The Masters Green Jacket Tradition
The Masters is an annual golf tournament and is one of four major championships in Professional Golf. The Masters is held at the Augusta National Golf Club every year in April. Augusta National is a private golf club in Augusta, Georgia. Augusta National was developed by golf legend Bobby Jones, who wanted to build a golf course after his retirement from the game. After finding and buying the land in Augusta, Jones hired Alister Mackenzie to design the course. The Golf Course officially opened in 1933. The first National Tournament was played at Augusta in 1934. Augusta is to golf what Yankee Stadium is to baseball or what Madison Square Garden is to Basketball.
The Tradition of the Green Jacket
The Masters is a tournament rich in tradition. One of the most recognizable traditions of the Masters is the awarding of the Green Jacket to the winner. This tradition began in 1949 when Sam Snead won his first of three Masters Championships. The Green Jacket, which is really a sports coat, is the official sports coat worn by all the members of Augusta National. Members began wearing Green Jackets in 1937 during the Masters Tournament so that fans in the crowd could easily spot a member and ask questions.
Every winner of the Masters Tournament automatically becomes an honorary member Augusta National. The winner keeps the Green Jacket for a year after their victory. After the year is up, the winner then returns the Green Jacket to the Club. However, past winners are allowed to wear the Green Jacket whenever they return to the Club.
The Jacket Means You Are A Member
While generally only the current Masters Champion can keep the Green Jacket for one year after his victory, there is one notable exception. The 1961 Champion, Gary Player, refused to return the Green Jacket and still holds it to this day. It is rumored that Player has remained loyal to spirit of the rule and has never worn it.
By tradition, the winner of the previous year’s Masters Championship puts the Green Jacket on the new Champion the next year. When Jack Nicklaus won consecutive titles in 1966, he gave himself the Green Jacket. When Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods won consecutive titles in 1990 and 2002, the Chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club put the Green Jacket on them.
Jack Nicklaus has won the most Masters Tournements, winning six. Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods have won four each. The winner in 2009 was Angel Cabrera.
- The Official Site of the Masters Tournament
The Official Site of the Masters Golf Tournament 2009. This major golf tournament is played annually at the Augusta National Golf Club.
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