Augusta National; the most iconic golf course, the most prestigious golf tournament, the most expensive. . .parking lot?
News came through Tuesday that the Augusta National Golf Club purchased an $8.3 million, 9.8-acre apartment complex in Augusta that it plans to raze and replace with a parking lot. To put that in perspective, $8.3 million is more than any PGA Tour player made in 2013 except Tiger Woods, who won a little more than $8.5 million.
The move is just the latest expansion made by club chairman Billy Payne since assuming the role in 2006. Paine previously oversaw the $13 million construction of a series of cabins and corporate entertainment facilities inside the grounds.
Although that $8.3 million figure may seem startling, the rational is relatively simple. Augusta National has money to spend, and it needs more room.
"When you're landlocked and the tournament continues to improve every year and you have deep pockets, why not?" said one local real estate agent to Bloomberg News.
It's true this land may one day become the most awe-inspiring parking lot in the history of golf, but there's no escaping that for the other 51 weeks of the year, the space will sit empty. That makes us think back to an idea put forward by Geoff Shackelford last April: turn the land into a course specifically for the children of Augusta.
Just think about it. A multimillion dollar parking lot that also inspires the next generation of golfers. Only at Augusta.