I therefore had a rough idea what to expect prior to visiting here in mid-March of 2022.
It would be a fools errand to try and compare the two and each one should be taken on their own merits because they both cover a vastly differing landscape and hence provide widely different golf experiences.
Here, I paid a green-fee of just 40 Euros to play and although the course isn't to my personal taste (except for the final four holes) you cannot argue with that price and I absolutely felt to get superb value for money. The condition of the links, which opened in 1993 and was designed by Des Smyth & Declan Brannigan, was first class.
They say first impressions count for a lot and unfortunately the opening five holes do not set the pulse racing here with high quality links golf. The holes individually are decent but they play amongst a housing development, through trees and over the worst of the terrain with ponds and a burn which attempt to add some strategy early on in the round. It's all a bit cluttered, has more of a parkland feel and doesn't quite feel right.
If the start is below average then the finale is at the opposite end of the scale entirely. The final four holes, towards and then along the coastline are the stuff of dreams and these holes would live comfortably on any of the best courses on the island of Ireland, or indeed throughout the British Isles.
In-between we have respectable mixture of good, very good and some largely forgettable.. Holes six to nine pick up the pace after the poor start whilst the 10th and 11th raise the bar further and the 12th and 14th are also pleasing on the eye before the outstanding four holes to end the round. There is a championship feel to the majority of the round.
The first of this fab four is the short 15th with a devilish green sat below a huge sand-dune. The tilt of the green and the drop-off to the left is just perfect. It's one of those green complexes you could spend and eternity around playing an infinite amount of different shots. For the last three we turn directly along the sea edge where we are greeted with true links golf in all it's majestic glory. The 16th is a short par-four with an amazing fairway and a sneaky little green. The 17th is another one-shotter with a green nestled in the dunes and the strategic par-five last is everything you could hope for in a closing hole.
It should also be pointed out that the condition and presentation of this (almost) true links was absolutely top notch.
Overall Seapoint (par 72 / 6,439 metres) is a mixed bag, no doubt a stern test of golf, and it leaves the nicest of tastes and fond memories as you depart thanks to superb end to the round. It may be overshadowed by County Louth Golf Club but don't let that put you off visiting.
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.