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Augusta National spent $200 million buying properties around the course over two decades.
Some owners instantly became millionaires.
A family refuses to sell their home, turning down seven-figure offers.
Over the past two decades, Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia has purchased much of the land that borders its private grounds.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Augusta National has spent more than $200 million buying more than 100 properties spanning 270 acres since 1999. These additions nearly doubled the size of the course and made many owners instant millionaires.
At the northwest corner of the club is a free parking lot, Gate 6-A, an empty stretch of land that was once a fully inhabited neighborhood. The club spent $40 million buying and demolishing the homes, offering residents prices too good to turn down.
One family, however, refuses to sell – even as supply increases.
For a story on NJ.com, Steve Politi tracked down the Thacker family at 1112 Stanley Dr., a property adjacent to Gate 6-A and the only one Augusta National money can’t buy.
Despite regular million-dollar offers from club officials, Herman and Elizabeth Thacker are unwilling to leave their home.
“We really don’t want to go there,” Elizabeth Thacker told NJ.com.
“Money isn’t everything,” added her husband, Herman.
The home is approximately 1,900 square feet, has three bedrooms, and spans about two-thirds of an acre. Its value is estimated at $330,000, according to the Zillow real estate database.
The couple built the house in 1959 and watched as their neighborhood, once green with plenty of space for backyards and swing sets, disappeared. Once a year, during the Masters, the area fills up with cars.
The crowds don’t bother them, Politi reported. Occasionally, a fan will stop and greet the couple on their porch, complimenting their landscaping or asking for gardening tips.
Here’s a view of the house from Google Street View, with Augusta National in the background.
The location has its advantages. One of their grandchildren fell in love with golf and is now a professional. Scott Brown, 35, is a member of the PGA Tour, but he has not yet qualified for the Masters.
The couple know the house won’t be there forever. Even Herman’s brother sold his house, considered one of the nicest in town, and two other properties for $3.6 million. The Thackers owned another property just across the street, but sold it to the golf club for $1.2 million.
But 1112 Stanley Dr., the home where they raised their two children, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, won’t be razed anytime soon.
That hasn’t stopped a club official from dropping by the house from time to time.
“He’ll come in here once in a while and he’ll be like, ‘I just want to let you know that we’re still interested in your property,'” Herman said. “And we’ll tell him the same thing again.”
Emmett Knowlton contributed to this report.
Read the original Insider article
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