Laytown & Bettystown - Meath - Ireland

Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club,
Bettystown,
County Meath,
Ireland


  • +353 (0) 41 982 7170

  • Jim Griffin

  • Robert "Bobby" Browne

  • Scott Kirkpatrick

The two-mile stretch of sandy beach from Mornington, at the mouth of the river Boyne, south to Laytown resounds every summer to the sound of horse hooves, giving Bettystown a somewhat unique sporting claim to fame as a horse racing track! However, it’s the rolling dune land behind the strand – known locally as “the Burrows” – where local golfers seek their sporting pursuits.

Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club attribute the design of their course to Robert "Bobby" Browne (more commonly called R J), their professional from 1967 until his passing in 2015. Among his many duties at the club, RJ had in his time given lessons to Des Smyth and Phillip Walton (former members and, of course, Ryder Cup participants) as well as being involved in various course changes over nearly fifty years.

The original Laytown & Bettystown course was a 9-hole affair (with a par of 38!), which was laid out between Bettystown and Mornington Lighthouse in 1909. Eight years later, another 9 holes were added to establish a full 18-hole course. Several years after that, four of the original holes were replaced, creating the course that RJ Browne further developed.

Not overly long by modern day standards at 6,450 yards, the course contains many of the characteristics treasured by links lovers – humps and hollows, narrow green entrances, blind approaches and an out-and-back routing that follows the natural contours of the land.

There are only three par three holes on the course (at holes 6, 9 and 16) and no fewer than three old-fashioned short par fours measuring less than 345 yards (at holes 2, 14 and 17).

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Reviews for Laytown & Bettystown

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Description: Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club contains many of the characteristics treasured by links lovers – humps and hollows, blind approaches and an out-and-back routing that follows the natural contours of the land. Rating: 4.2 out of 6 Reviews: 6

I wouldn't pretend this is a world beater, but I would also say I don't think you need anything more in a golf course than what is on offer here.

It starts out with a couple short 4s, but then increases the interest starting at the 3rd. There's a poor man's version of the 15th at Portmarnock playing along the beach, a driveable 4 or two, along with some requiring a 3 wood and that bend around a dune or two. Some of the holes near the road are flat and featureless, but there is lots of good golf here.

If you are looking for something to play between Dublin and the North, it's a worthwhile stop and excellent value.

The course is a solid 3.5 worth being bumped up to a 4 instead of dropped down to a 3. And with some ambitious plans to significantly change the routing, best play it now, before they 'modernize' it for better or worse.

4 / 6
Laytown & Bettystown
December 06, 2018


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I had the good fortune in being told to visit this course after my time at nearby Baltray / County Louth. I wasn't expecting a good deal since I had not heard a word about it and I have to say that there are a few holes of note mixed in with a number of others that are fairly ordinary. The opening nine runs closest to the Irish Sea and the ground movement is also a splendid treat. The holes are not exacting in terms of length but the ground conditions can propel the slightest mishap into some very interesting situations.

The 2nd plays parallel to the Sea and is a quality short par-4. The 3rd that follows ups the ante considerably as the tee shot on this par-4 of 410 yards is tested for length and accuracy. The par-5 4th is a quality hole as the terrain provides for an elevate green that accepts only the best of plays.

As you head deeper into the property the holes move away from the close proximity to the Sea. The dog-leg left par-4 10th is a fine hole -- be mindful of the turning point because it's very easy to hit through the fairway. The 11th and 12th run in the same direction with OB lurking on the right side on these two quality holes.

The closing hole is certainly one to remember. The par-5 hole of 480+ yards dog-legs left and OB is perched on the right side. The slightest push will have your playing partner utter the dire words of "reload." The green is something to behold. You don't see it because it's hidden behind mounds. Am aggressive tee shot that finds the fairway can attempt to reach in two blows. Keep in mind, the OB is ever near towards the right and rear of the green.

Laytown and Bettystown is a great example of a fun course worthy to check out when in the area. Clearly, it's not in the upper echelon of the more noted Irish courses but it provides some rousing fun and if there was ever an opportunity to upgrade a few of the holes it could be a good bit better.

by M. James Ward

3 / 6
Laytown & Bettystown
February 21, 2018


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A step back in time, whether you consider the course or the staff, ignoring actual age, just describing the experience here. However, if you embrace this, you might have a great little time: the hesitant start and the routing might remind you of Deal, the half-blind last hole of S&A or Castlerock. The best could be that you might almost have it all to yourselves and enjoy a drink on the 19th while your friends curse the slow play standing on the 12th tee on a more well-known course, having paid 4x your fee. Who is the wiser - or the happier - now?
4 / 6
Laytown & Bettystown
March 09, 2015


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A great fun golf course with a brilliant mixture of fun, quirky holes to strong and challenging ones. Played in June and it was bouncy so hitting fairways was tough. If you are in this area then Laytown is well worth a play. Very welcoming clubhouse. (6 handicap golfer)
5 / 6
Laytown & Bettystown
July 08, 2014


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Played this course only this morning on a calm winter day. The course was in great shape considering its midwinter and was a great test. You are made to consider every shot carefully as the course has plenty of humps and bumps and positioning is everything. Its not a terribly long course but you are made to work for your score. If you can play here with a bit of thought going into your shots you can do well as certain positions on the fairway will leave you with a straightforward approach shot whereas other positions on the fairway or in the rough will leave you with a blind approach over towering dunes. Every hole seems to be this way and is risk/reward, just dont go smashing driver on every tee box.The greens were immaculate and a pleasure to (three) putt on. Every one of them was top notch. After the round, i ate in the clubhouse and despite was the previous poster said, the food was lovely. I had steak and chips and it was fantastic.If you are in the area then definatly give this course a try as it will test your cunning, resolve and grit. Personally i prefer Seapoint but this course is a better test and its links golf in all her raw beauty.
5 / 6
Laytown & Bettystown
November 25, 2008


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Played it Sept '06 as part of a week long golf trip. A bit of a hike from Dublin but worth the trek. We played 36 to get the full taste and to a man we all enjoyed it. Not fancy but solid links golf with strong winds off the Irish Sea and a mix of fog, sun and drizzle all in the same round. Reasonably memorable layout with some tough par 3's and a good mix of lengths on the par 4's. My only caution is beware what you eat there. We had lunch and supper. Very forgettable. A charming little course.
4 / 6
Laytown & Bettystown
October 02, 2007


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