Augusta National building hospitality venue

Berckmans Place to offer hospitality on club's grounds

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Construction is under way for a hospitality venue that will offer Masters Tournament patrons fine food and drinks in a luxurious setting.

Several upscale facilities already provide similar services, but this one has a catch: It is being built by Augusta National Golf Club and will be within the private club’s grounds.

The facility will be called Berckmans Place, and it is expected to be ready in time for the 2013 Masters. It will be inside the club’s back entrance at Gate 9 on Berckmans Road, which was refurbished for this year’s tournament.

The building won’t overlook the golf course, but it will be a short walk from the fifth and 13th greens.

The multistory building will encompass nearly 90,000 square feet, according to plans filed with Richmond County’s licensing and inspections department. The ground floor will cover 40,000 square feet, the upper floor is 30,000 square feet and the basement is 18,560 square feet.

The decision to erect its own hospitality building was a response to frequent requests from tournament partners that wanted a heightened level of hospitality, an Augusta National spokesman said.

Augusta National members and longtime business associates and friends of the club and tournament will be eligible to purchase badges to the facility, which are good for Masters Week (Monday through Sunday). Sports Business Journal, which initially reported the story, estimates that badges for Berckmans Place will cost $6,000 each.

Berckmans Place will offer the highest-quality food and beverages and a place to watch golf in an air-conditioned environment, the spokesman said.

The building will feature a traditional Southern architecture style that will match existing structures at Augusta National.

Other major sporting events have offered premium hospitality packages for years, and Berckmans Place will be the only official program for the Masters.

Some proceeds will go toward the Masters Tournament Foundation, which was formed to help develop and expand golf around the world.

In the past decade, Augusta National has added three areas for hospitality for club members and business partners:

• Left of the 10th green are cabins for domestic partners IBM, Exxon and AT&T.

• Between the new practice facility and the No. 1 fairway are the Magnolia Suites, which are for television partner CBS and international partners Rolex and Mercedes-Benz. A large dining hall for member use is also in that area.

• At this year’s Masters, the Member Re­treat was unveiled near Amen Corner. The building is between the 13th and 14th fairways and behind the concession area near the 12th tee. Club members can enjoy a restaurant-type setting and order from a menu.

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justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/10/11 - 10:12 pm
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Twain, obviously, must have

Twain, obviously, must have been a hack. BTW, he said a good walk spoiled.

dstewartsr
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dstewartsr 10/10/11 - 10:46 pm
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"A complex having some

"A complex having some section 8 tenants and being a public housing project are two diffrent things..."

At last countyman has written something actually true! Public housing is a concentration of criminals preying on one another while blaming their dead-end lives on the people who pay for their lifestyle of breeding and drugs. Section 8 is dispersing these criminals into the general public to continue this abberant social construct of drug addled violence and leisure with the added advantage of decent people nearby to hunt.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/11/11 - 04:02 am
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BDouglas, you got it wrong.

BDouglas, you got it wrong. The 6 grand is in addition to regular badges to the tournament. This is a facility is so upscale they will probably KNOW everyone who purchases admission and a ticket won't be required. It's going to be funny to see the ostentatious locals who won't be allowed where the real important folks go. Doesn't bother me one bit, I'm just river trash.

Techfan
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Techfan 10/11/11 - 04:05 am
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I'm guessing eventually the

I'm guessing eventually the National will have it's own hotels and restaurants so patrons will never have to soil themselves by hitting the streets of Augusta.

