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