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ST ANDREWS WEEKEND GOLF BREAK

New Course, Jubilee 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 four 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 Monday 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 Monday 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 (OLD COURSE)or
ST ANDREWS (JUBILEE COURSE)
St Andrews St Andrews
Sunday
ST ANDREWS (NEW COURSE) Falkland Palace & Fife Flight home
Monday
Back at work Not Applicable Not Applicable

 

St Andrews weekend golf break jubilee course
OLD COURSE
NEW COURSE
JUBILEE COURSE

1 night, chauffeur driven
  • Luxury

The price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin room for one night, and four people sharing the cost of the transport (a standard golfer's four-ball) serviced from Edinburgh

HOW IT WORKS

Let’s be honest, anyone considering this tour is occupied by one big question. What chance have I got of playing the Old Course? The Old Course experiences predictable busy periods during a season. Avoiding these improves your prospects. The biggest obstacle however comes from the way Old Course tee times are allocated, albeit this also offers you an opportunity too. Guaranteed tee times simply aren’t designed for this type of ‘cherry picking’. Guaranteed tee times require that you play a minimum number of courses, stay in specified hotels for a minimum number of nights, and will often be sold at a price well in excess of the standard green fee. You simply can’t use them for a 36 hour ‘raid’!. The only way we can do this then inside the timeframe available to us, is to use ‘the ballot’.

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 guaranteed tee time.

All tee times for Saturday are normally set aside for ballot applications. It’s why we encourage you to arrive in Edinburgh on Friday evening, or as early as possible Saturday morning. 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.

Uncertainties regarding the ballot is the reason we have a ‘Plan B’ in place. Kingsbarns is frequently ranked in the world’s top-50. Indeed many people seem to hold it in higher regard than St Andrews – contrarian golfers hey! We understand that playing Kingsbarns is bound to generate a bit of an anti-climatic feeling, but this is only because there can only ever be one Old Course. There is little (if anything) inferior about Kingsbarns. It’s a damn good consolation prize!

Kingsbarns are used to having reservations disrupted by cancellations brought about by successful ballot applications. They will endeavour to reschedule your tee time if they can, but if they can’t, you will forfeit the green fee. This ‘loss’ is negligible compared to what a guaranteed package would cost (about 15%). Faraway Fairways will handle any cancellations and arrangements on your behalf. If you get really lucky, you might even find that the times fall in such a way that you’re able to play both!

It is only when you succeed with a ballot application that St Andrews will ask for payment of the green fee (£175 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.

Finally, although this tour could theoretically be taken on a whim (a few days notice) we wouldn’t suggest its ideal to do so, and you might find you end up paying more than our guide price. Kingsbarns is a popular course and will need booking in advance, and the Old Course hotel sells out, albeit we would have some fall back options there

Travelling to Scotland

Big 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, be it their international aiports or respective railway stations.

Golfer’s travelling from within the UK, or flying from continental Europe, do have more options as you would expect. 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 from Newark, New Jersey, and JFK to Edinburgh leaving at 20.05 and 21.55. Alternatively there is a Lufthansa flight operated by United, that leaves Newark at 19.35 and flies direct to Glasgow. The whole secret to the Big weekend is that you’re at least in Scotland early on the Saturday


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

You might find it more helpful however, to simply allow arrival times to direct your travel plans. 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. The time lost waiting for a later arrival at the nearer location (Edinburgh) can be got back on the road. This type of sub-optimal geography usually involves a price increase in the transfer however.

In an ideal world, we would encourage 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). Having suggested this short cut, unless you’re prepared to play with hired clubs, you will hit the usual delay associated there.

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, Eden Course

Fulfilling the golfer’s boast to have “played St Andrews” is something we all like to be able to say. Set slightly to the west of the Old Course, the Eden Course invites to lay satisfy the qualification to such a claim. It is more strategic than penal, and only marginally more compassionate then it’s more illustrious cousins. The Eden Course was built in 1914 by Harry S. Colt whose use of natural boundaries, including partially buried field walls and severe bunkers provides a course full of character. The course even contains a water hazard. The greens are probably the most contoured of the St Andrews family, and whereas a low score is possible, the course doesn’t agree to surrender one unless you earn it. Executing a good game plan is essential. It’s a great test and education for what lies ahead


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.

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 Saturday 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

Chauffeur drive

‘Big Weekend’ breaks assume arrival at either of Scotland’s major international airports, (Edinburgh & Glasgow) or their respective railway hubs of Waverley or Queens Street stations. ‘Big Weekend’ breaks provide for a chauffeur driven service to and from your hotel of choice. This will typically be a Mercedes Viano capable of taking seven passengers. The Viano has leather seats and a high-spec ride comfort. All of the first choice courses featured are within extremely close proximity of your hotel, and don’t require additional transport to reach them (you’d look a bit ‘odd’ doing so). After completing you programme, you are then shuttled back in good time to your point of departure

Only if you have non-golfers in your party with a desire to travel outside of the hotel environs would we encourage you to consider using a self-drive solution. Self-drive is less expensive, but it is a bit more time consuming to process and does put the responsibility for navigation and timely arrival onto you. Given that the clock is against on this particular ‘break’, it might not be ideal

ST ANDREWS

  • 1 night – St Andrews, Old Course Hotel – or equivalent, 5 star
    – (includes breakfast)
    – Fairway twin room (course view)
  • Up to two rounds of golf with green fees for:
    – St Andrews New Course
    – St Andrews Jubilee Course
  • Chauffeur driven vehicle
    – (MPV people carrier, typically Mercedes Viano)
  • Includes vehicle fuel, breakdown and insurance.
  • Inbound and outbound transfers from Edinburgh or Glasgow
  • Golf course transfer if appropriate (Kingsbarns)
  • Support and assistance as appropriate

NOT INCLUDED

– Green fee for the St Andrews Old Course (between £180 or £90 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.

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