Irish Golf Desk
Irish Golf Desk
Golf news and features

Out of Bent and Sand

By Brian Keogh

The Centenary History of Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club (1909-2009)

Click on the image below to read the book on-line or download directly by clicking here


Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated;

it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is, at the

same time, rewarding and maddening and, without a doubt,

the greatest game ever invented. Arnold Palmer

Once upon a time in the east…

According to legend, St Patrick baptised his first convert near the spot where the River Nanny meets the sea at Laytown, or ‘An Inse’. From here, three miles of golden strand stretch northwards past Bettystown and on to the fishing village of Mornington. It is a place of great natural beauty, and the setting for one of the finest links courses: Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club.

The history of the club starts in 1885, when Tom Gilroy, a retired Scottish banker and golf enthusiast, moved into Coney Hall and built a rudimentary course amongst the dunes that meander along the coast from Laytown to the Elizabethan Maiden’s Tower at Mornington. As the land here was plagued by rabbits, Gilroy eventually abandoned his private course and headed across the River Boyne to Baltray, where he helped found County Louth Golf Club in 1892. Happily for a century of golfers at Laytown & Bettystown, this decision did not mean the end of golf on the south side of the river.

The Boyne, now world-famous for its association with the Battle of Boyne of 1690, was for many years the lifeblood of the fishing village of Mornington, which was one of the earliest seats of the Wellesley family, who would give the world the Duke of Wellington. In 1816, just a year after the Battle of Waterloo, the estate passed to the Brabazons, who would eventually lease the lands at Mornington to a keen band of golfing pioneers in 1908. The following year Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club was founded and a great sporting story began.

To purchase a copy of Out of Bent and Sand, please contact Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club +353 (0) 41-9827170.