By petedirenzo
Thursday, April 07, 2011

Members-retreat-2011-masters AUGUSTA, Ga. — Savvy fans who toddle down to Augusta National's 13th fairway, not far from where Phil Mickelson hit a daring 6-iron through the pines during last year’s Masters, might notice a new addition to Amen Corner: the “Member Retreat,” a cozy cabin with a stone chimney tucked away in a grove of pines, dogwoods and azaleas. (Click the image for a bigger view.)
Other fans, like Len Hoffman, might not notice it at all.
A contractor from Buffalo, N.Y., Hoffman was roaming Amen Corner during Wednesday’s practice round when he was asked for his impressions of the shingle-roofed hangout.
“Oh, right there?” Hoffman said as a bystander pointed it out. “Have you been inside?”
Nope—members only, please, and their guests. One of two security guards stationed outside the cabin on Wednesday said it contains a lounge and a restaurant and that it’s “a very nice place to sit and enjoy the day.” (You think?) From about 50 yards away, the view through the building’s French doors revealed some open-backed club chairs and a couple of large, high-definition televisions mounted on the walls. Servers in white jackets and black bowties moseyed about.
Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne declined to say how the club came to the decision to build the cabin, telling it was a “club matter,” not a “tournament matter.”
Could he at least describe the interior?
“No, sir.”
Whatever the decor, for the lucky few who get to kick back in the hideout on Sunday afternoon—with a frosty beverage in hand and the gallery roars shaking the walls around them—it will surely rank among the best experiences in all of sports. Photo: The Augusta Chronicle/

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