Not many of our readers will have heard of Seapoint Golf links. It’s located in the village of Termonfeckin (which sounds like an Irish swear word). It’s a few miles outside the town of Drogheda, which is about 50 minutes drive north of Dublin.
Seapoint’s next door neighbour is the more famous County Louth Golf Club, also known as Baltray (the village it’s located in). While Baltray has been around since 1892, Seapoint is only 30 years old.
Designed by renowned Irish golfer and two time Ryder Cup player, Des Smyth and Associates, construction began in the summer of 1990. Using a local plant hire company, the course was laid out and all earthworks were completed in only 3 months.
After the fast start to the construction of the course, weather conditions caused havoc with the seeding programme with many areas requiring reseeding so it wasn’t until the summer of 1993 that the course officially opened.
Now you know where it’s located and its history, is it worth visiting on an Irish Golf Trip?
The answer to that is a resounding YES, if you can find it….
A “Hidden” Gem
The term “hidden gem” is a much used and much maligned term to describe a course that you may never have heard of. In the case of Seapoint, it’s very apt.
It’s not as hard to find as Innisfree (the fictional community in John Wayne’s The Quiet Man), however, you can easily miss the entrance to the estate on which the links sit. I would respectfully suggest to Seapopint that it’s time to announce your location to the world. Increase the size of the signage at the entrance, we had to ask some locals how to get there as we had driven past it!
Once you arrive at the course, you are greeted by a very modern clubhouse and pro shop. The facilities are all new as the previous clubhouse, which had been built in 1994, was deemed unsuitable for 21st-century needs. Once a private members club, the course and facilities are now owned by Genesis Links Ltd. Their recent investment means that the clubhouse has been renovated to the high standards befitting the venue. More investment is planned in 2023 and beyond.
Playing the Links
The course at Seapoint Golf Links is a par 72 with four sets of tees ranging from 5644 to 7150 yards. We played from the white tees at just over 6700 yards. The front and back nines are perfectly balanced with two par 5’s and two par 3’s on each although the back nine is slightly longer.
It states proudly on the Seapoint website that none other than multiple major winner, and Irish Legend, Padraig Harrington has said that there is not a weak hole on the entire golf course. We were about to find out if that was a touch of the blarney or if it was true!
The Front Nine
The front nine holes are the furthest holes on the course from the Irish Sea although you can hear the waves from many of the holes. Our favourite holes on this nine were the two par 3’s, the 2nd and the 9th as well as the 4th and 5th, two par 4’s with water in play on both.
Beware the hidden burn on the 2nd hole
The second is a short par 3 which plays slightly uphill. Take enough club to carry the ball to the flag as the green slopes from back to front. Beware the burn which winds its way around the front and up the right hand side of the sloping green. It’s an excellent par 3.
Holes 4 and 5 are tricky par 4’s. On the 4th, there is water and marshland to the right of the green so keep your approach to the left. On the 5th, you again have a challenging second shot to a green surrounded by water. No wonder it’s stroke index one on the card. A decent drive will leave you a medium iron to the green. There is no bail out here. It’s a test of nerve to go at the pin on this hole.
Back to the clubhouse, the 9th hole
The 9th is another excellent par 3 which brings you back to the clubhouse. The prevailing wind is into and from the right so take enough club to get there. There is a tier in the green so if the pin is at the back, club up again!
The front nine has an excellent variety of holes that will test all parts of your game.
The Back Nine
The back nine starts with a straightforward par 5. It’s followed by three par 4’s of a similar length, but all play differently. The 11th plays left to right, the 12th is a straight hole and the 13th is right to left. They are all excellent holes however the fun really starts from the 14th, all the way home.
The 14th is the start of a fantastic run of holes. it’s a par 4 which plays left to right. The green is partially hidden and sits above you in a bowl. You can’t see the bottom of the flag so trust the yardage. Better to take a club less than over club as there is trouble and out of bounds through the back.
The Closing Stretch
The tricky 15th hole, especially in the wind
The 15th is another cracking par 3. It’s only 150 yards off the white tees but you cannot be short and left as it will leave you a tricky up and down. If you can keep the ball low, the big dune on the right will protect your shot from the constant breeze off the Irish Sea.
The 16th green with the beach and the Irish Sea
The closing stretch, holes 16, 17 and 18, run parallel to the beach. These are the holes that your memories of Seapoint are made. If you get a good drive away on 16, it will leave a short iron into a small green. It’s a great birdie chance.
The spectacular 17th hole, is the perfect photo opportunity
The 17th is Seapoint’s signature hole. Again, it’s not a long par 3. However standing on the elevated tee, with the beach on your right, it is just a beautiful, picturesque hole. It isn’t easy as any breeze or wind off the water makes it difficult to hit the long narrow green. There’s a hidden bunker, on the right about halfway up the green so favour the left side if you can.
The stunning 18th hole, this is my new laptop wallpaper photo
The 18th is a fitting closing hole to this excellent links course. At 520 yards, it gives you the option to go for the green in two however the green is tucked away behind a dune so you can only see part of the putting surface from the fairway. If you are not in the perfect position on the fairway and can’t reach it, lay up to around 80 yards short. It will still require a good pitch shot as the green has plenty of run-off areas and slopes.
A welcome sight after the golf, the bar
The clubhouse is contemporary and welcoming. Interestingly, the crest in the tiles at the entrance gives the established date as 1990, when the course was designed, not when it opened.
Eating or drinking, the Main Lounge is the place to be
The main lounge is open plan with glass doors the full length of the lounge giving cracking views out over the new patio area, the eighteenth green and beyond.
The cosy Small Lounge
We particularly enjoyed the small lounge at the far end where we had a coffee and a scone prior to our golf. It’s a much more intimate space for small groups to gather pre and post-round. The food we enjoyed after our round was excellent and we were well looked after by the friendly and attentive staff.
Our thanks go to everyone on the team at Seapoint Golf Links. It was a treat to play your course and meet you all. Special thanks to Dermot DeLoughray, Gerry Kelly, Ed Martin and David Carroll for hosting us. A special thank you to Ciaran Fitzsimmons for your company, craic and transport.
The Big Question, would we go back?
Seapoint Golf Links is excellent. For a course that I hadn’t heard of, it was a great surprise and a treat to play. There are no easy holes so you need to play well to score. That doesn’t mean it’s a boring slogfest. It’s a challenge, but one you will enjoy. The run of holes from 14 to 18 are a delight and will leave you with fond memories and a few tales to tell. Especially over a Guinness or two in the clubhouse post-round. It’s a course you wouldn’t get tired of playing. Being right on the sea, the wind would ensure that there’s always a variety of shots required to get close to the pins, and sometimes even the greens.
We loved it and can’t wait to return!! Slainte!!
At a Glance
- Seapoint is a 50 minute drive from Dublin
- Full sized practice area
- Short game area and putting green
- Well-equipped pro shop
- Modern comfortable clubhouse
- Excellent welcoming staff