For one week out of the year when the Dunhill Links is contested, golfers can play a combination of the New and the Jubilee, the second and third courses built at the Home of Golf, which sit just north of the Old Course. When this option was initially presented to me, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, to be honest. I thought it might be troublesome and that I might get annoyed with awkward, broken routings.
That said, it was a pleasant surprise when I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It’s perhaps not the most trying round of golf you’ll ever encounter, but it’s certainly a fun one. The wind, of course, is always a factor and makes it a tougher test. The composite of the Jubilee and the New is a good, solid challenge on traditional Scottish links — and it’s better than putting both courses out of play due to the infrastructure of the Dunhill event.
The sequence of the holes you play go:
Basically, you’re getting to see most of the Jubilee Course. I have to say I was disappointed not to play more of the New Course, but alas, next time.
I loved the last four closing holes on the composite course, which provided a lovely yet relatively tough test, particularly with the wind to finish our round. The Jubilee’s 13 serves as the 15th hole and that’s a fun challenge, especially when there’s a “wee breeze” (like, 15-20mph) in the air. It’s a tough hole that requires an accurate iron shot between the bunkers guarding the right and left side of the green. You *don’t* want to push your shot right of the bunkers (as I did) because from there, you’re faced with a nearly impossible up-and-down from below to a slightly raised green complex.
The Jubilee’s 14 (playing as the 16th) is a lovely one — it’s a long-ish par-4 for the men and a short par-5 for the women. From the tee, you must aim your drive to the left half of the fairway to get an open shot to the green. There are bunkers flanking the right side of the green, but the putting surface is flat once you’re safely on. A well-camouflaged ridge in front of the green toward the left serves as a subtle obstacle.
The Jubilee’s 15 (our 17th) was perhaps my favorite hole of the day. It’s a severe dogleg right and the green is blind from the tee. A drive down the left side gives you the best position and look at the plateau green on your approach shot. Don’t miss it right off the tee; otherwise, you’ll have a blind shot over a large sand dune. The green is raised and set on top of a steep bank. Oh, and beware of missing it left on your approach as you may find (or rather, lose) your ball in the gorse. Since it’s not a long hole, it’s a simple four if you place it in the right spots, though (but wait, aren’t they all?).
The Jubilee’s 16th, our finishing hole, was a simple, short par-5 for the ladies (which I birdied — woot!). It’s a bit anti-climactic to close with, in my humble opinion, but it’s always nice to end on a high note. Off the tee, aim toward the right half of the fairway, but beware not to run into the hay — which is the long grass that separates the Jubilee from the New. The fairway features a number of small mounds, but it’s generally very flat. The green slopes from the left, so you don’t want to run off into the greenside bunker on the right.
If you run into the week of the Dunhill Links and you’re given the option to play this composite course, I’d certainly recommend it. While I’ll admit we did get confused a few times due to the routing, once we figured it out, it wasn’t a problem and I definitely enjoyed the unique experience.
Here’s a gallery of shots from the composite of the Jubilee and the New Course:
For more information about golfing or holidaying in Scotland, please see VisitScotland.com.