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A round on St Andrews’ iconic Old Course is a rare treat. But playing it backwards? That’s rarer still. 

In 2024, however, some lucky golfers will get the chance to do exactly that thanks to a new series of events introduced by St Andrews Links Trust. – and you could be one of them.

‘Old Course Reversed’ has been unveiled by the Trust to commemorate 50 years of the organisation being custodians of the world’s most renowned golfing landscape, and is set to become an annual event to give golfers a glimpse of the Old Course’s storied past.

From the 1400s, the Old Course emerged and evolved from the living landscape with outward and inward holes played to the same greens and using the same fairways, meaning it was designed to be played in either clockwise or any-clockwise direction.

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In 1764 it was reduced from 22 to 18 holes and, in 1870, Old Tom Morris introduced the current first green by splitting it from the 17th to form the standard anti-clockwise routing in use today.

Running over six days, from March 28 to April 2, 2024, Old Course Reversed will see the historic clockwise routing – with the holes played in reverse order – in play for three full days, with the remaining days played in the current-day routing to give golfers the unique perspective of playing both ways.

Tee times will be available for St Andrews Links ticket-holders through the usual local ballot and a dedicated ticket-holder day, while other golfers will be able to enter an open ballot as well as applying for a limited number of advanced packages.

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Advanced public packages will be priced at £575 and feature three rounds of golf, with one Old Course, one Old Course Reversed and one on the Castle Course as well as food & drink and Academy vouchers.

Applications for packages will open for a limited 48-hour window from December 11-12, 2023.

Neil Coulson, CEO of St Andrews Links Trust, said: “We are excited to introduce Old Course Reversed, which will give more of our ticketholders and golf visitors the opportunity to experience something unique in the world of golf.

“The anti-clockwise routing is such a vital piece of the history and evolution of the Old Course we feel it is important to celebrate this during a dedicated event open to all golfers from near and far.

“We believe the introduction of Old Course Reversed will be hugely popular and will capture the imagination of golfers around the world.”

To find out more, visit the St Andrews Links Trust website.

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