Wednesday 26 October 2016

On course for a life of golfing luxury

This sprawling mansion offers a lot more than golf

Eithne Tynan

Published 19/02/2016 | 02:30

Built in 2002, the house was extended five years later to a sprawling 6,759 sq ft
Built in 2002, the house was extended five years later to a sprawling 6,759 sq ft
Black Kilkenny limestone tiles run throughout most of the ground floor.
The kitchen has marble counter-tops and a gas-fired Aga.
A bathroom with room to spare.
One of the six ensuite bedrooms.
The triple-aspect drawing room has two sets of doors leading to the garden.
The sitting room with wooden floor and fireplace.
The bright stairwell.

It has to be supposed that if a couple buys a house together on a golf course, it's because both of them are fond of the game. It would be too unreasonable to suspect that only one party is a keen golfer and the other is a downtrodden golf widow who's been forced into it.

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If, however, you do find yourself in such a nasty predicament, you may discover there are advantages to living in such close proximity to the course. After all, revenge is a dish best served on the putting green.

All you have to do is pop out and move his ball when he's not looking. Just move it some distance farther away from the hole. Better yet, throw it over the wall into your own garden. Then, when he can't find it, you'll be able to point out, with perfect justice, that that's because he still hasn't got around to mowing the lawn.

Number 17 Fox Covert, on the Mount Juliet estate and golf course in County Kilkenny, couldn't be better situated in this respect. It's close to both the second and the 17th greens of the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, giving you two chances to exact revenge - the first when he's starting out, still buoyant with optimism, and the second when he's nearing the end of his game and is all but crushed by failure.

If that all sounds too unsporting, the 1,500-acre Mount Juliet resort does come with other compensations. As well as the golf, it has a four-star hotel, a Michelin-star restaurant (the Lady Helen), a luxury spa and a leisure centre with a gym and swimming pool.

You can also go horse-riding, or try archery or falconry. And golf tuition is available too, for when you eventually cave.

Built in 2002, Number 17 was extended about five years later to a sprawling 6,759 sq ft. The extension added a single-storey sunroom, a master bedroom suite, and a vast drawing room.

Its layout is now a U-shape, with the sunroom connecting the two wings on the ground floor.

The entrance hall has a guest toilet and a small office, both the same size at roughly 8ft 6ins by 7ft. There are small hallways left and right and double doors straight ahead leading to the recently added sunroom.

The huge, triple-aspect drawing room is to the right of the entrance hall, and has a fireplace and two sets of doors to the garden. It measures over 50ft by 26ft, surely rivalling a putting green in size, and has a Kilkenny limestone floor, which seems a bit of an oversight - if the owners had only carpeted it in green baize instead, they might have practised their putting all day indoors, with no one to see.

To the left of the hall there's a sitting room with a wood floor and a fireplace. Then you go through a small inner hallway, where the stairs is, past a utility room and cloakroom to the kitchen. This is roughly 25ft by 16ft and has marble counter tops, a breakfast bar, fitted wine racks and a gas-fired Aga.

There are six bedrooms on the first floor, all with en-suites and dressing rooms. There's also a seventh bedroom within the master bedroom suite - probably not usable by guests or other family members, but handy enough as a bolthole for one of you if you've fallen out over the golf.

The house has gas-fired central heating, assisted by that Aga in the kitchen and supplemented by electric under-floor heating, and it has an energy rating of C1.

Number 17 is on 2.24 acres, so there should be clearance to ensure golf balls don't break the windows. Its garden has two patios and a barbecue area, and is dotted with sculptures and planted with ornamental trees, shrubs and bamboo, with a sunken lawn.

There's a costly annual service charge associated with the house, amounting to €3,534 a year at present. That includes insurance, security and refuse collection. However, residents do get reduced membership rates for use of the resort facilities. Couples can join for €2,925 and a €150 member club levy. Single membership - if you're really stubborn about not joining in - costs €1,950 and a €75 member club levy.

Fox Covert is on a meandering cul-de-sac inside the Mount Juliet demesne, sparsely surrounded by other millionaire-style holiday homes. Unless they're particularly antagonistic golf rivals, the neighbours shouldn't prove troublesome.

The nearest town is the medieval settlement of Thomastown, eastward along the River Nore, which is home to a flourishing music scene and is also, handily enough, on the Dublin-Waterford railway line.

Number 17  Fox Covert,

Mount Juliet Estate and Golf Course, Co Kilkenny

Asking price: €1.7m

Agent: Savills Country (01) 663 4350

Indo Property

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