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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 6, 1999)
Augusta prepares for Masters madness
You would think the pope was coming’says local The Masters
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - When golfing’s
galaxy descends on this small city each year, sub
urban homes turn into boarding houses, the quiet
airport becomes a mini-O’Hare, little-used limou
sines are booked solid and displaced pets fill ken
nels. Caterers and restaurant workers become
And, if you’re going to Augusta for this week’s
Masters tournament, you might want to pack your
Perhaps no more modest a U.S. city plays host
to a bigger event than the Masters, which brings in
at least 225,000 people for the only major men’s
golf tournament held at the same site each year.
That’s well above the normal 192,000 population
of Augusta-Richmond County.
When Bobby Jones invited the world’s top
players to Augusta in 1934, he couldn’t foresee the
impact the growing tournament would have.
With only 5,500 hotel rooms, Augusta has
developed a cottage industry of more than 2,000
homeowners who rent their homes for the week.
A quick inventory of housewares at local
department stores gives the date away: Sheets, tow
els, pillows and rugs are in short supply as people
stock up for their guests - mostly golfers and cor
“It’s amazing. You would think the pope was
coming,” said Elaine Gillespie, who plans to use
her $ 1,900 rental fee to install hardwood floors.
The leases net owners tidy, tax-free profits of
$1,500 to $15,000 for the week, minus the 7 per
cent commission charged by the two biggest rental
Years ago, Augusta schools used Masters week
for spring break, allowing teachers, students and
their families to head for the beach and avoid the
crowds, or to stay home and pick up the numerous
one-week jobs created by the tournament.
Some teachers work as maids or caterers, and
many students work at Augusta National, doing
everything from serving food to hauling equip
ment for journalists.
The Masters brings in an estimated $110 mil
lion in revenues, said Barry White, executive direc
tor of the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Among those enjoying the boon are kennels, as
hundreds of families evacuate but leave the pets
behind; caterers, to serve the nightly corporate
soirees, and limo drivers, a rare enterprise in the
piney woods of eastern Georgia.
For the past decade, Babs and Norman
Schaffer have fled the crowds
and spent the second week of
April at the beach - Hilton Head,
S.C.; Pensacola, Fla.; Cancun,
Mexico, or Bermuda.
“I grew up in North Augusta
and I’ve lived my golfing years,”
said Babs Schaffer, who charges
$3,000 to $5,000 for their four
bedroom home. “I like to go on
what I call a free trip.”
Since 1995, the Schaffers
have rented to the same well
known golfer she declines to
identify. Renting to the same
family makes the job easier.
In addition to the trips, the
Schaffers have used Masters
The small town of Augusta,
Ga., annually holds The
Masters golf tournament,
one of professional golf’s
four majors. The Masters
changes the lifestyle of
many Augusta residents for
money to install a pool, build an
addition to their home and renovate their kitchen.
She considers the Masters motivation for giving
her home “a good spring cleaning.”
Most agencies require homeowners to empty
their refrigerators, clean out a few drawers for
guests’ clothes, and make closet space available.
Homeowners report that golfers are typically
fussier renters than corporations and individuals.
“I had a golfer call me and tell me the pillows
weren’t fluffy enough,” Diane Starr, president of
Corporate Quarters, said.
Augusta’s normally sleepy airport, Bush Field,
Please see MASTERS on 13
JOE WALKER is injured, but could play a key role in the Nebraska return teams next fall.
DN File Photo
walker recovers irom miury
By Jay Saunders
It’s hard for a football player to do the
things necessary to reach success. If you ask
Joe Walker, it is harder not to be able to do any
thing at all.
During the 1998 season, Joe Walker was
making history by becoming only the sixth
player in college football history to return a
punt, a kickoff and an interception for touch
Walker was poised to make an impact in
the Holiday Bowl against Arizona until he fell
to the Memorial Stadium turf Dec. 12 during
special teams practice.
The result was a tom anterior cruciate lig
ament in his left knee. Walker, who was the
team’s top return man, was forced into a spec
tator’s role for the bowl game.
“It was like a baby reaching for candy and
they just can’t get it,” Walker said. “I just want
ed to do something for my team so bad.”
The knee injury has also kept Walker out
of spring practice this year. Instead of return
ing kicks and covering receivers, the junior
can often be seen sitting in the stands watching
his teammates practice.
For now, Walker can only watch and go
through a strenuous rehabilitation period to
restore the strength in his knee.
“It has made a little mental toll on me,”
Walker said. “But I understand my injury is
something I have to fight through.”
The inside of the training room is some
thing Walker has grown accustomed to the last
Right now, Walker said, he is working on
going through the motions to get the founda
tion back in his knee. He won’t be on the field
for the spring, but Walker said he’ll be ready
when the two-a-day workouts come around
“I have to prove I still have the capabili
ties,” Walker said. “I’m just trying to make it
back to the field first.”
When Walker does come back, he said, all
he wants to do is get his hands on the ball.
Last season, he had no problem doing that.
As long as the ball is in
my hands I feel I can do
something with it.”
NU football player
The Arlington, Texas, native intercepted three
passes last year, including a 65-yard return for
a touchdown against Iowa State.
And then there is Walker’s work on special
teams. Waflcer grabbed 25 punts for 283 yards,
and returned 17 kickoffs for 366 yards.
When the rehabilitation is over and Walker
returns to the field, he said he is ready to do
anything - even play offense if he is asked to.
“As long as die ball is in my hands Ffeell
can do something with it,” Walker said. “I call
Please see WALKER on 13
fill gap left by
■ Mike Demps and DeJuan Groce
promise Husker fans they will like
what they see from defensive backs.
By Darren Ivy
Senior staff writer
An injury to Nebraska’s top returning kick and
punt returner before the Holiday Bowl last season has
left Craig Bohl scratching his head about who to use
this spring to return kicks.
Without Joe Walker, the return duties have been
opened up to a number of people, said Bohl, NU’s
linebacker coach, who also works with kick returners.
“I hate to tell you, but we are really unsettled right
now,” Bohl said. “We’re just trying to get guys who
can catch the ball.”
Freshmen Michael Demps and DeJuan Groce
have emerged as frontrunners for the spots.
Demps and Groce aren’t exactly household names
for Cornhusker fans. Neither player has seen any
action at NU. Looking just at paper, Demps and
Groce said, they can understand if people have wor
ries and concerns about the return game.
“You really can’t knock them,” Demps said.
“They really don’t know what we have. All they can
do is go off whenever they see us return a kick.
“I think it is only going to take one return. The
first time they see us return a kick, they will know the
person they put back there is good enough to return a
kick for Nebraska.”
Added Groce: “It’s not like (the coaches) are just
going to put anybody back there. You never know
what could happen.”
Groce and Demps both are speedy defensive
backs. Groce runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and
Demps has similar speed when he is healthy.
But speed is just one aspect of a good return man,
“You have to have a clear mind,” Groce said. “You
must focus on the ball. It takes concentration. You
can’t worry about the man coming down the middle at
you. You need quick thoughts. Once you catch the
ball, you have to be real snappy.”
In the first scrimmage April 2, Groce returned
three punts for 29 yards.
Both players watched what Walker did last year.
Walker was a big-play guy, scoring touchdowns on a
punt return and kick-off return.
Demps and Groce have set goals to be big-play
guys as well.
“You can win games with just offense and
defense,” Demps said. “But special teams play a big
Please see FRESHMEN on 13
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