Howth Golf Club was founded in 1916, with Portmarnock professional Tom Shannon laying out a 9-hole course for the members. When more land became available in the late 1920s, James Braid was invited to inspect the new site with a view to remodelling the original nine and add another nine.
Authors John F. Moreton and Iain Cumming take up the story in the book James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses: “he spent two days walking the area, which was boggy as well as densely overgrown, and is reported to have got lost in the gorse at one stage. The drainage problem was solved by digging a huge reservoir.
Braid received twenty-eight guineas for his work while (contractor) Stutt charged £1,380 plus £90 for new tees. In addition to the gorse, rocks add to the natural hazards and Braid did not require John Stutt to install too many bunkers. A letter from the secretary in 1934, recommending Stutt to the committee at Bangor, states Braid only spent two days on the course, and that Stutt’s foreman oversaw the work.”
Howth is a very hill track, offering thrill-a-minute golf on holes that go up, down and across tumbling terrain. Golfers will be lucky to find a level lie on any of the fairways and there are several blind holes where the first-time visitor might struggle, but it’s terrific fun that calls for a variety of shot-making skills to be brought into play.