Laytown & Bettystown
Both of the previous courses had provided some solid links golf but my golfing heart had not been taken by either of them. However, it was love at first sight here at L&B!
What I admire most about Laytown & Bettystown, originating back to 1909, is that it is far from perfect but in its own way that makes it absolutely perfect!
The run to the turn is just wonderful, in fact I'd go as far as saying the front-nine here (the first six are out of the top drawer) is amongst my favourites anywhere!
The more I play links golf the more I realise it is the movement in the land that makes me love this form of the game so much and Laytown scores ten out of ten in this department.
There are billowing fairways, audacious green sites and so much variety, especially on the outward half, that it's impossible not to be smitten with the course.
It's a par 71 with a top yardage of 6,426 but numbers are thrown out of the window at fun places such as this, even with little wind.
Recently reconfigured, the back-nine doesn't quite keep the momentum going but that's not to say the golf isn't still encapsulating. There are some more straightforward holes on the run-in but the quality is still extremely high and holes such as the 11th, 12th and 13th are excellent. The 18th is also a very unusual 'marmite' hole which I would probably need to play a few more times to truly decide if I like it or not.
There are three courses on the coast near Drogheda and for me there is a clear hierarchy: County Louth (Baltray), Laytown & Bettystown and Seapoint. If you are in this part of Ireland then try and play all three but if you only have time for two rounds make sure one of them is here.