Locals look at the silver lining as a unique Masters looms this April

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Local businesses are remaining hopeful as another Masters approaches. Augusta National Golf Club announcing Tuesday the tournament will be played with a limited number of patrons.

If all goes as planned, the roars might not be as loud this April at Augusta National. But at least, there will be a tournament this spring. 

We all remember there were no galleries, period, in the spring of 2020.

“Masters in Augusta is a big deal and we all know that,” asserted Casey Gunn.

Gunn is a server at Rhinehart’s on Washington Road. She said she’s felt the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic first hand but she’s not the only one.

She added, “My friends are also servers and we’ve all talked about the big decline in money they’ve made. A lot of homeowners rent their houses that week and it helps them get by and pay for their home. Hopefully, this year is better than last year was.”

“The vagueness right now everyone is just kind of waiting. No one has canceled. I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of corporate clients that can’t travel or on travel restrictions, so we’ll see how that goes,” said Christy Beckham, Par 3 Rentals owner.

We don’t know yet just exactly what “fewer patrons” means but it seems to reason that a smaller crowd in 2021 means fewer homes will be rented.

Beckham said, “It changes the price. It changes the supply and demand. Like every other small business, you just kind of have to survive this rough water but yeah, I think a lot of people are supplementing their income with something else.”

Augusta National does not release financial records but it’s projected that the Masters Tournament brings in more than $100 million to the CSRA. While that revenue seems like a long shot this April, Beckham believes people will adapt.

She added, “If I was a huge corporation, this is what I did and it was so detrimental it can be very. But we’re small businesses around here and trying to make it work. And a lot of people have made a living off of the golf tournament and we’re thankful for it so I can’t really complain. It’s not ideal but we want to keep our community safe as well.”

The Augusta National Women’s Amateur and Drive, Chip and Putt tournament are still on. Both will also have a limited number of patrons.

If you’re on the list to get badges, you’ll be notified if you are able to go to this year’s Masters. If you can’t go, you will be able to in 2022 depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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