Played County Louth Golf Club on July 19th in the late afternoon. The links is a par 72 that measures 7,031 from the blue tees to 6,338 from the green tees. It was the first links visited on this trip and was a pleasure to play. County Louth played hard and fast and the breeze was coming in from the Irish Sea on this afternoon. The greens were pure, consistent throughout the round, and were a good speed. For this review will use the distances from the white tees.
Fellow golfers told me to enjoy the view from the 14th tee and playing a true links course. I can say that I did enjoy the view from the 14th tee and the challenge of playing every shot on this perfect day. I am glad I made the trip along the River Boyne to get to the links that just seems to be a natural fit between the River and the Sea. I can appreciate the original founders of the links crossing the River Boyne in a boat and declaring this property, "one of the best pieces of golfing ground in the world".
The front nine has 3 par 5s that are all in different directions and got to experience the holes with the wind (number 3), against the wind (number 2), and a cross wind (number 6). Nice routing of the holes with birdie opportunities presented here with well played shots. On this day the par 5 3rd was the easiest to reach in 2 but you must be accurate and avoid going to the right of the green. There is a little more room left of the green and a relatively easy recovery shot. Three of the four par 4s on the front measured over 400 yards. The 344 yard 4th was the one breather hole but on this day played directly into the wind. The 433 yard first played with the wind coming from the right and has well placed bunkers off the tee. The 409 yard ninth played downwind on this day with the green protected by a large bunker in front and bunkers on both sides of the green. I thought the drive on the 407 yard eighth was the most visually appealing of the nine. From the tee it looked like the fairway ended after the fairway bunker on the right but upon getting near the bunker could see a narrow strip of fairway to the left of the bunker. Just a nice golf hole. The two par threes on the front measured 158 and 153 yards. On this day I thought the 153 yard 7th played more difficult. The elevated firm green is protected by 2 bunkers in the front and the wind was coming from the left on this day with the pin in the front.
The back nine only has one par 5, the 541 yard 18th, which has many well placed bunkers the entire length of the hole. The two par threes on the back measure 152 and 179 yards. Number 15 played into the wind and number 17 played with the wind. Both were solid short hole challenges. The six par 4 yardages ranged from the short 322 yard 14th to the long 464 yard 11th. I thought the 11th was the most difficult par 4 on either nine. The view from the 14th was magnificent and even though the hole is short the putting can be very difficult and chip shots require creativity. On this day the 10th played into the wind and was a nice challenge. The wind was coming from the right side on the 12th and 13th holes and both holes were excellent tests of shot making. The 16th was a nice 401 yard dogleg right hole with well placed fairway bunkers and a wide narrow green with a large slope in front of the green.
I am very glad to have the opportunity to play County Louth and would highly recommend it to any golfer that enjoys the challenge of a true links course. Click here to see a YouTube slideshow of some pictures taken during my visit. Jim Brady
Date: July 30, 2014