Augusta National's Latest Expansion: A Parking Lot
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/29/13
Michael Buteau of Bloomberg News reports that Augusta National Golf Club has finally been able to acquire a 456-unit apartment complex adjacent to the club. The price the club paid for The Greens on Washington at 2425 Washington Road is reported to be $8.3 million.

The property is located across Washington Road from the club's par-3 course. According to Augusta National spokesman Steve Ethun, the club plans to use the 9.8-acre property for parking and what Bloomberg News calls "undisclosed support services." The complex has already been demolished; logic dictates that the club will use the land for parking during the 2014 Masters Tournament. After that, future use or development is down to speculation.

This was not some sudden decision by the club; they have been acquiring surrounding property over the last decade or so, in part to build supporting infrastructure for the Masters Tournament and for other club functions. Most recently, they built "Berckmans Place," a 90,000-square-foot building on club property; it has been used for tournament patron dining, a putting course, and a tournament history exhibit, amongst other things.

For his article, Buteau interviewed Steve Parry, owner of The 1018 Club, a Masters hospitality facility located very close to the club. According to Parry:
"Obviously there was a purpose. They are going to grab whatever they can grab to further isolate themselves and keep from being bordered by homes. They ideally would like to move to the country. If they can't move to the country, they are moving the country to the course."
Parry is no idiot; he is now partnering with a local home rental firm to help coordinate Masters Week housing for tournament patrons.

Whether you like or dislike Augusta National's systematic purchasing of surrounding real estate, it reflects continued growth of and interest in the Masters Tournament. Consider also a comparison to Merion Golf Club, which is on a much smaller parcel of land outside Philadelphia. When that club hosted the 2013 U.S. Open this past June, they were forced to admit fewer ticket-holders, rent nearby private homes for player registration and other necessary infrastructure, and deal with chaotic transportation needs.

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[ comments ]
falcon50driver says:
1st world problems.
brianmk24 says:
I have never been to the Masters so I can't speak for the parking situasion. Wouldn't any business like to have more space/area to have a better experience for your patrons?
toothid says:
Parking lot???????? In Masters lingo, you are talking about a "personal transportation holding area"
Torleif Sorenson says:
toothid: Good one!

And we probably shouldn't say that older Augusta members need eyeglasses. Instead, we should say that they utilize ocular refractive index correction devices.
[ post comment ]
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