UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
In just three weeks’ time, the best golfers on the planet will congregate at Augusta for the 87th edition of the Masters Tournament. The tournament is the first major golf competition of the year and will some of the top players on the LIV Golf Tour return to play in front of mainstream audiences.
One thing that sets this golf tournament apart from the rest is the traditions that go hand-in-hand with it from the champion’s dinner in the days leading up to the tournament to the par three tournament that takes place on the Wednesday before the tournament begins.
The most iconic tradition at the masters, however, is the green jacket that the winner receives alongside a hefty paycheck. Each winner receives a specially designed green jacket, that they can take home with them for 12 months until next year’s event.
While the golfing world just accepts the green jacket as a staple of Augusta National, not many people know where the idea comes from. Let’s find out.
Why does the winner of the masters receive a green jacket?
The winner of the masters is presented with a green jacket each year because over 90 years ago, Bobby Jones – the founder and designer of Augusta National Golf Club – decided that all members of the golf club should own a matching jacket.
Jones decided this after a trip to Royal Liverpool in 1927 where he became impressed and inspired by the fact former captains of the club all owned and wore red hunting jackets. He liked how prestigious this made the golf club look and he wanted his club to have something similar.
Not wanting to be a direct limitation, Jones decided on the colour green for his jackets because it resembled the leaves underpinning the many azalea bushes around Augusta National. From that moment on, all members of Augusta National (also known as patrons) were gifted a green jacket.
The decision to award these green jackets to winners of the masters came into force in 1949. Sam Snead was the first man to receive a green jacket on the back of winning the famous tournament while all previous winners were also given one in retrospect to mark their achievements.
The annual champions dinner at the Masters has been happening for 70+ years and is one of the best traditions in sports.
It's an exclusive dinner for past champions, and the previous year's winner picks the menu.
Here's Scottie Scheffler's menu this year: pic.twitter.com/ClZZIdSeqx
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) March 15, 2023
The perks of winning a green jacket
Owning a green jacket not only means that you are written into golfing history, but it also means that you are guaranteed to be invited back to play in the masters forever, regardless of where you are in the world rankings.
Additionally, all previous winners of the tournament are invited to the “champions’ dinner” which traditionally takes place on the Tuesday evening before the tournament starts. During this event, the reigning champion hosts all of the other champions for a dinner, getting to select the menu in the process.
As the current reigning champion, Scottie Scheffler has recently announced his menu for this year’s dinner. While the occasion is typically a lighthearted event with friends and fellow pros, this year’s dinner has the potential to be quite frosty.
A couple of players from LIV Golf, Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson, will be sat around the same table as PGA Tour players who have been quick to criticise them ever since they defected from the PGA Tour.