Master’s Jolt: Berckmans Place

You get to point in a relationship with somebody that you pretty much know who they are and what they might do.

Don’t you feel like we know Augusta National in that way? We know that one of the most revered drives in golf is the one down Magnolia Lane. Except for the occasional early Spring like they had last year, we know that the course will be literally festering with magnolias and azaleas creating one Kodak Moment after another. We know that you can get a pimento cheese sandwich for the same $1.50 it’s been selling for forever. 

We know that everything about the place is quiet, staid, understated. We know that there are rules; Mark O’Meara was scared to death on the 12th green during a Sunday practice round when he could contain his curiosity no more and checked his cell phone to see how Tiger was doing at Bay Hill (he won). Had he been caught violating the “no cell phone” policy, well, who knows what might have happened to him? It’s part of the mystique of Augusta National.

One of the great secret treasures of the tournament is the Par-3 tournament that most people never even knew about because it wasn’t televised. Now it is.

There is the staid old clubhouse, the Champions’ locker room, the intimate Champions’ dinner and, of course, the iconic, “The Big Oak Tree,” out back.

Because we’re riveted to the television coverage each year, we know this place. We know what it stands for. And we know that there would never be any space between the club and the finest traditions and decorum of the game.

Until now. Writing for Sports Illustrated at Golf.com, Senior Writer, Gary Van Sickle somehow managed to get the story on a new venue at Augusta, Berckmans Place. It is a new, 90,000 square foot hospitality venue that is extremely — as in, extremely — exclusive. Badges cost $6,000 apiece. They can only be secured through a member for corporations and are limited to 10.

You think you know Augusta National and the Masters? I’ll let Van Sickle take it from here. He found a guest who was blown away by his experience inside this palatial venue just off the 5th fairway and willing to anonymously talk about it. It’s a good read because “BP” is like nothing Augusta has ever done before. The finest traditions and decorum of the game are still very much present — the place is very well done — it’s just big!

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