County Louth Golf Club (Baltray), Ireland

County Louth Golf Club – Review and Rating

County Louth Golf Club has been called “one of the best kept secrets of Irish golf”. It is also known as Baltray.

The club was founded in 1892, but the current course was designed by Tom Simpson and opened in 1938. Most of Simpson’s layout is still there, but it has been updated by Donald Steel and Tom MacKenzie, most recently in 2003. In 2014 more upgrades are in the works, this time by the Danish rising star designer Philip Spogard, who lists on his resumé courses such as Carya in Belek and Himmerland in Jutland.

We spoke to Philip about the challenges of the redesign:

“It’s a sensitive issue. You are trying to improve on the design of some of the best architects in the world, so you have to tread lightly. You have to try to honor and preserve Simpson’s ideas, while at the same time adapt the course to today’s better equipment.”

Apart from modernizing the course, Philip is also trying to make it more pleasing to the eye. Small changes that sometimes don’t even change the play can make a big difference, like letting the rough grow high just in front of the tee where no one (hopefully) lands anyway, or re-routing a path so you cannot see it from the tee. He is also moving some bunkers to make it possible to roll the ball onto more greens, in a traditional links manner.

County Louth Golf Club Information
Address Baltray,  ,  Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland (View map)
Phone+353 41 988 1530
Email[email protected]
Websitecountylouthgolfclub.com
Total # of holes18

Baltray is a classic links course designed by classic architects.

The course is challenging. You get lulled into complacency on the first couple of holes, but then you are quickly humiliated when the course meanders through the sand dunes and the wind from the sea hits you. Not to mention the high rough or the demanding pot bunkers, hidden where you least expect them. Particularly beautiful is the drivable par four 14th. You may be able to reach the green, but more likely you will end up in trouble, wondering what went wrong.

County Louth Golf Club Information
Number of holes18
Greenfee, 1 (low) - 5 (high)4
Course AvailabilityOpen to Public
Course TypeLinks
Course DesignerMessrs Pentland & Gilroy / Tom Simpson / Donald Steel / Tom Mackenzie / Christian Spogard
Year Opened1892
Websitecountylouthgolfclub.com

 

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