Augusta National buys adjacent homes in expansion push

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

It's no secret: the Augusta National is looking for room to grow.

And that means real estate around the famous fairways is a hot commodity these days.

Augusta National is buying up property and losing some of its neighbors as a result.

News 12's Kate Tillotson spoke with an area homeowner.

Heath Drive, on the opposite side of Berckmans Road from the Augusta National, is filled with folks who built their homes in the 40's. Those homes will likely be torn down...but the payoff could be huge.

"People in this neighborhood didn't move in and out, they just came and stayed," says Dorothy Jones, who's lived on Heath Drive for 57 years. "And we've watched the trees grow."

Some of them she planted herself.

But even so, Jones was ready to sell.

"I'm sure the day that they bulldoze the house is going to break my heart, but it's coming. There's nothing we can do about it," she says.

Jones is one of several homeowners who'll be moving this year after selling their property to Augusta National. Her lot is located just west of the course.

The National pushes right up against Berckmans Road, making Heath Drive prime real estate if it were to expand.

"We continue to acquire property outside our boundaries," said Augusta National chairman Hootie Johnson in an interview last week. In the interview, he outlined his plan to help make room for a new practice area slated for 2010.

"Help us accommodate the 3000 cars that we'll have to move from that area for the facility. That's about it," he said.

"They were going to get it eventually," Jones says.

While Jones reflects on decades of memories, she can't deny the domino effect of one house sale after another after another.

And still she's not sure what will come of the home she's built from scratch.

"They won't tell you what they're going to do with it. They know but we don't," she says.

Jones has a great attitude, but she's sworn to secrecy about talking money. She wouldn't say what she got for her home, but she says it was fair.

News 12 spoke with another homeowner who also recently sold to the National. He tells us he got almost everything he asked for, including four lifetime Masters badges and two years of rent-free living.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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