Azalea House Uses Local Talent, Charm to Create Unique Southern Experience at Masters
Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
The Masters Tournament returns to Augusta on April 3-9, and if you are looking to enjoy the week of golf amid true Southern hospitality, you’ll want to check out The Azalea House. According to General Manager, Chris DeMain, this premier hospitality facility, located on Azalea Drive in the National Hills neighborhood just across the street from the course, is fully focused on hospitality and understanding client entertainment.
“We wanted to be able to provide a unique experience and give patrons something different from the century old banquet setting everyone is so used to,” he says. “… When we started our business plan, we sat down and asked ourselves, ‘How can we be better and provide more of a dynamic experience?’”
DeMain says they have two amazing partners who have really helped them take their experience to the next level. “Golf Talk America is our most integrated and supportive partner. Frank (Bassett) and his team bring a level of entertainment that’s unmatched to our patrons.” GTA is part of the PGATour.com family and hosts a live show from the patio each morning throughout the week. Guests have included Johnny Miller, Todd Lewis, Robert Trent Jones Jr, & NFL Hall of Famer Randell McDaniel to name a few.
The other newest addition to the house this year is Azalea House's virtual golf world. “The plan is to have a few hitting bays equipped with launch monitors and hitting nets where patrons can compete in long drive and closest to the pin contests to win prizes like cigars and exotic golf trips.
And it’s no wonder DeMain says The Azalea House attracts big names in golf as well as the occasional celebrity—with flat screen televisions on the wall, a virtual golf world, live broadcasts, and high-end sports art covering the walls, the house takes on that traditional golf course identity, with a modern spin. “Everything is very functional, but nothing is very shiny. We wanted to keep that old clubhouse feel, and still be able to be relevant with the times.”
Their focus on creating a truly unique Masters experience with local flavor includes a premium open bar, catered buffet with an open fire grill in the evenings, live music, onsite vendors and entertainment. They also host an evening lounge experience to come back to after a long day on the course.
“It’s 200-300-person capacity per day. And we provide that true Southern hospitality by hiring locals to serve in all positions from our wait staff to our valet drivers, and we try to keep that laid back casual feeling. … Everybody knows everybody and if they don’t, we make sure they do. We work hard to put all the right people in the right space for such a special week so it allows people to connect and make great business connections.”
And DeMain says that while the house is a great place to make connections, they’ve also had their share of bucket list goers that have been traveling to the Masters for years and are looking for an intimate way to enjoy the week. “We have every walk of life that comes through, and we want to provide a different experience than what you will find elsewhere. We are lively, we have fun activities, we have contests and we have brands that come by with their merchandise.” He says guests are treated to everything from onsite shoe and apparel fittings as well as access to products like camera rentals, binoculars and range finders.
And while Azalea House founders Marcus Burnell and Bill Lombard began using the location as a hospitality facility about five years ago, they were also driven to be use their business to give back to the community and the game of golf. DeMain says the group hosts charitable activities throughout the week as well as participates in several events during the offseason.
The Sunday before the Masters Tournament begins, the Azalea House will kick off their fundraising activities with Foundation Day with Els for Autism with proceeds benefiting The First Tee of Aiken to help fund their local Ernie Els #GameON Autism Golf Clinic. On Monday night, Caddy For A Cure will host the CaddyBash in Augusta. The Azlaea House will be showing the NCAA Championship game and hold virtual golf competitions and raffles with all proceeds going to Caddy For A Cure. And Tuesday is Military Appreciation Day where they salute Folds of Honor. There will be a guest panel with Major Ed Pulido and Friends, followed by a private benefit concert.
Tickets for these charitable events can be purchased online at www.azaleahospitality.com.
DeMain also says they are on the road a lot throughout the year putting in work to make this event memorable as well as to add additional perks to their clients. We definitely extend our relationships outside of the Masters … so we can position ourselves to enable our guests to get to other events, even events outside of golf like the Super Bowl. … Behind the scenes, we are willing to do what we can to provide the highest level of customer service to our clients, we’re always learning and we hope we can continue to grow.”
For more information on The Azalea House or to purchase hospitality and tickets to any of the events during Masters week, go to azaleahospitality.com.