Augustans move out, visitors move in, Southern traditions continue

News 12 at 11/ Friday, April 4, 2014

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- Like sweet tea and blessing your heart, opening the doors to your home often comes as second nature to a Southerner.

Here in Augusta, for the Masters, homeowners take Southern hospitality to another level.

While golfers are lining up their putts, the Murphey family is lining up their pillows for some week long visitors.

"You want them to come in and feel like this is their home," explained Danelle Murphey.

This is no typical Spring cleaning. For a week, the Murpheys are turning their home into a hotel, and everything has to be perfect.

"Every drawer, every closet, every cabinet needs to be in pristine condition," Mrs. Murphey said.

"Last couple of days it looks like an army in here working," added her husband, Dr. Julian Murphey.

All the cleaning troops are to prepare for six Canadian businessmen coming back to rent their home for Masters week.

"They have as much space as they need for whatever they need," Mrs. Murphey said as she opened an empty bedroom drawer.

"We have fresh maid service everyday. That way they can have different clients in each day," Dr. Murphey said.

Empty closets and stacks of fresh towels, used just once a year, already sit ready for their guests.

"These are just for Masters," Danelle says as she opens a closet full of white towels.

It's southern hospitality at it's best and a tradition the Murpheys have been doing for 20 years.

"It's a tradition that Augusta's famous for," Dr. Murphey said. "That's what helped build the reputation of the tournament is the hospitality of the South and Augusta."

The Murpheys aren't the only ones getting ready to move out. Almost every house on their street is rented out and has been for months.

"When you pull out Sunday morning, your house is absolutely as perfect as it can be," said Mrs. Murphey.

It's all worth it for their guests, to make their entire Masters experience top notch from swings on the course to swings on the porch.

"A little taste of the South. It is," Mrs. Murphey said.

The hospitality trickles down, because while people are staying in their house, the Murpheys will stay at a family's home in town.

It's a huge undertaking, but it pays well.

Several homeowners, some who've housed companies like IBM and BBC, say some of these contracts range in the tens of thousands of dollars.

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