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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC New
« on: June 22, 2017, 12:41:45 PM »
A relative new comer to the Irish golf scene, L&B wasnít founded until 1909 and a year later a nine hole course was opened.  By 1915 a further nine holes were added and the course was much improved just after WWI finished. The onslaught of tourists taking advantage of new roads in the 1950s prompted the club to abandon the land near the Elizabethan Maiden Tower and several new holes were built in the dunes. Changes here and there continued for several decades and indeed there is a plan afloat to make major changes to the design by using the more billowy links near the beach.  I didnít take a good look at the plans because planning permission hasnít been obtained, but I have to believe using more linksland and hopefully creating some holes playing to and from the beach would be a great improvement. As the course is now, the holes essentially flow in two directions. That isnít to say there arenít some terrific examples in the bunch because as a group the first 10 holes are superb.  Yet, the course does seem let down by more prosaic holes on the back nine.  Details such as badly placed stone paths and several annoying walk backs to tees for the sake of added yardage are common.   

Like Deal's first, the opener strikes off in the same direction as the holes coming home then turns for the second. There is nothing particularly striking about the hole, but the approach to the hidden green is a tricky.


The golf is a bit dicier on the second, another short par 4 but over more rolling land.  One has the choice to lay-up at about 200 yards off the tee for a level approach or go longer and be left with a severely uphill shot.






The third is a more straightforward hole over cranky ground, but no less interesting for that.




More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 07:21:28 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC 1-3 New
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 03:18:14 AM »
L&B TOUR CONT

The 4th is an excellent three-shotter.  It is short enough to have a go in two, but quite dangerous for that.  The second flies up a ramp-like fairway then levels out for the greensite. As can be seen for the drive, the red tee sits above the back tees creating visual dissonance...it is details such as this which let the course down.




There was a big open competition on for Father's Day so the course was in near perfect nick. A few more days of waterless sun would do the trick!


Another fine hole, the 5th is a modest length par four playing to a plateau green. For bigger hitters the fairway runs out, but skitters along further right...leaving a poor angle of approach.  The play is to keep just right of the placid left bunkers.




Perhaps the high point of L&B is the set of short holes.  There are only three, but what questions they ask! The 6th....cut the bushes down and this hole is a combination of beauty and brains like few holes can be.  There is a ying yang relationship between the hollow and volcano green.


The purple patch continues on the 7th where trees are used in quite a unique way for a links. 


The green too is very good.  This is a view from the behind the 16th tee.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 07:21:58 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC 1-7 New
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 04:57:18 AM »
L&B TOUR CONT

Things calm down a bit for the 8th, but this otherwise straight-away hole plays over some great terrain.


Now then, the 9th and the second excellent short hole.  I think this is the only hole remaining from the orginal layout.  Like Dell and Alps, L&B's 9th should be a world reknown hole.  Playing 170 yards uphill into a fortress of dunes, there is no alternative but to hit the shot.  Lord knows what one does should the wind blow against.


The green is somewhat of a bowl, but a very small target for the task at hand.


Playing to the furthest reaches of the property, the 10th runs out of room down the right as the hole turns sharply left and downhill.  The lovely green aids the golfer who takes on the risk of OOB with an up the ramp approach.  Below is a view of the green from the far left side of the fairway.


We now turn back for the long run home.  It can be fairly said the final eight holes are vastly inferior to the first ten.  This is where the walk back to tees really become an annoyance because length is the last thing needed when playing into a routine 15mph wind. 

More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 07:22:31 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC 1-13
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2017, 05:17:52 AM »
Looks nice. I know that Philip Spogard, the architect who is working on the project you reference, is pretty excited at the potential
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
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Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC 1-13 New
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2017, 03:37:56 AM »
Adam

L&B is a good course!

LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN TOUR CONT

11-13 aren't of much interest and the 14th is a walk back hole as well, but there is relief in that the hole is less than 350 yards.  The green complex is the most interesting of these four beat back holes.


We get one last chance at downwind golf, which I vastly prefer to headwind golf if a course is keen.  Trying to judge the run-out after a ball lands is a ton of fun.  The 15th isn't a great hole, but it is like a well cooked home meal...very satisfying.




Behind the green.


We now turn once again for the ride home with a par 3, a par 4 then finish with a par 5.  The 16th is a good short hole to round out an excellent set.  On the day 190 yards was a driver for me.  Again, there is useless shrubbery interfering with good design.


At roughly 300 yards in length, on some days the 17th must be reachable....again, a good hole.


There is one slight problem, one can blow a drive miles right and actually have the best angle in!  Good drives into the wind were met with semi-blind approaches.


The final hole is a serious headscratcher.  First, I could barely reach the fairway and the penalty for coming up short was very harsh rough. To top it off two bunkers sit through the gap!


