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Augusta Overpays For More Land, New Fifth Hole Closer To Reality?

Thanks to Scott Michaux for tweeting his colleague Susan McCord's story on Augusta National (under the guise of Berckman Residential Properties) paying top dollar for more neighboring real estate in a bid to finally lengthen the fifth hole add more tournament parking.

But according to property records, the two tracts sold in July, when Berckman Residential Properties purchased a 1-acre tract at 353 Heath Drive for $1 million from William Garner and a 0.43-acre parcel at 357 Berckmans Road for $600,000 from Kathryn Murphy.

It is not the first purchase Berckman Residential Properties has made from Garner. The broker paid $2.85 million for an adjoining 2.85-acre lot last year.

The acquisitions reflect a dramatic increase in purchase price since heavy buying began in the 1990s.

In 1999, the average price being paid for an acre was $222,000. By 2003, brokers were paying an average of $450,000 an acre. Today, the average price is above $1 million an acre.

And the latest two purchases are not the last. On Sept. 20, Berckman Residential Properties paid owner Marlene Spears $1 million for 1.265 acres at 409 and 415 Berckmans Road. Near the southern Berckmans boundary of the National, the tracts are the first south of Heath Drive’s southern leg known to be purchased for Masters purposes.

And in the buried lede department:

The area, which is separated from the Augusta National by Berckmans Road and becomes heavily congested during the tournament, also continues to be considered for a major transportation overhaul, with the realignment of Berckmans Road with Alexander Drive on the list of projects to go before voters on a 2012 regional transportation sales tax referendum.

A road realignment would be necessary to lengthen the fifth hole, should of course the club feel that it's a worthwhile expense instead of asking their friends at the USGA to regulate equipment.

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Reader Comments (10)

Zoom in on August National a little closer to see the hospitality clubhouse already built. Now Google Maps offers the "birdseye" feature and in addition to the clubhouse, you can see the course in "summer conditions". Wow. Who would imagine that Augusta National could ever look like that.
10.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
There is only one Augusta National and only one Masters. They have done a magnificent job of building their tournament up and turning it into a money making machine - good for them. If they choose to pay neighbors more than their land is worth to compensate them for the inconvenience of having to move etc. - good on them. I have absolutely no problem with the folks at Augusta National continuing to build on to their tournament experience and make the event fun for everyone from joe public with the pimento sandwiches to mr money bags and the lavish clubhouse experience.

You know their are hotel rooms in New York City that overlook central park that cost upwards of $12,000 per night? The rooms don't sit empty very often. $6000 for a week long pass to an experience like the Masters seems like a bargain.

I don't care how the jaded critics around here present this stuff, I love the Masters and I always will.
10.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
@Chris -

Wow ... that "birds-eye" view is pretty awesome. I haven't seen it anywhere else ... any idea of the tech involced?

10.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiquidKaos
I can barely tell where no 11, 12, 13 are with the combination of the birds-eye view, and the incredible brown turf/covered greens! Lots of cool buildings/cabins all scattered about ... I never really thought of living on a golf course (I just never wanted golf balls flying through my windows ...), but a nicely tucked away cabin? That would be alright by me! Wouldn't even have to be at Augusta, lol.

10.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiquidKaos
Apparently, most of the images on Google Maps satellite view are high altitude airplane images, not satellite images. I believe the birds eye feature is similar to that and it's something that Bing Maps has had for quite a while. I imagine that Augusta National will be getting in touch with someone at Google to have them take another picture of their beloved course under better conditions.
10.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
@Chris -

Interesting ... I was under the impression that the "sat" info from Google Maps was generally taken from Spot sats and various other "older" sat tech. I like the birds-eye view for sure ... Especially for checking out a golf course - gives nice viewing angles.

Thanks for the headsup.

10.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiquidKaos
@Chris I believe the structure you are referencing is the secondary ticket gate, not the new clubhouse. There is also a retail shop near the gate.
They are not overpaying if they can afford it, and there is a good chance that they can.
Can't sneak on through there anymore. Dang it.
10.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBuster
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I was about to comment about how the course looked - man, it gives you an appreciation for how it looks during the tournament. That's for certain!
10.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJason

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