Frequently Asked Questions

Scotland, Ireland, England, & Other Golf Vacation Packages - Classic Golf Tours

Our motto is --- we plan, you play!
No need for you to address anything but the ball. These questions and answers are for mostly Scotland, England or Ireland golf vacations packages, but our professionalism and expertise extend to all destinations.

Why Classic GOLF Tours?
Simplicity and ease -- We plan, you play!  Wherever you want a golf vacation package - in the U.S., Caribbean, Mexico, Scotland, Ireland, England and around the world - we are your "home country" experts.  Local in-country offices have relationships with all the courses for pre-booking of guaranteed tee times, and we know the best accommodations to enhance your golfing holiday.  What better friends can you have?
We leave nothing to chance.  Quality accommodations, prepaid green fees and confirmed starting times, local transportation, and special sightseeing suggestions.  With your final documents, your value added services include travel vouchers, helpful detailed driving directions and/or GPS, and general information; and when far from home access to our local offices.

Can we customize our itinerary?
Yes! While we offer several outstanding golf vacation package itineraries to domestic and international destinations, like Scotland, England and Ireland, we will work closely with you to meet your objectives and make your vision of a particular golf getaway a reality, all at a price that is easy to take.
For groups of one to twenty - and more! - we will arrange a trip from your list of courses, or originate a customized itinerary to meet your needs.

How do we play the Old Course at St Andrews?
There is hardly a golfer anywhere in the world who doesn't dream of playing where most historians agree the game was born over 600 years ago. There are five (5) ways for visiting golfers to play the Old Course. The process is very precise. In any planning, know that the Old Course is used by several different member clubs in St. Andrews, hosts several competitions, and is normally closed on Sundays. Tee times for visitors are quite limited and usually sell out quickly. Handicap limit for men is 24, for women it is 36.

For an advance guaranteed tee time, there are 4 ways to success ---

1)  Your personal application process. For the highest chance of success, plan your vacation at least 12 months in advance and have your group committed by the middle of August the year prior your trip.  Applications are accepted by the Old Course reservations starting the last week of August and into the end of the first week of September. You will be notified by the end of October whether your application for tee times was accepted. Greens fees are paid directly to the Old Course by the end of November in full. Tee times can be awarded for parties up to 8 golfers per application. Required are correct names, home clubs and proofs of handicaps.  Ask us how to apply, we will help.

2)  We make application for you.  We make application to St. Andrews, on your behalf, for a preferred tee times package.  As above, names, home clubs and proofs of handicaps to necessary to apply. These applications are only available during low season, which dates from mid November to mid March.

3)  Our several established accommodation relationships.  Tee times through guest houses and hotels and other golf tour operators we work with.  Dates and availability are limited, and names, home clubs and proofs of handicaps are necessary.

4)  The one that most golfers hear about --- the daily Lottery or Ballot. This is the way most available tee times are allocated. The Ballot process provides tee times about 48 hours prior to day of play, for groups of 2-4. We enter your names into the daily Old Course Ballot, two days prior to the desired day of play (Monday for Wednesday play, etc.). If successfully drawn, greens fees are paid directly to the Starter at the first tee. There is no limit to the number of days a group can enter the Ballot. As above, handicap restrictions apply and St. Andrews requires names, home clubs and proof of handicaps to enter the Ballot.

5)  If these advance options fail, the last option is to approach the Starter very early or very late on the day of play to be slotted in. This is typically works best for a single golfer to play, and certainly an option for a party of two if the Ballot is unsuccessful. (It is highly unlikely that a group of 3 or 4 golfers will have success this way.)  Greens fees are paid directly to the Starter.
NOTE: Occasionally we do have a 2-ball or 3-ball party with advance guaranteed tee times that seek an additional player --- so ask us.

Can we play Muirfield?
Muirfield -- known officially as The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers -- is one of the most difficult courses for visitors to secure tee times. It is by invitation only from the Club Secretary. Visitors are welcome for a very limited number of tee times, available on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Handicap limits are 18 for men and 24 for women, and in even number parties of two, four, six or eight golfers. Securing a tee time is through an application process to the Secretary, which we make on your behalf. The bulk of allocations are made in May for the following year. An application requires names, home clubs and proofs of handicaps.

How far ahead should we plan our golf vacation?
For success getting tee times for the most sought after courses, 9-18 months is best. Passports are also necessary, and these may take several weeks to get.

What is the weather like in Scotland and Ireland?
With sea on three sides in Scotland and all around Ireland, weather is very unpredictable. When on the coasts, rain and sea breezes are probable. Inland, there is less wind. Golf courses and sightseeing attractions rarely close due to bad weather.
Come prepared for all sorts of possible weather: bring a sweater, good quality rain gear, a cap, at least two golf gloves, sturdy umbrella, two pairs of golf shoes, shorts (if you like, though most locals don't wear them), golf shirts and sunscreen.

What is the weather like in South America?
Being in the southern hemisphere, their summer is the northern hemisphere's winter.  Some of the best months to go are November and December, then March and April.  On the coasts, rain and sea breezes are a probability and make for cooler temperatures.  Inland, there is less wind and more heat.

Are caddies required for Scotland and Ireland golf vacation packages?
No. However, both countries are lands of walkers and on most of the courses golf carts (buggies) are not available. Pull carts (trolleys) are generally available, however. In any event, plan on walking the links!
Other international destinations usually offer buggies.

How is it to drive in Scotland and Ireland?
Driving is different than in the U.S. -- on the left side of the road. A driver operates the car from the right side, and a manual transmission shifts with the left hand (foot pedals are in the normal configuration). For your convenience, safety and comfort, we recommend an automatic transmission vehicle. We carefully select a proper size for the number of passengers, luggage and golf clubs.

For pure ease and relaxation, consider a chauffeur driven holiday.

Not all play golf; what can non-golfers do in the Scotland, England and Ireland golf packages?
We know that not every spouse or traveling companion is a golfer. We believe there is no reason for a non-golfer to stay behind at home or be bored! We can arrange for exciting tours or simply offer suggestions on activities and sites for a non-golfer to explore. These tours might include castles, historic sites and museums, galleries and gardens, scenic tours and shopping, crafts and antiques.

Can Classic GOLF Tours schedule our flights to Scotland, England and Ireland for our golf vacation pacakges?
With our sister company and full service travel partner the Spirit of Travel, we can also arrange your round trip air connections. It's as easy as 1-2-3!

Do we need trip travel protection insurance?
Penalties charged by accommodations, golf courses, rental car companies or other suppliers for cancellation, interruption or delays during your vacation are often expensive. Refunds are usually not possible. We strongly recommend purchase of travel insurance to protect you financially for unforeseen circumstances or medical emergency, and for baggage loss or damage. Cost of the insurance is minimal in comparison to the peace of mind it delivers.