G'ment Watcher
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G'ment Watcher 10/11/11 - 06:53 am
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dstewartsr - you forgot the

dstewartsr - you forgot the part about who makes up the difference between the amount paid based on income for section 8 and the actual rent.

bdouglas
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bdouglas 10/11/11 - 07:21 am
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@Riverman Uhh, re-read my

@Riverman Uhh, re-read my comment. My assumption was exactly what you just repeated. An additional cost on top of normal tournament badges. Austin was the one who said different, which is why I was seeking clarification. And where does your info come from?

hounddog
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hounddog 10/11/11 - 07:58 am
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Techfan, 'I'm guessing
Unpublished

Techfan, 'I'm guessing eventually the National will have it's own hotels and restaurants so patrons will never have to soil themselves by hitting the streets of Augusta.’
I would not blame them in the slightest if they did. Now the trash from Augusta is coming into Aiken breaking out windows of cars and stealing whatever. Keep your trash in RC.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/11/11 - 08:36 am
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Bdouglas, okay, we're on the

Bdouglas, okay, we're on the same page. Honestly, I heard Austin and I didn't get that being said. I did hear some misinformation at the start about the AN not wanting to lose money, etc. when money has nothing to do with this facility. He did back track a little later on that.

The article states: "Augusta National members and longtime business associates and friends of the club and tournament will be eligible to purchase badges to the facility, which are good for Masters Week (Monday through Sunday). "

That means whoever buys these tickets will already have badges. Keep in mind the purpose is to provide an upscale place. If you got a badge with this $6000 ticket, every Tom, Dick and Harry would be in there.

allhans
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allhans 10/11/11 - 08:54 am
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When you travel Heath Dr as I

When you travel Heath Dr as I do on a regular basis (my shortcut to Publix) you will see more empty houses that I assume have been purchased by the National. Very few are still hanging on and trying to live in what must be difficult conditions.

Bing0
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Bing0 10/11/11 - 09:01 am
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While there is nothing in the

While there is nothing in the article or the decision by the Augusta National to create a hospitality venue that should strike me in a negative way, it nevertheless does. The AN is perfectly within their rights to create a hospitality facility. Perhaps they should have done it years ago. I'm not sure exactly what my problem is. Perhaps it comes from my steadfast belief that the Augusta National would put every other hospitality house out of business if they could. I suppose I feel like the AN believes that every tournament guest is THEIR property somehow. Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall during their board meetings! It simply would not do to be present in only one of those meetings. It would probably require at least ten meetings. What would I particularly be interested in?
Well, I would want to try and understand and grasp the reality of their mysterious subtle culture. Particularly I would want to understand their attitudes toward two types of 'common folk'. One type would be the regular Master's patron. You know, the average guy who makes less than 200k per year and who attends regularly. I would secondly like to get a true grasp of the attitude of the club toward the other guy. You know the one from the Augusta area, which I suppose would have to include people from Columbia to Atlanta to Savannah. The people who have gotten badges for years.
In addition I would be keenly and supremely interested in the AN boards true attitude toward local Augusta folks. I am talking about the real attitude here. The one behind the impeccable politeness and (on the surface) graciousness of the Augusta National board members and members in general.
Alas, one can only guess...

PghSteelersFan
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PghSteelersFan 10/11/11 - 09:09 am
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Anyone who is down on the

Anyone who is down on the Augusta National for any reason needs to remember that the first week in April means quite a bit to the local economy. When I was a kid in the 50's, my Parents always rented our house for the entire week. That one week' s 'rent' helped pay most of the mortgage for the entire year. The day before the 'patron's' arrived and before we had to 'vacate', I remember the little black panel truck arriving from Carpenter's with enough food to feed an army. Our Housekeeper was paid by the 'patron's' and they treated her like the best thing since sliced bread. She made enough money that one week to have a 'nest egg' for emergencies for the coming year.
The National should be thanked for everything they have done for Augusta over the years. Though that tournament they have pumped money into the local economy that has benefited quite a few Augustans over the years.
I don't live in Augusta anymore. I am now retired and living in Santa Fe, NM but when the first week in April appears on the horizon, I remember the 'getting ready' rush. Street sweepers running through the neighborhoods, people getting their houses ready for guests, landscaping crews dressing up the yards, and then 'the week'. School out at first for only two days and then going to the full week.
The first week in April in Augusta GA means -- 'it's showtime' and Augusta never looks better. When I see the Tournament on TV, I remember how nice Augusta looked and still does. I remember sitting in the stands on the 13th green and yes, I loved those egg salad sandwiches!
Thank you Augusta National for bringing the world to my town!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/11/11 - 09:20 am
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Bing0, interesting post. Why

