The first golf shot in the vicinity of Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club in the late 1880s, was played by a retired banker, namely Tom Gilroy, a Scotsman who lived in Mornington House, Coney Hall. The Oznam Home now sits on the site. He was a fanatical golfer and was a member of Royal Dublin at the time and played off a handicap of plus 4.
His desire for golf was so great that he decided to create a few holes on the land that he owned in the area. He created 4 holes that were located between the south lighthouse, which is east of the existing tenth fairway and the north lighthouse, north of the Maiden Tower. In an article, which appeared in the golf magazine of the day, the following appeared; “The tee for the 1st hole is about 200 yards from Mr. Gilroy’s residence”.
As the land here was plagued with 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 of the river.
In 1895, Mr Gilroy took up a post as Secretary in East Sussex Golf Club. Nothing much happened until March 1909 when another golfing fanatic, a Mr George Daly, organised a meeting of kindred spirits. George, an auctioneer, held a meeting in his office in Laurence Street, Drogheda. The meeting was held with a view to forming a club, giving it a name and finishing off Mr Gilroy’s work. The name decided upon was Laytown and Bettystown Golf Club