Mount Juliet Key Information
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|Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland.
|+353 (0)56 777 3000
|€135-€170 per round high-season; from €70 at other times of year
|No stated restrictions
|Men: 72 blue, white, green; Ladies: 73 red
|Men: 143 blue, 140 white, 134 green; Ladies: 129 red
Golf Monthly Verdict
Jack Nicklaus’ Irish masterpiece, laid out over a vast 500-acre Kilkenny estate, has matured beautifully over the course of three decades. Magnificent beech and oak line the fairways with water a regular feature and challenge.
Despite this, there is also a feeling of great space at Mount Juliet. Few modern Irish parkland courses can rival Mount Juliet for setting and strength of test.
REASONS TO PLAY MOUNT JULIET
- One of the very finest parkland courses in the UK&I
- A real feeling of tranquility and space when you're out on the course
- Enough water to keep you on your toes and a number of truly memorable holes
UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 95
The magnificent course that the Golden Bear built on the Mount Juliet Estate in quiet County Kilkenny during Ireland’s 1990s top-end course-building frenzy is now over 30 years old.
It provides a truly majestic setting for the game and has matured extremely well over the course of three decades. Tranquil, beautiful and at times generously open, but with holes that are beautifully framed, this really is one of Ireland’s – and indeed the UK&I’s - very best modern parkland layouts.
Many professional events have visited Mount Juliet, including the Irish Open three times in the 1990s and the WGC–American Express Championship twice, with Tiger and Ernie the victors. The Irish Open returned in 2021 for the first time in 26 years.
Magnificent beech trees and oak line the perfectly manicured fairways, and as is so often the case at a Nicklaus course, water is a regular feature and, indeed, challenge. It's undoubtedly one of the best golf courses in Ireland and also features in our UK&I Top 100 courses rankings.
Yet despite its tree-lined nature, there is also a great feeling of space at Mount Juliet where the course occupies part of a vast 500-acre estate.
Standout holes include the short 3rd, which is protected by both a natural stream and a lake, the long 10th, where a copse of trees gives golfers two distinct choices for their route to the green, and the 16th, where the unusual walled green is almost entirely encircled by sand.
The closing pair bring water to the fore once more, especially if your miss is left, as the 17th and 18th – a sizable par 5 and more-than-sizable par 4 respectively – play either side of the same large lake.
Many fine parkland courses were created in Ireland shortly before and during the time of the Celtic Tiger boom, but few can rival Mount Juliet for both setting and strength of test.
What The Top 100 Panel Said
As is often the case with parkland courses, the views are more ‘pleasant’ than ‘dramatic’ due to the inland settings. This is very much the case at Mount Juliet. Many holes are tree-lined and quite secluded from others, some are more open. The setting is quite rural so it is definitely a relaxing place to enjoy a game.
The fairways were generous, in good condition and well-defined visually. The rough is not punitive and while the ball may sit down, there is usually a clear shot to the green. It's the best course in the area and amongst the best parkland courses in the country. You feel like you are the only golfer on the premises from when you start your round.
Mount Juliet location
Mount Juliet Green Fees
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|Min / max according to time of day or year
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|Sunday to Thursday
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|Friday and Saturday
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|See booking system on club website
|Row 3 - Cell 2
Best Courses Near Mount Juliet
It may be a long way to Tipperary, but it’s worth the drive if you want to enjoy a round of golf on this scenic parkland course close to the River Multeen in the next county to Kilkenny. Designed by Ryder Cup winner Philip Walton in the mid-1990s, it’s a proper test from the blues but far more manageable from the forward tees. There is excellent accommodation on site, too.
The Heritage, an hour to the north of Mount Juliet, represents the cream of County Laois’ golf. It’s the handiwork of Seve Ballesteros and Jeff Howes. The Slieve Bloom mountains form the picturesque backdrop to a relatively easy-walking course. Water comes into play on ten holes, and the course can really bare its teeth off the back tees.
Best Places To Stay Near Mount Juliet
Mount Juliet Estate - Book now at Booking.com
The whole estate at Mount Juliet covers a vast 500 acres in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. The historic Georgian Manor House and chic, sophisticated Hunters Yard both offer luxurious five-star accommodation on site. There are two fine restaurants too - the Michelin-starred Lady Helen in the Manor House, geared up for fine dining, and the Hound Restaurant in Hunters Yard, which offers quality dining in a relaxed setting.
Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny - Book now at Booking.com
Newpark Hotel is is ten-minute walk from the centre of Kilkenny and about 11 miles from Mount Juliet. The house is set in 40 acres of parkland and beautiful gardens, with a stunning outdoor infinity pool, a hot tub and an Aveda spa. The leisure club offers an indoor pool, a spacious sauna, and a steam room.
Mount Juliet Gallery
MOUNT JULIET HISTORICAL TOP 100 RANKING UK&I
- 2023/24 - 95
- 2021/22 - 88
- 2019/20 - 81
- 2017/18 - 77
- 2015/16 - 82
- 2013/14 - 83
- 2011/12 - 82
- 2009/10 - 71
Frequently Asked Questions
What big events has Mount Juliet hosted?
Jack Nicklaus' Irish parkland masterpiece has staged several important professional events. It played host to the Irish Open three times shortly after opening in 1993, 1994 and 1995, and again more recently in 2021 and 2022, with Pole, Adrian Meronk, the most recent champion. It also famously hosted the World Golf Championship in 2002 and 2004, with Tiger and Ernie Els the respective winners, and the Irish Seniors Open in 1999.
Are there any other good golf courses in County Kilkenny?
This isn't one of Ireland's most golf-rich counties, with just six clubs affiliated to Golf Ireland. Kilkenny Golf Club is one of the oldest in the country, dating back to 1896 and playing over a fine parkland course in the city of Kilkenny. Gowran Park (of horse-racing fame) is a much younger affair, a 2001 creation from the Jeff Howes Golf Design team. Howes would later go on to design The Heritage in County Laois with Seve Ballesteros.
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Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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