It is always a shame when a fine course is consigned to the shadows by a more famous neighbour. Think of Panmure and Carnoustie; Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St George’s; Murcar and Royal Aberdeen; Hillside and Royal Birkdale, to name but a few. Then imagine the fate of the Jubilee at St Andrews – sharing the same piece of land as both the Old and New Courses, in the same town as the Duke’s and now the Castle and just a few miles away from the likes of Kingsbarns.
Small wonder that so many spend golfing holidays in St Andrews and never think twice about playing what many of the locals believe to be the toughest links in the town. Stand outside the R&A clubhouse with the 1st hole on the Old Course in front of you and the New Course is to the right of the 1st green. The Jubilee is to the right of that, and so occupies a strip of land that is closer to the sea than either of its senior siblings.
It is also a different kind of course. There are no shared fairways, no double greens and more changes in direction than you will find elsewhere in the town. Originally a 12-hole course designed by John Angus that opened in 1897, it was quickly extended to 18 holes and then improved significantly by Willie Auchterlonie in the 1940s.
In 1988, Donald Steel was given the task of raising the links to championship standard and it is his work that stands today. Arguably more exposed than the New or the Old an account of being nearer to the sea, you can expect the majority of the shorter front nine to be played with a broadly helping wind.
Anywhere else in the world and the Jubilee would be a star attraction. In St Andrews it is tucked away and upstaged by its glamorous neighbours.
This is the chance to build a score because from the moment you turn for home the challenge becomes altogether stiffer. All four par 4s over 400 yards come during the inward half, as well as a substantial par 3, the 17th.
This is the last of a very sporty collection of short holes, the 9th being perhaps the pick, played parallel to the Eden Estuary. If Steel has left a signature hole, it is the 15th, a short par 4 the first half of which gives little indication of what is to follow.
It then shifts to the right and culminates in a green set on a plateau that simply must not be missed. The hole may only measure 350 yards but it can ruin a good score very quickly. The Jubilee concludes with a long par 4 in the best links traditions, a large home green providing the chance of a brave finish.
Anywhere else in the world and the Jubilee would be a star attraction. In St Andrews it is tucked away and upstaged by its glamorous neighbours. Make sure you give it the respect it deserves.