Having fallen in love with Laytown & Bettystown the day before I could not imagine that Rosslare, a couple of hours drive to the South towards and beyond Wexford, could match it.
But not only did it, it also gave me food for thought as to whether it was superior. In the end I could not split them.
There are two courses at Rosslare; the Old Links and the 12-hole Burrow Links. The latter is actually a five minute drive away towards the tip of Rosslare Strand.
The Old Links is outstanding for the most part. It builds slowly with the first three holes easing us into the round before we hit the main drag.
Holes 4 through to 14 are some of the most enjoyable and high quality holes I have played in Ireland. There is a refined feel to them with perfect movement amongst the linksland and some green sites of the highest quality.
It is not in-your-face links golf but there is an undeniable class to the holes and the rhythmic flow of the layout has you purring for more. It's unassuming links golf at its finest.
The green complex at the fifth surmises everything that is great about the Old Links at Rosslare; exquisitely sited in a crease at the top of an angled, shallow dune ridge where are the contours merge seamlessly together.
There is so much good things happening on this stretch of golf I cannot possibly do it all justice and how the course doesn't get talked about alongside more prestigious venues is a mystery to me. The only slightly sad thing is that you do not get to see as much of the sea as you would ideally like.
Every course needs a top-drawer short par-four in my book, yet so few deliver. Not so at Rosslare, the 277-yard 13th is just brilliant. The slopes, swales and hollows, the rises, falls and curvature of the land makes for a sublime hole where you are better off 100-yards away from the hole than from 30 for your approach.
As you may be able to tell I'm a huge admirer of Rosslare and because the middle stretch is so good I am willing to forgive it for a relatively tame finish. Holes 16, 17 and 18 play in a little triangle at the opposite side of the clubhouse and whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with the holes they don't quite capture the best of what has gone before.
At 6,702 yards (par 72) Rosslare is a sneakily long course but it doesn't feel that way. The course plays fast and promotes the best of links golf with so many options into the greens.
Rosslare is not ideally situated to build into a golfing trip to Ireland but it is well worth the journey down the M11, and then a little bit further, from Dublin to play it.
Read the review of Rosslare (Burrow) here.
The game of golf has the ability to take you on amazing journeys to the most wondrous places where you meet such interesting people.
It was an impulsive, crazy… and some would say utterly ridiculous… decision that took me to The Machrie in the Spring of 2018.