Seapoint, Co. Louth, Ireland
A 'links Pitch and Putt course' refers to the type of soil and terrain on which it is built. Less than 5% of the Pitch and Putt courses in Ireland are true links courses, A Links is any rough grassy area between the sea and the land and the word itself is derived form the Anglo-Saxon word 'hlinc', of about 931 AD, meaning a ridge.
True links soil is sandy and because of the lack of moisture, the grass tends to have short blades with long roots. The grass in the rough is often the wispy long grass which makes play very difficult even in a good lie. Links courses drain well and provide a very firm surface all year round.
Sand dunes and a lovely beach surround Seapoint, a links Pitch and Putt course located near Baltray Golf Club (the famous Co. Louth golf links, host annually to the Golfing Union of Ireland East of Ireland championship).
When the wind blows around Seapoint, par can be a very good score as holding the greens, particularly downwind, can be next to impossible. The greens themselves are invariably fast.
Work on the course started in 1948. The course developed over the next 4 years and was first affiliated in 1952. The first Gents and Lady Captains were husband and wife team, Paddy and Betty Rafferty. Ever since Seapoint has prided itself on a family atmosphere, which still exists to this day.
It is interesting to note that in the early years, Seapoint could boast of such active playing members as the legendary Philomena Garvey, the then Irish Ladies Golf champion and Kevin Garvey (her brother), the former East of Ireland Golf champion.
Numerous Leinster and All Ireland Champions have come out of the club over the years and even a number of international players - Sean Breen and Pat Greene and the late Terry Hanratty (RIP) and Francis Leech (RIP) - who have represented club and country as far away as Australia
There are many outstanding holes at Seapoint. The most famous might be Pat Greene's 1994 creation, the 16th (pictured above). A medium length pitch is required to a green set into the dunes and ringed by bunkers.
Seapoint's first "clubhouse" was a bus, originally the property of Northern Railways. The beautiful modern clubhouse was officlally opened in 1994, the year Seapoint first hosted the Inter-County championship. In the years before that, the club had completed the purchase of the land on which the course stood and installed an automatic watering system.
Since then, Seapoint has hosted the National Strokeplay championship, the Irish Matchplay championship twice and the Inter-County again in 2002.
Club personalities include Tommy Murphy, the 10th President of the PPUI along with international player and manager, Sean Breen.
Situate just thirty minutes from Dublin Airport via the M1 Motorway, any visit to Seapoint is a memorable experience.
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