful for the St Andrews Old Course on Saturday.

It would probably be advisable to travel as light as you can in order to make check-in and baggage reclaim much quicker. You might even find you’re able to do this using the clothes you’re wearing, some small items in hand luggage, and if necessary, buy a few extras from the pro-shop whilst you’re here (they also double as souvenirs of course). You might even decide to play with hired clubs (though in fairness, hardly anyone ever does).

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!

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.


Walking Tour

Walk the fairways of the Old Course and get up close and personal with some of golf’s most celebrated holes. See ‘Hell bunker’ at 14. Soak up the notorious 17th, the ‘Road Hole’, and the bunker known as the ‘Sands of Nakajima’. Survey the tee shot from 18 across the Swilcan Bridge and onto the ‘Valley of Sin’ in front of the iconic R&A Headquarters building that overlooks the green. We’re able to offer you an exclusive walking tour of the Old Course most Sundays. It’s also worth noting that St Andrews is home to the National Golf Museum with over 16,000 exhibits. St Andrews is also a legitmate non-golf attraction in its own right too, and is famed for its ancient university, it’s ruined catherdral and cliff hugging old castle.

The Jubilee course, St Andrews's toughest track

The Jubilee in question was that of Queen Victoria, this course dates to 1897. The course plays on a strip of land wedged between the Old and the New courses. It’s a quite typical links for the area, threading its way through low dunes, and without any double greens. The raised tees afford the golfer stunning views across St Andrews Bay and the town beyond. It was only in 1988 that the Jubilee course came of age when Donald Steel was asked to upgrade it though and added not length, interest, and challenge to the layout. Until then it tended to get overlooked on a St Andrews bucket list, but slowly it’s built up a reputation and loyalty. Today many experienced links doyens regard the Jubilee as St Andrews’s most under rated course.

One of golf's greats

It is one of the most iconic and famous hotels in golf. If we’re going to ‘do’ St Andrews on a flying visit, then we might as well do it properly! The ‘Old Course Hotel’ overlooks the famous 17th fairway of the Road Hole and offers views out across this historic links. Views from the breakfast area in particular must rank as the most inspiring in the world. Drawing back the curtains on the Sunday morning will suddenly make you realise – you’ve arrived!

The Old Course Hotel is in high demand and nearly always sells out. Pricing can be particularly volatile on a week by week, day by day basis. The prices we’ve displayed are therefore guideline only because of the influence the Old Course hotel has on packages. Faraway Fairways present these in good faith. It’s really not in our interests to mislead you with a ‘tempter’, only to then ask for more at a later date. It would be misleading however to suggest this can’t happen, and particularly so if a bookign is left late and coincides with a busy day. Please be aware that it’s difficult to secure a room at short notice. St Andrews does have other 5-star options that can be used and will typically reduce the price

Self Drive or Chauffeur

‘Long Weekend’ golf breaks assume arrival at either of Scotland’s major international airports, (Edinburgh & Glasgow) or their respective railway hubs of Waverley or Central stations.

Faraway Fairways normally recommend self-drive for our golf packages but the ‘Long Weekend golf breaks’ might be the exception? Chauffeur driven options can work perfectly well (particularly St Andrews or Gleneagles). This will typically be a Mercedes capable of taking seven passengers. The Mercedes has leather seats and a high-spec ride comfort.

Self-drive affords you more flexibility and independence, but it is a bit more time consuming to process. Long weekends can be quite intense, and the responsibility for driving might be one stress point you’d be happy to lose

The only long weekend package where we needn’t be convinced that a chauffeur driven solution works that well would be the option that involves playing Shiskine on the Isle of Arran as part of the Turnberry break. You might also be forgiven for wishing to have some transport autonomy at Carnoustie too as the town needn’t have the appeal of St Andrews, and the hotel probably hasn’t got the depth of non-golf facilities that Gleneagles and Turnberry can call on

Our pricing schedules are modelled on self-drive. Chauffeur driven options normally cost slightly more, but in some cases this could be negligible and might even be less dependent on how you decide to operate a base location, as they could involve little more than airport transfers to a resort hotel which in itself can provide for all your needs

ST ANDREWS

  • 3 nights – St Andrews, Old Course Hotel – or equivalent
    – (includes breakfast)
    – Fairway twin or double room (course view)
  • Old Course ballot applications & management
    – Includes cancelling and rescheduling
  • At least three rounds of golf:
    – St Andrews New Course
    – St Andrews Jubilee Course
    – St Andrews Castle Course
    – (unlimited 3 day play)
  • Self Drive – or – Chauffeur driven vehicle
    – (MPV people carrier, typically Mercedes)
  • Walking Tour of the Old Course (Sunday)
  • Support and assistance as appropriate
  • Unless you’re operating over a long planning timeframe, securing a weekend stay in the Old Course hotel is difficult. There is a realistic possibility we’ll need to use the five-star, Fairmont hotel instead

NOT INCLUDED

– Green fee for the St Andrews Old Course (between £195 or £95 dependent on the season).
– Friday night accommodation.
– Flexible hotel cancellation booking rates.
– Air-fares
– Evening meals, or additional hotel expenditure such as drinks (unless specified)
– Caddie hire, or any golf course equipment. We are happy to arrange this at no extra cost.

All tours and hotels sold subject to availability and final confirmation.

Long Weekend

Guide price based on four golfers sharing two ‘Fairway twin rooms’ (view of the course)
Transport costs based on self-drive and divided by all (chauffeur drive is perfectly viable)

 

Typical Price Range Guide –

LUXURY PEAK SEASON …………………….,£1,395
LUXURY SHOULDER SEASON ………….,,£1,249
LUXURY LOW SEASON …..,,………………,£895

Quite a lot of golf tour operators will take some low-season green fees, perhaps wrap them up with a budget hotel ‘offer’, and then present them as the dreaded “prices from”. Sure it makes for an eye-catching headline. Faraway Fairways could do the same. The question really though is does this help you at all? Well most golfers probably don’t appreciate having their hopes built up only for them to wade through the detail to discover that the price that caught their attention requires them to comply with all sorts of sub-optimal conditions. Instead we’re using a ‘guide price’ which needn’t be ‘spot on’ but should be close

Highlights – St Andrews Old Course (ballot) otherwise, St Andrews Castle Course, St Andrews New Course & St Andrews Jubilee Course

Duration – 4 days

Travel class – Luxury – Old Course hotel or Fairmont

Season – All year round

Transport – Self drive although chauffeur drive probably works just as well in St Andrews.

 

Important – Dynamic prices do alter dependent on the choices we make, the month/ week we book for, and in the case of hoteliers that operate revenue yield management models outside of fixed rate contracts, the time of year we process a booking. As a general guideline, the nearer we book to the day of arrival, the more expensive things become. The St Andrews ‘shoulder season’ encompasses the last two weeks of April and the last two weeks of October

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