If one finds a good position in the fairway, there is a marker post in the distance, over which is the green...another 70 yards or so forward!  Not many will be capable of this sort of carry so flat bellies have a huge advantage.  Less gifted players are offered a lay-up for a blind third or a sliver of fairway for a peak at the green. The concept of the hole nearly works if not for the punishing drive.  I wonder if it wouldn't be better and safer to move the tee beyond the 17th green and call this a par 4. 


Laytown & Bettystown is a good course with several good holes and I dare say a few all-Ireland candidates in #s 6 & 9.  You will travel quite a distance to find a better set of 3s, yes, that does mean I think they top Baltray's accomplished set.  However, niggling details and the blatant push for extra yardage conspire to make the sum of L&B less than its parts.  Even so, I would be happy to play the course again as it helps round out a Dublin trip. Even if the redesign isn't on the cards, I hope the club looks hard at the course to figure out how to make what they have a better experience.

Other courses on the North of Dublin Tour

The Island
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,64667.0.html

Corballis
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,64673.0.html

Baltray
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,64710.0.html

Ciao
« Last Edit: November 24, 2022, 07:23:02 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Rory Connaughton

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2017, 10:57:41 AM »
Thanks, Sean.  L&B has been on my list for years.  This tour confirms it.  Looks very sporty.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2017, 04:27:59 AM »
Rory

For sure, L&B is worth a play if you are not too put out.  I only played it on a late call because a few folks on this site said it was worth while...they were right.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022:

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 01:48:41 PM »
What good weather you got! There are a good many courses in Ireland that fly well below the radar yet have tons of character. I haven't played in Ireland for many years, but my father and I used to hack round many empty courses, north and south, for a few pence in the 60s. Condition wasn't always the greatest but when the course was probably maintained by a couple of members it was still a delight. We did play Lahinch (old layout), Ballybunion (there was only one course then), RCD and lots of others, but we had a special love for Warrenpoint, a funny little inland course with a few seaside characteristics not far from RCD and in those days a weekly ticket was a few shillings. Unfortunately I've forgotten many of these courses - it was a long time ago and I hadn't yet discovered my interest in GCA. Maybe I'll go back with the camera one day.

John Mayhugh

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Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 12:39:27 PM »
Really interesting tour.  I am baffled by some of the bushes - what an easy improvement removing them would be. That 6th hole looks worth a visit on its own.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC New
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2017, 04:47:48 AM »
Really interesting tour.  I am baffled by some of the bushes - what an easy improvement removing them would be. That 6th hole looks worth a visit on its own.

Tucky

I too am baffled by the bush areas.  Though I really like the trees on 7.  That is twice that on recently played courses that I have come across trees in the lines of play or sight lines that I thought were good.  I must be turning into a tree hugger.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 17, 2020, 08:15:30 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 08:32:33 AM »
Bettystown would have stood out in lesser company but itís not as interesting a test as The Island, nor is it as wild a ride as Corballis.  Perhaps it was tiredness but the lesser holes , together with the walkbacks did seem to carry more weight here.
Again, perhaps it ws the wind and my game being off, but even Deal has two Par 3ís that donít required bashing. I can see what you liked about the set but they didnít add as much here as the might have on another course.
If this was elsewhere just how good would it be?  Well a course that it might compare to is Wallasey, some excellent times to be had in the dunes and not so good times outside of them. I fear its not as good. But thereís enough good golf there with some fantastic holes, for it to be a comfortable Doak 5 and I will happily go backÖhowever if limited for time Iíll choose it after one of the other 3.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: LAYTOWN & BETTYSTOWN GC New
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2017, 11:37:03 AM »
Bettystown would have stood out in lesser company but itís not as interesting a test as The Island, nor is it as wild a ride as Corballis.  Perhaps it was tiredness but the lesser holes , together with the walkbacks did seem to carry more weight here.
Again, perhaps it ws the wind and my game being off, but even Deal has two Par 3ís that donít required bashing. I can see what you liked about the set but they didnít add as much here as the might have on another course.
If this was elsewhere just how good would it be?  Well a course that it might compare to is Wallasey, some excellent times to be had in the dunes and not so good times outside of them. I fear its not as good. But thereís enough good golf there with some fantastic holes, for it to be a comfortable Doak 5 and I will happily go backÖhowever if limited for time Iíll choose it after one of the other 3.

Spangles

On limited time and budget, I would drop Baltray before the other three.  I don't see the value in the extra 70 Euros over L&B for a few extra good holes.  Interestingly, I too would give L&B a 5 (same for Corballis). In any case, I was pleased with the area and would return.  There is enough golf within easy reach of Dublin to keep things ticking over.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 05:55:09 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

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