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County Louth (Baltray)

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Founded: 1892 (present layout 1938)
Designer: Tom Simpson
Championship Length: 6,783 yards
PAR: 73
Type: Links
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Who this course is best for:

A golfer who would like to play a traditional links course not far from Dublin, enjoys a course with strategic bunkering, and would like to play the top courses in the Dublin area.

Overview:

County Louth Golf Club, or Baltray as it’s known locally, is one of those golf courses that contradict the commonly held belief that Ireland’s eastern coast is far inferior to the southwestern region in terms of quality links courses. Though the volume of links may not be quite the same on the east coast, when you consider courses such as Baltray, The Island, Royal Dublin, Portmarnock, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, Royal County Down and the European Club, it is clear that the quality of links golf courses on the eastern side of the island is in no way inferior.

The original layout at Baltray was modified to a large extent when Tom Simpson and his assistant, Molly Gourlay, redesigned the course in 1938, but so successful were the alterations made at this time, that the course remains relatively unchanged today. Noted in Irish golfing circles for the quality of its greens, visitors to County Louth are often perplexed that a links of such quality should have a rather modest international profile. The reason, perhaps, has more to do with the unpretentious attitude of the club, rather than its relatively secluded location at the mouth of the River Boyne.

Baltray plays annual host to the East of Ireland Golf Championships, which was won no fewer than 12 times by the legendary Irish amateur, Joe Carr. A good story concerning Carr and Baltray involves Carr returning to the scene of his many triumphs a number of years afterwards. Joe was assigned a young caddie who, to the amusement of Carr’s playing partners, had no idea of his employer’s identity. During the round, the youngster inquired whether Carr had ever played in the east of Ireland, whereupon Joe informed him that he had, in fact, won the event a few times. On the very next hole, Carr did the unthinkable by topping his drive, an act that prompted the caddie to remark wryly: “It must have been a lot easier in those days.”

At a length of almost 6,800 yards, Baltray is certainly not short, but when you consider the natural hazards of the links game combined with blowing winds and heavy rough, it becomes a difficult, though immensely enjoyable, golf course. Some of the finest holes at Baltray include the difficult par 4 opening hole; the long par 5, 3rd, which requires a blind shot over a knoll onto a small green; the par 5, 6th, which leads through a valley of dunes to a green hidden behind two hills; the par 4, 14th, which requires a drive from an elevated tee to a fairway almost 200 yards away; and the majestic closing hole, complete with some malicious bunkering.

Course review content courtesy of Golf Publisher Syndications

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Testimonials

“We recently returned from our trip of a lifetime to Scotland and wanted to thank you and your staff for putting it all together.  The organization and meticulous attention to detail were unbelievable.”

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Tours that include this Course

County Louth Golf Club

County Louth (Baltray)

Dublin + Northern Ireland’s Best

Five rounds of golf:

  • Royal County Down-Championship Course
  • Royal Portrush-Dunluce Course
  • Portmarnock-Championship Course
  • The European Club
  • County Louth (Baltray)
Druids Glen Golf

Druids Glen

Dublin Area

Five rounds of golf:

  • Portmarnock-Championship Course
  • The European Club
  • County Louth (Baltray)
  • The Island
  • Druids Glen