Bing0, interesting post. Why do you care what they think? What does it matter to you? How would knowing affect you? I can take a guess at the answers. They provide an enjoyable event for all the "patrons" you mentioned and, because of the Masters, Augusta benefits in more ways than can be captured in this forum. What's the downside? Do you need them to love you too.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 10/11/11 - 09:34 am
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They are

They are businessmen.....these guys know how to make money---why be surprised......I can see them putting up nice hotels-nice restaurants --all in walking distance to the National...you know the ole saying...it takes money to make money----well they have it..
The overflow helps all in the community...thankyou Augusta National.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 10/11/11 - 09:40 am
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Augusta National is beautiful

Augusta National is beautiful and we are lucky to have this fine establishment and be the host of The Masters Tournament. They have truly benefited the local economy and given this little town national recognition. They are no doubt one of the most successful business models to be found.

I am sure many would be interested in learning more about the Augusta National and what they may be doing for others through charity missions that we are otherwise unaware of? Does anyone know? It would be nice to appreciate them for that as well.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/11/11 - 09:41 am
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They have publicly said they

They have publicly said they wanted to build a hotel like thing big enough for all the members to stay at one time. Somewhere it came out that was one of the members' biggest desires. That could be across Washington Rd. I suppose. But the last high rise condo proposal in that location was shot down by them. Now that they own the land, they could design it how they wanted.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/11/11 - 09:42 am
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Willow, I believe they gave

Willow, I believe they gave 2-3 million this year, but a few years back, I remember they donated 6 million to the community.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 10/11/11 - 09:44 am
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That's great RM, do you know

That's great RM, do you know any details?

bdouglas
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bdouglas 10/11/11 - 10:41 am
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@Willow Last year totaled

@Willow Last year totaled $3.5 million. Seems to be around $1.5 million each year to the Community Foundation, with other various disbursements on top of that. First Tee usually gets around $1 million from what I read.

Info here on last year's giving: http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/golf/2010-05-11/augusta-national-ann...

This year's info: http://www.masters.com/en_US/news/articles/2011-07-26/201107261311701150...

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 10/11/11 - 10:57 am
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Thank you bdouglas. I will

Thank you bdouglas. I will take a look and encourage others to do the same.

Bing0
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Bing0 10/11/11 - 10:54 pm
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Wow, first of all, I didn't

Wow, first of all, I didn't intend to start a riot. I appreciate the Master's for what it is. I recognize that this event is an enjoyable benefit to our economy. I do not understand why anyone would suggest that I feel grateful to the membership for what they have done for Augusta. I don't understand why anyone jumps to that position.
As far as I can tell, the position is: Since the money rolls in, don't say anything negative about the Master's or the club. Exactly who is doing Augusta a big favor here?
Before I get flamed, let me make a few things clear. I greatly enjoy the Master's. I have personally enjoyed the economic benefit of the tournament. I am also proud of the tournament. I just don't understand who I should thank exactly. I sincerely would say a thanks to that person. Perhaps I would be thanking Bobby Jones...?
As to the questions posed by justthefacts:
How could you possibly wonder why I would be interested in the attitudes of the individual power brokers of the entire WORLD for goodness sake?? How could you be that shortsighted? These are not just the power elite of America, they are the power elite of the entire world. Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Bill Gates....for goodness sake the list is unreal and goes on far too long for mere reason.
The mystery of the whole venue is deeply intriguing to me. I also have irrefutable, historical facts that cause my intrigue. However I dare not mention those things here because I do not wish to appear a crackpot.
Let me just say that as far as I am concerned, there is mystery surrounding the whole thing that supersedes a round of golf. Or even 4 great rounds of golf.
justthefacts: My interest, in your opinion might be misplaced but it is hardly unwarranted. I feel as though you are saying it is none of my business. Moreover I feel attacked somehow. justthefacts are you a member? If so, forgive my curiosity. I do not feel however, that it is wrong for me to be curious about the attitudes that those who rule and reign over me have toward me.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/12/11 - 05:57 am
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BingO, that was an

