Coastal living and world-class golf: Breath-taking £1.7m mansion a hole in one
Being a pro golfer must be great. The prize money is very appealing indeed, you get to wear snazzy trousers all the time, and it's the kind of sport in which you can maintain your professional standard well into your 50s. It just looks like ruddy good fun. And on top of that, the courses are famously pretty places. So when someone says there's a £1.7m mansion for sale practically on the grounds of one of the country's most prestigious golf courses, your ears will probably perk up.
Set on the doorstep of the Royal Birkdale Golf Club and so classy it has its own bespoke lamp-posts in the garden, this Southport behemoth of a property is golf if golf was rendered in house form: it's grand like golf, it's large like golf, and it's really, really pretty.
For sale on the open market for the first time ever for just shy of two million quid, it'll set you back a smidge however. Even winning The Open Championships - hosted at Royal Birkdale from time to time - only nets you a measly £1.44m. Probably enough for a deposit, mind.
Sprawling across 25 rooms each somehow nicer than the last, this home has the kind of quality finish very few houses do. From the wide expanses of the blemish-less gables and the lush ivy on the double garage to the space-age bathrooms and the dreamy interior design, there's an unmistakable air of quality to this place. I mean, there's a stone water-fountain roundabout for heaven's sake.
Accessed via the home's private electronic gates with the property sat waiting for you at the end of a gorgeous tree-lined driveway, the home's grounds combine a feeling of the coast, verdant greenery, and rugged rockery, with the charming water feature topping it off to really give the owner a sense that all terrains bar perhaps desert (even then, there's a few beaches not far off) have been incorporated.
In the entrance hall, royal blue carpeting leads up to the Chesney cast-iron log burning fireplace with Portuguese limestone surround. I didn't even know I liked Portuguese limestone, but wow...
Through to the living areas and everything - absolutely everything - is finished to palatial standards with carpets so plush and smooth you could practice your putting on them. Well-lit and spacious, even the rooms themselves look almost too perfect to disturb, like a sleeping loved one or a content cat. No matter, you can pootle off through to the games room and sink a few - both on the snooker table and at the in-built bar.
With the kitchen described as Rational German, I'm not quite sure what such designs entail, but I know I like them. A picture of granite work surfaces and tempered glass, the space is genuinely stylish in a way that most kitchens just can't really be. Every surface looks like a mirror and every utensil fit for Gordon Ramsey.
Follow the home through - yep, it practically walks you around - to the adjoining open-plan family room area and you'll find a TV and an inset fireplace. Grab yourself something to nibble on and get comfy.
Upstairs, four sizeable bedrooms await, along with one of the most ludicrously futuristic-looking bathrooms every constructed. All angles, sheer surfaces, and matt finishes, it's simply stunning, with a wet-room style double shower and stand-alone bathtub to boot. Oh, and the walk-in wardrobe and external outlook stretches over the beautifully landscaped gardens.
Outside, there's a roomy patio area which is begging to be used for a spot of al-fresco dining, or as the Brits know it: BBQing. Just watch your head for errant golf balls...