Augusta National Golf Club, located in Georgia, has been on a property buying spree for the past two decades, spending over $200 million to purchase more than 100 properties, totaling 270 acres, from 1999 to 2019. This expansion almost doubled the size of the golf course and made several property owners millionaires almost overnight.
As part of the expansion, a neighborhood off the northwest corner of the club was converted into a free parking lot, Gate 6-A, costing the club $40 million. Despite enticing offers made to the residents, one family, the Thackers, chose not to sell their property.
Herman and Elizabeth Thacker, the owners of 1112 Stanley Dr., a property adjacent to Gate 6-A, repeatedly declined million-dollar offers from Augusta National. Elizabeth Thacker, in a 2016 interview with NJ.com, stated, “We really don’t want to go.” Herman Thacker echoed his wife’s sentiments, adding, “Money ain’t everything.” Although Herman passed away in 2019, Elizabeth continues to reside in the house.
The Thacker house, constructed in 1959, is approximately 1,900 square feet with three bedrooms and is situated on two-thirds of an acre. The estimated value of the property as of June was $365,000, according to Zillow.
The transformation of the neighborhood into a parking lot had a profound impact on the area. Once filled with green spaces, backyards, and swing sets, it is now occupied by cars during the Masters tournament. Peter Larson of Summer House Realty mentioned that the Thacker property has become legendary among golf enthusiasts, sparking curiosity and questions from first-time visitors to The National each year.
Although the influx of visitors during the tournament brought more attention to their property, the Thackers were not bothered by the crowd. They occasionally interacted with fans who stopped by to admire their landscaping or inquire about gardening tips.
Other residents, like William Hatcher, initially resisted the expansion efforts of Augusta National. Hatcher accused the club of “low-balling” him and suspected ulterior motives behind the conversion of the neighborhood into a parking lot. John Pirample, a ticket broker, and Kittie Baker, a former resident who eventually sold her property, both expressed displeasure about the bright lights and noise generated during the tournament week.
Despite their resistance to selling their primary residence, the Thackers did sell another property they owned across the street for $1.2 million. Herman Thacker’s brother, Jerry Thacker, also sold a house and two other properties for $3.6 million. Nevertheless, 1112 Stanley Dr., where the Thackers raised their children and hosted their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, remained unsold as of early 2023.
Augusta National officials continued to express interest in purchasing the property, but Herman Thacker consistently and politely declined their offers. Despite the challenges that came with living next to a major golf tournament venue, the Thacker family found a silver lining. Their grandson, Scott Brown, developed a passion for golf and became a professional on the PGA Tour, although he had not qualified for the Masters as of early 2023.