If your foursome wants in on the St. Andrews action in 2018, it's time to plan now. (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor) If you want to walk the Swilcan Bridge for real during an actual round, applying to reserve a tee time a year in advance can help assure that experience.  (Brandon Tucker/Golf Advisor)

Now is the best time to apply for a guaranteed Old Course in St. Andrews tee time

If you're planning a trip to St. Andrews in 2018 — or even thinking about one — now is the time to get serious and apply for a guaranteed Old Course in St. Andrews tee time. It's your best chance to do so without paying a high premium for a guaranteed golf package or entering the last-minute lottery.

From now until midnight British time on Wednesday, Sept. 6, the St. Andrews Links Trust is accepting applications online for advance tee times for 2018 for the Old Course. Groups of two and up to eight golfers can apply. After Sept. 6, the applications are then entered into a ballot, which will determine the order of allocation in each category. (You can apply for each category or season, of which there are four, according to number of players, course packages and high or offseason.)

To make an online application for an advanced tee time in 2018, click here

Of course, because it's a lottery, there's no guarantee you'll get a tee time, but if you're looking to reserve a tee time in advance, and you're not a member of the Royal & Ancient, this is your best opportunity. Results of the ballot will be announced in mid-October. If you're not selected, it doesn't mean you won't have an opportunity to play once you're there; you'll just have to enter another ballot a few days before you want to play or join the walk-up list the day you would like to play and take your chances that way. Click here for more details on how to play the Old Course in St. Andrews.

Video: Matt Ginella on how to plan a trip to St. Andrews

Aug 24, 2017

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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.