County Louth Golf Club (Baltray)

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  • Architects:
  • Holes of Merit:
    3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 14
  • NCG Rank:
    48/100 in GB&I

At A Glance

This is strategic minimalism at its best from the master, Tom Simspon, at the height of his powers.

The course is consistently ranked in the Top 10 in all of Ireland.

Donald Steel called it a 'glittering example of the architectural genius of Tom Simpson.'

Further Reading

Sean Arble's tour of County Louth Golf Club can be found by clicking here

Further Viewing

To see a drone video of the links click here

Full Course Review

County Louth Golf Club, or Baltray, was founded in the early 1890's and opened for play in 1892. Later the course was altered to a plan devised by the landlord, N Halligan. It wasn't until 1938 that Tom Simpson and Molly Gourlay made it what it is today. Located north of Dublin on the Boyne River mouth, some foolish pass it by whilst travelling from Portmarnock to Newcastle.

Frank Pennink described the course as 'natural, unspoilt, seaside territory with towering sandhills, murderous rough and a rating of long holes... All of this does not mean that there is anything menacing about Baltray - far from it, for many have fallen under its charms from all categories of golfers.' Tom Doak calls it a wonderful links with a minimalist ethos. He highlights the 5th and 7th as some of the most demanding one-shot holes in all of Ireland.

Tom Simpson's characteristics are clearly seen. The routing is triangular, with only the 12th and 13th and later the 17th and 18th remotely in the same direction. Simpson also felt that fairway bunkers were unnecessary if there be bold contours, natural hazards and the greens and surrounds were properly situated... he introduced only 50 bunkers on the course.


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The Essentials

Everything you need to know before you go!