Augusta National is already one of the most exclusive locales on Earth, a place where the ever-present threat of losing access to the Masters keeps the patrons fortunate enough to get in through the gates every April nice and docile. But now, there's word that Augusta National will be building a club within the club, the ultra-exclusive/expensive "Berckman's Place," in time for the 2013 Masters.
Sports Business Daily (subscription required) has termed Berckman's Place a "luxurious new hospitality clubhouse that's expected to be among the most lavish in golf." It'll be located in the area past the curve of the fifth hole, "Magnolia."
Local Augusta newspaper reports indicated that Augusta National was buying property in the area for parking, apparently at wildly inflated rates, and some initial speculation held that the club was intending to lengthen the 445-yard dogleg-left par-4. But it now appears that Augusta will be catering more to the needs of its patrons and let the players play Magnolia, pictured at right, as it now lies.
More evidence: Augusta National trademarked the "Berckman's Place" name in March of this year, with the apparent intent of creating a restaurant/hospitality center. As SBD notes, passes to the new club will run $6,000 apiece for the whole week.
And the happy, lucky few who find their way into Berckman's Place can smile at those poor patrons who can only scrape together a couple grand for badges, forcing them to sit on folding chairs or even -- horrors! -- the bare ground itself as they watch golf's finest.
[Photo via Shackelford]