Sunday 23 October 2016

Luxury is par for the course

Exclusivity is name of the game at this pristine home at the K Club, writes

Katy McGuinness

Published 20/05/2016 | 02:30

No 7 Churchfields is one of only 20 detached homes in an exclusive gated development.
No 7 Churchfields is one of only 20 detached homes in an exclusive gated development.
Parking for the golf buggy at the back.
Patio with views of the course.
Dining room.
The living room with doors to the patio.
Master bedroom with balcony looking out on the golf course.
The open plan floor space.

Only those with zero interest in Ireland's national spectator sport, golf, will be unaware that yesterday saw the start of the 2016 Irish Open at the K Club, the only European Tour event held in Ireland.

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It's 10 years since the famous European Ryder Cup victory over the US at the same venue, and the stars of the current European firmament have gathered to battle it out in Kildare.

England's Danny Willett, the first European winner of the US Open in 17 years at Augusta last month, is here.

So too are Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer.

The Ryder Cup Palmer Course, designed by the legendary champion, is acknowledged to be amongst the finest parkland courses in the country, made challenging by its natural hazards of water, trees and deep bunkers.

No 7 Churchfields overlooks the fourteenth fairway of this prestigious course, and is one of just 20 detached homes in a small and exclusive gated development than can be accessed only by residents, via a private road.

The property is secluded and private, and has its own electric gates. It's the kind of house in which keen golfers will wake up and think that they have died and gone to heaven.

The target market for this property is not, however, just wealthy golfers with the luxury of time to spend indulging their passion, but also families for whom the location is convenient, because of its proximity to a selection of schools in the area, as well as the university at Maynooth.

Of course, it's likely that they too will have more than a passing interest in golf, giving them something in common with the neighbours when they get together for drinks, or over dinner in the well-regarded Byerley Turk restaurant.

The K Club's fine-dining restaurant is named after the earliest of three stallions that were the founders of modern thoroughbred horse-racing bloodstock, and it is where executive chef Finbar Higgins presides over a sophisticated menu.

Families may also be attracted by the prospect of hot-housing any nascent talent displayed on the course by potential champions of the future. With everything needed for practise right there on the doorstep, there's no reason that little Sean and Saoirse cannot also become Masters champions.

With 3120 sq ft of living space, No 7's internal layout is configured to suit both entertaining and family life.

The main living room is spacious, with a marble fireplace, wood floors, and doors that lead directly outside to the patio, which is south-facing.

The open dining area has another marble fireplace and it too links with the patio, while the kitchen has a breakfast area and a separate utility room.

On the ground floor level there is also a family room, a large bedroom with an en-suite, and a smaller bedroom and separate bathroom.

Upstairs, the master bedroom has a balcony overlooking the golf course, as well as a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom. Also on this floor is another bedroom/study with its own balcony.

Carpets, curtains and integrated appliances are included in the sale.

The K Club itself sits in an estate of 700 acres of Kildare parkland along the banks of the River Liffey. Now a five-star hotel and spa, the resort has a second championship golf course - the K Club course - also designed by Palmer. The original Straffan House was built for the Barton family, of wine geese fame, and now forms the east wing of the hotel.

Hugh Barton purchased the land from the Henry family, and also acquired Barberstown Castle at around the same time, to ensure that he and his family had somewhere to live during the construction of Straffan House. The design was based on a château at Louveciennes to the west of Paris, not far from Versailles, and later a bell tower was added.

The house passed through several generations of the Barton family - all of whom served as High Sheriff of Kildare - until, in 1949, Derick Barton was forced to sell the estate to motorcycle manufacturer, John Ellis, for £15,000.

Other owners over the years have included car importer Steven O'Flaherty, property developer Patrick Gallagher, the film producer responsible for the James Bond film Thunderball, Kevin McClory, and the founder of the Iranian air force, Nader Jahanbani.

The house and estate were purchased by the Smurfit Group in 1988 and, after a programme of restoration, the hotel opened in 1991. The property is now wholly owned by Michael Smurfit.

The K Club is located in Straffan, County Kildare, an attractive village with a population of fewer than 500 people, positioned between Naas and Maynooth.

Dublin city centre is 18 miles away, while the M50 is just 12 miles and Dublin Airport 21 miles away.

No 7 Churchfields,

The K Club, Straffan, Co. Kildare

Asking price: €1.25m

Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald, (01) 237 6300

Indo Property

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