BingO, that was an interesting post. I don't see you as knocking them. But many don't realize how important the event is to Augusta. Heck, I would make them tax exempt. If we can give Costco, a silly grocery store, all kinds of tax breaks, why not the National that brings it billions of dollars over the years?

You do bring up the mysterious side of the club and that's interesting. Who knows what goes on out there? We have the most powerful people in the world in Augsuta on a regular basis. Eisenhower spent more time in Augusta than he did in DC.

Not all members are super rich, but the locals who are members have a certain hook the club desires. I know a physician who belongs and he told me candidly, it's because he can provide access to medical care easily. That's just one example where members have a value to the club.

A tell all book by someone telling about the night Rush Limbaugh and Bill Gates got drunk or something like that will never happen. The National is like the inner sanctum of the Vatican where the rules that affect millions of people are made. Go National!!!

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/12/11 - 07:01 am
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Bing0, didn't mean to flame

Bing0, didn't mean to flame you. Sorry. But, even after your second post on this I still don't see what you are after. You say you are not being negative, but it doesn't come that way. The Augusta National is a private club and what goes on inside is most definately none of our business. They offer a first class event and people take advantage of it. As River points out, it would be nice to know what goes on in there, but only because it would be interesting. Which appears far different from your position. You might want to read The Story Of Augusta National by Clifford Roberts. It gives great insight to the Club and the Tournament. Lastly, what do the members think of the "regular" guys like us (I am not a member)? They probably hardly think of us at all.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 10/12/11 - 07:15 am
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Don't worry bingo...as soon

Don't worry bingo...as soon as a woman gets in (soon lol) we will know what goes on inside the walls.....:)
Frankly I'm glad the men can keep some secrets...rare thing in 24/7 news & tv.

Bing0
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Bing0 10/12/11 - 08:23 pm
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I realize that my post seems

I realize that my post seems negative. I can't help it. I have lived in Augusta all of my life. (Born at St. Joseph's) And therefore, know some folks connected which have made me privy to quite a few tales of encounters that local Augustans have had with members and just plain old unspoken southern policy of the Augusta National. Some of these tales are just here-say but more than a couple are substantiated.
Naturally any negative report would cloud anyone's opinion of any person or event or anything for that matter. Please excuse the negative smell of my posts.
It is just that the nature of these aforementioned tales causes me to see these folks in a subtly negative way. First, privacy is sacred to them. Anyone who has ever worked out there will tell you that it is like Area 51. It would not surprise me in the least if it were reported that the Manhattan Project was first discussed out there. I am certain that other historic things of equal significance were. That is why I am curious. I also don't feel that I should have to justify my curiosity to anyone. Although I obviously have tried to do so here.
justthefacts: Apology accepted. You are correct. The Augusta National is a private club. To be quite honest, the problem that I have is that there are some disturbing "private clubs" that people are not aware of where your future and mine as well as the future of our children is decided. The outcome of these chats wind up affecting us in very real and astonishing ways. Let me take a risk here and invite any of you who are curious to research another private club called The Bohemian Grove. They meet annually. Eisenhower was a member along with others.
Before you do this research, I ask but one thing. Make a commitment to give it a little bit of time. My reason is simple. At face value, what I found out about this group was too difficult for me to believe that it could be remotely true. I am an objective person and being one not to shrink from the truth, I pressed on. I found out much later that Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones were members of this club in California along with Dwight Eisenhower. A couple of differences though. The Augusta National doesn't have the Big Trees and the Bohemian Grove doesn't have a golf course.

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