Augusta National

Augusta National continues expansion, buys nearby city park

March 07, 2024

Andrew Redington

The Masters is just over a month away, but the payouts have already begun. It’s not a sprinkling of millions like the upcoming winner will receive, but Augusta National plunked down a good deal of cash to purchase a nearby city park off of the Augusta Land Bank. West Vineland Park now belongs to Augusta National for the tidy sum of $350,000.

A 15-minute walk (and four-minute drive) from the renowned course, West Vineland Park’s sale comes two years after city leaders declared several parks as surplus entities. West Vineland was one of 12 locales “on the chopping block,” back in 2022.

This acquisition comes just after an Augusta fracas over Masters parking. Residents were irritated over the city leasing Eisenhauer Park to Augusta National. A three-year lease agreement was struck between the vaunted club and the city starting this year.

As our own Joel Beall reported last year, Augusta National has big plans in terms of expansion. There have been talks over additional housing and even a second course down the road.

“Aggressive expansion in influence and physical footprint has transformed Augusta National from a club that hosts a tournament into a club whose actions and direction matter well beyond four days in April,” Beall wrote. “Some pressing questions need to be answered to maintain this station and continue the club’s trajectory.”

How exactly Augusta National plans to use West Vineland Park is not yet known but this is the latest in a long line of Augusta investments from its $26 million purchase of the 15-acre National Hills Shopping Center to the $6 million addition of in-town real estate assets, including the fast-food chain Wendy's on Washington Road. A pimento cheese sandwich and Frostee is a match made in heaven for both you and your cardiologist.

“Corporately, we plan 20 years down the road,” said Billy Payne, former Augusta National Golf Club chairman, back in 2016. “We have plans for every couple years of iteration going all the way out to 20 years.” Eight years later, there’s a new chairman and quite a few new Masters champs, but those plans to keep on growing appear to remain the same.