Do St Andrews students get free golf?

As the 150th Open Championship approaches in St Andrews, we are thinking of the town’s student golfers.

The University of St Andrews is the oldest in Scotland, it is also considered one of the best universities in the British Isles. In fact, in the Good University Guide 2022, St Andrews was ranked as the best university in the UK, the first university to top Oxford and Cambridge in the rankings.

The university also gives students access to some of the best golf courses on the planet. The famous Old Course is only a short walk from the university buildings and there are six other St Andrews Links Trust courses in and just outside the town.

In answer to the question, do St Andrews students get free golf? The answer is no. It’s a common myth that they do, but in fact they pay a reduced rate – either via an annual ticket or a green fee.

The student rate for an annual ticket in 2022-23 is £340, the same as for any resident of the City of St Andrews. Student tickets are valid from September 1 to August 31 and students must present a valid registration card at the time of purchase. This ticket allows students to play any of the St Andrews Links courses – The Old, New, Jubilee, Eden, Strathtyrum, Balgove and Castle, whenever the tee sheet is available, as many times in the year as they wish/their course the work allows… So pretty much every day so…

Students can also purchase a restricted annual ticket for £175 which does not include The Old and Castle lessons. For students new to golf, there is an annual fee of £84 to play on the Strathtyrum and Balgove courses only.

If students only want to play an odd round, they can pay reduced green fees for one round on each course. For 2022-23 these rates are: Old Course – £67, New Course – £40, Jubilee Course – £40, Eden Course – £20, Strathtyrum Course – £13, Balgove Course – £5, Castle Course – £47.

Founded in 1855, the University of St Andrews Golf Club is the university’s oldest sports club. The club caters to golfers of all abilities, from beginners to elite players competing in the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) Championships. There are team and individual championships. BUCS teams receive professional coaching from St Andrews Links Golf Academy.

Throughout the year, the University Golf Club also plays friendly matches against other clubs, local and further afield – Students have an annual match against the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, as well as matches against clubs such as Muirfield, Royal St George’s and Royal Liverpool.

Students new to golf or looking to improve can take part in a course program put together in conjunction with St Andrews Links Academy.

St Andrews students don’t get free golf, but they sure do get a really good deal. For just £70 more than the Old Course green fee, they can play all seven courses at St Andrews Links as many times as they want for an entire year… It has to be one of the best deals in golf.

Christy J. Olson