County Louth Golf Club, Baltray, Ireland
About halfway between Portmarnock and Royal County Down lies a course that should automatically be drawing the masses up from Dublin, yet is one of Ireland’s most unheralded links. This is the County Louth Golf Club in Baltray, one of the country’s oldest and most historic golf clubs. Occupying a wonderfully vast and remote setting, the course is straightforward, but immensely difficult; the dunes are challenging, but eminently navigable; the club itself is a classic, but completely welcoming. In fact, visitors are invited to spend the night upstairs in the clubhouse in the spartan but atmospheric dormy rooms. We could think of many worse fates than having to take a shower down the hall, especially when we can wake up 50 yards from the first tee, and can spend the evening enjoying putting competitions on the clubhouse putting clock, pints-in-hand, with no driving worries! Our favorite hole at County Louth is the 14th, “The Cup,” a short, almost driveable par 4 playing gently downhill from a wonderful tee in the dunes, before bending back uphill and to the right to a tiny green. County Louth can be played as a day trip from Dublin, on the way to or from Royal County Down, or, best yet in our opinion, accept the invitation to stay the night!