Getting an opportunity to play the Old Course is something almost every hardcore golf traveler longs to do at some point in their lives. But most golf sojurners are surprised when they learn that, on the rarest of days, they can play the Old Course in reverse.
Typically on one day per year in April, the St. Andrews Links Trust turns the routing of the Old Course backward, with players beginning on the traditional first tee and playing to the 17th green at the Road Hole. For the second hole, players go from No. 18 tee to the 16th green, and so forth, until the round concludes by playing from the second tee to the 18th green at the Home hole.
However, in 2019, the reverse Old Course is available for two days.
The Links sent out an email detailing how the reverse Old Course will be in play on Nov. 30 for a limited-entry event for United Kingdom club members. On Nov. 29, however, the public will be able to get ballots to play the Old Course in reverse.
For the first time in years the St Andrews Links is allowing golfers to play the Old Course in reverse for two days late this month. Who has always wanted to play the Old backwards? pic.twitter.com/r3oDAHDNAC
— Graylyn Loomis (@grayloomis) November 6, 2019
Golfers can apply for the available times through online, telephone and in person starting at 2:15 p.m. local time on Nov. 21 through to 2 p.m. on Nov. 22. At 5 p.m. on the 22nd, the results will be published of who will be eligible to play.
The St. Andrews Links notes players will have to use fairway mats — basically, little artificial turf squares so players don’t take divots on wet or soft turf, common this time of year in Scotland. But still! It’s an incredible opportunity if you have the means to catch a quick flight to Scotland.