Augusta National building hospitality venue

Berckmans Place to offer hospitality on club's grounds

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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