Agatha Christie described herself as "one of the most famous golf widows of all time". The crime writer, who was also the most-read author of all time, hugely resented her husband Archie's obsession with the game. This left her alone for long periods and saw him linked up for an affair with a lady golfer. Much of her prolific 91 book output could perhaps be credited to golf.
But the queen of crime novels got revenge of sorts in 1923, as Archie's golf absences were becoming ridiculous. She published her third novel: Murder On The Links with a plot that might have perturbed Archie somewhat if he managed to read the bestseller between golf outings. A high-flying golf enthusiast is discovered dead in a bunker with stab wounds in his back. Christie was known to be highly strung so perhaps Archie escaped lightly by being murdered in print only.
For those who have the cash, Bellvue in Ferrybank, Waterford, offers sure-fire salvation from golf widow/widowerhood. This very grand holiday home comes with what is believed to be one of just two house-attached privately owned 18-hole courses in Ireland.
The property on 10 acres was bought by a couple in the 1970s to turn into a dream holiday home and a base from which to visit her family (she is from Wexford). The golfing couple who have been based in the UK decided that, aside from doing the rounds of relations, they wanted to do nothing more than to play golf in their own back yard when in Ireland.
So they got to work designing upon their own experiences and utilising the natural topography of their 10 acres. The end result, a Par 3 with nine holes and 18 tee points, was finished in 1994. They called their course 'Cuan Na Mara' which means 'Haven by the Sea' and the holes are named after famous "big houses" in the area.
Since then they have hosted groups of up to 20 with no "fores" to call. The 8.5 acre course features professionally constructed fully-drained sand greens and the 18 tee positions give a challenging 2488 yard men's and 2355 yard ladies SSS 54 golfing experience.
It includes a lake, sand bunkers, shrubberies and flower gardens and many hundreds of semi and mature landscaped trees. It also comes with a professional computer controlled watering system maintaining all nine greens and most of the tee placements.
Around the house itself is shrub and flower garden, covering 1.5 acres overlooking the course and including three formal ponds, pergolas, large terraces on multiple levels.
There's a detached summerhouse triple and double glazed, antique stained glass doors, modern matching stained glass windows by a local artist. There's an external garage and workshop and a hobby room.
The front portico leads through to the tiled entrance hall. Off this are the sitting room, dining room and a tv room "snug", all of which benefit from marble fireplaces. The kitchen and dining area has handmade Canadian maple units and a rustic looking Aga. Off this is the utility room, a cloak room, a pantry, a wc and shower room. The sunroom is known as the "19th hole" and within this the owners have cultivated their own crop of grapes.
The house has its own fitness room with high pressure shower, wet and dry saunas and a massage plinth. There's a wine cellar with storage for over 1,000 bottles. The master bedroom has built-in wardrobes and an ensuite and there are three further bedrooms, all with built-in wardrobes. On the second floor level is an extensive attic room. The property is located in Ferrybank, Waterford within a field of the Suir estuary. It's within reach of Waterford and a two-hour drive to Dublin. Sherry Fitzgerald seeks €995,000 for the pleasure of teeing off a new life by the water.
Asking price: €995,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald