Over the past 15 years, Augusta National Golf Club has bought up much of the land that borders its exclusive grounds.
Off the northwest corner of the club sits the free parking lot Gate 6-A, a bulldozed stretch of empty land that was once a fully lived-in neighbourhood. Augusta spent $US40 million to buy the homes, offering the residents price tags that were simply too enticing to turn down.
One family, however, refuses to sell — even as the offering price continues to rise.
In a story on NJ.com, Steve Politi tracked down the Thacker family of 1112 Stanley Road, a house flush in the middle of Gate 6-A and the only one that all Augusta’s money can’t buy.
Despite regular offers from club officials, who continue to come around the house with million-dollar offers, Herman and Elizabeth Thacker don’t want to leave their home.
“We really don’t want to go,” Elizabeth Thacker told NJ.com.
“Money ain’t everything,” her husband added.
The house is 1,900 square feet and has three bedrooms. Its estimated value is $US355,126, according to real-estate database Zillow.
The couple built their house in 1959 and watched as their neighbourhood — once green and flush with space for backyards and swing sets — vanished into a bulldozed stretch of empty land. Once a year, when the Masters rolls around, their neighbourhood fills up with cars.
They don’t mind the crowd, Politi reports. Sometimes a fan will stop by and greet the couple on their porch, complimenting their landscaping or asking for gardening tips.
And there have been perks to their location. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of their grandchildren took a real fondness for golf and is now a professional. Scott Brown, 33, is a PGA Tour member, but he has yet to make the Masters.
The couple knows that the house won’t be there forever. Even Herman’s brother sold his home, one of the nicest in the town, for a cool $US3.6 million. The Thackers owned another property, right across the street, but they sold that one to the golf club for $US1.2 million.
But 1112 Stanley Road, the home in which they raised their two children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, won’t be bulldozed anytime soon.
That isn’t stopping an official from Augusta to pop by the house every so often, however.
“He’ll come by here every so often and he’ll say, ‘Just want to let you know we’re still interested in your property,'” Herman Thacker said. “And we’ll tell him the same thing again.”
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