The house that Augusta National's Million's can't buy The house that Augusta National's Million's can't buy
The house that Augusta National's Million's can't buy

The house that Augusta National's Million's can't buy

Augusta National has an incredible way of making things disappear. Trees. Houses. Roads. If the most powerful golf club on earth wants something, it buys it, and it has spent the past 15 years gobbling up the property around its borders.

An entire neighborhood once sat across from Gate 6-A at the Masters. The golf club spent more than $40 million to bulldoze it into a free parking lot, and now all that remains is the simple three-bedroom house at 1112 Stanley Road that Herman and Elizabeth Thacker built in 1959.

They raised their two children there, and as that family expanded to include five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, they still found a way to cram everybody inside those simple brick walls for the holidays. 

They love it here. And so, when the man representing that powerful golf club came to inquire about buying their home to expand their parking lot, their message was polite but forceful: Thanks, but no thanks. 

"We really don't want to go," Elizabeth Thacker said.

But what about the potential seven-figure payout, the type of offers that dozens of their neighbors not only couldn't refuse but jumped at the opportunity to take right to the bank?  

"Money ain't everything," Herman Thacker said.

He was sitting on his patio, enjoying a perfect spring afternoon with the woman he celebrated his 60th wedding anniversary with in November. Elizabeth sat a few feet away, a copy of the Augusta Chronicle in her lap. All around these octogenarians, there are hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of parked cars. Fans are leaving the Masters after the practice round, and few probably notice the tiny house sitting at the edge of the lot.

Even fewer still probably gave any thought to the people who live inside, and the Thackers are fine with that. Oh, every now and then a patron will offer a few kind words about the landscaping or even ask for gardening tips, and the Thackers are happy to give them.

They'll even invite the man representing Augusta National inside whenever he visits. And make no mistake: He still visits. 

"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."

That message: Augusta National's money can't buy everything after all. 

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Added 06-04-2017 at 03:29PM