Most golf lovers would give their left arm to be able to watch The British Open Golf Championships on the Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland, the undisputed capital of the game. But how much more would they give to be able to watch it just a few paces from the 18th green with unrestricted views of the first fairway, where the iconic Claret Jug will be presented?
Well, Dh5.6 million is the magic figure that will not only allow golf enthusiasts to watch the game up close, it will give them the opportunity to own a property at the home of golf. A five-bedroom townhouse known as The Residence, which offers magnificent views of the legendary golf course, is up for sale and the owners are in Dubai to meet people interested in acquiring fractional ownership of this piece of golfing history.
In all, 12 investors will share ownership of the freehold townhouse at Dh5.6m each and will get to spend four weeks a year at The Residence. Two weeks during peak season and two during the low season.
Speaking to Emirates Business, Martin Glynn, one of five co-owners of the property, said: “The whole concept behind fractional ownership is that we wanted to give a number of genuine golf enthusiasts an opportunity to have a share in this unique property.
“Individual shares are available at Dh 5.6m each, but investors can acquire more than one share. However, if any investor comes forward and shows interest in buying the property outright, we will discuss it.”
But won’t it create problems during the British Open Golf Championships as everyone would want to use the property then?
Glynn had this to say: “Because it is the royal box of golf, with a prime location right alongside the 18th green and offers a wonderful view across the Old Course, we decided that it should be used as a tournament base for each of the 12 investors during the Open week in the spirit of fairness.
“While catering services will be arranged, overnight accommodation will not be provided during the British Open Championships, due to the number of guests.”
But is it really worth Dh5.6m? Well, if you are a golf aficionado the chance to own a piece of the home of golf might be too good to pass up. Golf has been played on the broad strip of sand that lies between the town centre and the Eden estuary for more than 600 years, thus earning St Andrews its title of the home of golf. Golf was first played in St Andrews in around 1400. It proved so popular that it was prohibited by King James II in 1457. However, despite this and other setbacks, the game flourished and spread from St Andrews to the rest of the world.
So in effect, St Andrews is a place of pilgrimage for golfers and The Residence is part of this golfing history as it was built in 1872 in time for the first Open Championship, which was held in 1873. Golfers from all over the world come to test themselves against the Old Course, to soak in the atmosphere, and to recall the great matches that have been played here in the past.
Anika Sorenstam of Sweden, one of the world’s top women golfers, stayed at The Residence during the first British Women’s Open in the summer of 2007. Rising Irish star Rory McIlroy, one of the most talented young golfers in Europe, stayed there while competing in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship last September.
But on a more practical level, the 3,000sq ft fully furnished property spread over three floors can accommodate eight guests overnight in its five bedrooms and also features a small formal drawing room, open- plan living and dining room, designer kitchen and seven bathrooms. It has a private enclosed courtyard garden, golf bag room with storage and cleaning facilities, WiFi access throughout and a Bang & Olufsen home entertainment system.
The property also comes with a full-time residence manager who maintains a database of the partners’ individual requirements and additional facilities like a golf management service, butler and chef, customised golf packages, event packages, concierge, private jet and helicopter hire and luxury car hire are all provided.
Glynn added: “So if you want to tread in the footsteps of Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, then this is the piece of golfing property for you.”
Any golfer’s dream home on the 18th green