Seapoint Links: Carr journey from a leaking roof to a Legends Tour event.

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The amazing story of how a golf club in Ireland hit the road to success in just 18 months with the help of Carr Golf.
Posted on
July 19, 2023
by
Steve Jackson in
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Seapoint Links’ remarkable transformation witnessed another significant development last month as the County Louth venue hosted a European Legends Tour event just 18 months after the club was in serious financial trouble.

The sight of green jacket holder Ian Woosnam, Open champion Paul Lawrie and US Open winner Michael Campbell, plus several former Ryder Cup stars, playing the course would have been unimaginable in late 2021.

Back then, the club was owned by the membership, the clubhouse roof was leaking, revenue for course improvements was almost non-existent and Covid was badly affecting visitor numbers and income.

But that all changed when Seapoint approached Carr Golf about using their considerable experience in the golf and travel industry to help them with the course management and debt resolution, and the impact has been almost instant.

Seapoint Links: Carr journey from a leaking roof to a Legends Tour event.

Carr Golf CEO Marty Carr explained: “Members had owned the Club for 20 years, but there was a significant debt that they couldn’t service.

“It wasn’t in great shape but we could tell that it was an undiscovered diamond that just needed a good polish. We agreed to put a package together to purchase the club, which the membership agreed to.

“In an 18-month period, we have taken a dilapidated facility, spruced it up and turned it into a club capable of hosting a momentous event. The timeline to get to this stage has been very tight, which has been a real challenge.

“The excitement and support locally got through to the suppliers and they all bought into the project. This area doesn’t have any events like this, so the interest generated has been phenomenal. We wanted to make this fun for anyone coming along.

“Without the investment, this event wouldn’t be here, the media wouldn’t be here, the players wouldn’t be here, the celebrities wouldn’t be here, so this was a classic way for us to resurrect Seapoint.”

Chief commercial officer Alex Saul added: “The fabric of the building was undermined because we had rain coming through the roof, we had failing doors and windows, we had insulation issues and we had mechanical and electrical issues.

“So the initial focus had to be on protecting the building, which led to an interior refurbishment. We were very lucky to find really good local contractors, who rallied around this project and all delivered. They got emotionally involved in what we were trying to deliver.

“We added an outdoor terrace, which is unique because there aren’t many Golf Clubs that have the option of looking out over the coastline. The next phase is the golf course.”

Seapoint Golf Links Bar

Seapoint already have an excellent golf course, with two contrasting loops of nine holes - the outward half being a parkland layout, while the back nine is a typical links.

With a ditch to clear on the short par four opening hole, water also comes into sight on three of the next four holes, especially the fourth and fifth where the greens are well protected by large ponds.

Any golfer with an ability to manoeuvre the ball in either direction should enjoy the next three holes as they all involve a double dogleg.

The strength of the wind will be a factor over the back nine, especially on the opening two holes, which are usually into any breeze, while the trio of par fours from the 12th are arguably the most difficult holes.

But with two short holes and a par five from an elevated tee to finish, it is possible to score well over the closing stretch as former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker proved on his way to a superb Legends Tour three-round winning total of 18-under-par.

Whilst Seapoint emphasised it’s capability to host a big tournament, it’s not the only quality golfing venue in County Louth, with neighbouring Baltray golf course already holding a significant place in golfing history.

County Louth Golf Club, Baltray

It was there in 2009 that 22-year-old Irishman Shane Lowry became the third, and last, amateur golfer to win on the European Tour (now DP World Tour) as he clinched the Irish Open in a play-off.

A true links course offering relatively generous fairways, Baltray’s wispy rough gives you a chance of finding your ball if slightly off-line, but anything very wayward is usually dead.

The well-placed bunkers and run off areas around the greens are a constant feature, but players need to be wary of getting sucked into going for the flags, especially when they are positioned at the front of the putting surfaces because they are fraught with danger.

The back nine is arguably the more interesting loop of holes with a stiff run of challenging holes from the turn onwards - a dogleg right to left, followed by three successive long par fours, usually into the wind.

Whilst the views from the 14th tee of the Termonfeckin Beach are stunning, this short but tricky par four can catch out the best golfers, before the closing few holes offer some chances to score.

With Laytown and Bettystown another highly regarded course in the locality, the fact that all these golfing venues are less than an hour away from Dublin, and just 15 minutes from the picturesque and historic town of Drogheda, adds to the attraction.

Saul explained: “Drogheda is in a really unique position because there aren’t many towns in Ireland that can deliver that great tourist product so close.

“The River Boyne is one of the best salmon and sea trout fishing rivers in Ireland, plus a great seafood coast, while we also have Slane Castle and Battle of the Boyne heritage sites.

“There’s a product that can be harnessed if we get the infrastructure right to incorporate the great hotels, like the D Hotel, and restaurants. We are rallying the community to say let’s continue in this direction. We see this as a launch pad.”

Hugh De Lacy Bridge, The Viaduct, River Boyne, Drogheda, County Louth, County Meath

Contact info:

Seapoint Golf Links
Termonfeckin, County Louth, A92 RV08.
www.seapointgolflinks.com
Tel: 00353 41 982 2333

County Louth (Baltray Golf Club)
Baltray, County Louth, A92 HK03.
www.countylouthgolfclub.com
Tel: 00353 41 988 1530.

D Hotel
Scotch Hall Shopping Centre, Marsh Road, Drogheda, County Louth.
www.thedhotel.com
Tel: +353 41 9877700.

Golf Ireland
www.golfireland.ie

Sport Ireland
www.sportireland.ie

Tourism Ireland
www.failteireland.ie

About Steve Jackson

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