Playing Solo in Scotland

Hey guys,

I’m finishing up grad school this summer and rewarding myself with a solo trip to Scotland in early July. As of now, I’m planning on spending 5-6 nights in East Lothian and St. Andrews, driving up to the Highlands to play for two days, and then hiking around there for another 2-3 days (if my legs are still functional).

I’ve seen all the great recommendations on courses to play, but it’s tough booking in advance as a single. Does anyone have tips on getting on to some of the bigger courses without an advance tee time?

You will have a reasonable chance of getting away on the day at most venues as a single and may be paired up with 2 or 3 balls.

Muirfield probably isn’t an option, but would image most other places will be able & happy to accommodate you.

Good thing is the locations you are at will have loads of options and I’d imagine you would have no problem playing golf in Gullane or St Andrews every day through the summer as a single.

Maybe watch out for any competitions that may be on as you would not be able to play without entering, which may also be an option in some cases. Saturday is a popular day for Opens where anyone with a recognised handicap can enter, usually for very low entry fees.

I’m booking a solo trip for next summer as well. I’ve booked six rounds thus far, and all of them were fine with me being a single. Those included Cruden Bay, Castle Stewart, North Berwick, and Royal Dornoch. A few of the online booking portals required at least two players, but for those I just sent an email to the club (usually to In every case they were happy to give me a tee time as a single.

Thanks a lot. Once I figure out my specific dates in each location, I’ll start reaching out to the clubs for actual tee times. I plan to take advantage of my flexibility and look into replay/package rates to save a few pounds where possible.

Saw the ND avatar - I graduated a few years back, always good to run into fellow alums/fans!

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I went solo to Scotland last year, and never had any issues, both booking in advance and showing up on the spot, there was always a possibility to play that day. I had only booked 5 of the 10 rounds in advance.

How to get on the Old Course is pretty clear I think, and I really don’t expect those kind of issues on the other courses. You might get paired up with other people, but if you pay, you can play.

From memory advanced visitor booking at Muirfield is fourball groups only, but I’d give them a call, explain what you’re doing and see if there’s anyway you can be paired up on the day. The course has a huge amount of visitors during the week so I’m sure they’ll be used to the request and try to help.

I believe you can get a 3 day links ticket in St. Andrews for about 200 pounds, that will let you play every course but the Old Course for an unlimited amount. You should not have any trouble just walking up the the starter and getting paired on any of the courses. For the Old Course you will either have to wait in line at about 2:30 am to get a tee time or find someone to enter the ballot with.

North Dakota is AWESOME!!!

I did a solo trip last year and had no trouble booking tee times in advance (including at Elie, North Berwick, Carnoustie, Gullane and Kingsbarns) except for at the Old Course and Muirfield where you will have no luck.

One recommendation I do have is that if you don’t succeed in balloting for the Old Course and decide to wait in line, given when your trip is, get to the course very, very early. I went in August and was at the course before 3 a.m. and was the 28th person in line! I did not get on until one of the last “dark times” of the day, teeing off around 4:20 and barely finishing. Most of those who arrived after me did not get on at all.

Good Luck!

I have lined up at TOC a couple times in August, including 2018. I got there at 3:15am both times and was 7th and 8th in line respectively. I heard of night that week when a whole College team lined up and many people missed out, but to be 28th is not really normal.

Myself and two friends are taking on the Aberdeen to Dornoch area of Scotland last weekend of July. There are 3 of us so if you are looking for anyone to tag along with if you are struggling as a single then give us a shout! We are going later in July though so not sure if dates will line up.

This is timely. I’m thinking through a solo golf trip to Scotland next year; since it’d be solo, I’d like to hit up some lower-profile tracks that you might feel obligated to skip on a bigger buddies trip. Any low-profile tracks come to mind around either the Highlands or St. Andrews that are worth hitting up?

I would recommend Kinghorn.

it is a municipal links 30 miles South of St. Andrews.

It’s not expensive to play, but is in decent condition all year and is a Tom Morris design. It’s a short course and won’t take up too much time or energy.

Highlands wise Tain ,Golspie Nairn Dunbar ,Moray Old and Hopeman . Fife wise Scotscraig ,Ladybank , Lundin Links

Duff House Royal, Banff, McKenzie course

I’ll be heading there mid September to play solo. I have booked a couple rounds but have heard the Golf Now App is great for booking day of and cheap #NoFreeAds

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