New Hospitality Clubhouse Planned To Debut At '13 Masters
Augusta National Chair Billy Payne "continues to pull the club into the modern ages with a luxurious new hospitality clubhouse that's expected to be among the most lavish in golf," according to Michael Smith of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The new permanent structure, which will be called Berckmans Place, "will debut at the 2013 Masters and resemble a stately Southern mansion on the exterior with white columns framing the expansive front porch." Sources said that passes for the week "will run $6,000 each," creating "new revenue for the club and a top-of-the-line entertainment setting for the Masters' partners." The building is being constructed "along the right side of the fifth hole on course property next to Berckmans Road." Though Berckmans Place "won’t open for another 18 months, the club has begun distributing sales materials to some of its closest partners within the last few weeks." Club officials did not return calls seeking comment. One industry expert said, " The renderings give the appearance of something that will rival anything in golf. You’re seeing what happens when you have a sports marketing expert in charge of the Masters.” Sources indicated that the "first round of sales for Berckmans Place has focused on 'friends of the Masters.'" That circle would "include AT&T, ExxonMobil and IBM; additional partners, Rolex and Mercedes-Benz; and CBS and ESPN." Will Jones, "who runs Masters marketing, sponsorship and broadcasting, is spearheading the sales effort." A source said that Oklahoma City firm, Tom Hoch, "is handling design of Berckmans Place" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/3 issue).