Masters Tournament

Where and when the green jacket tradition began at the Masters Tournament

The green jacket is one of the most unique awards in sports.

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Winning a Masters Tournament comes with multiple benefits.

Among the prizes are cold, hard cash, a trophy of the Augusta National Clubhouse and a lifetime invitation to future Masters Tournaments.

And, of course, the infamous green jacket.

Ahead of the 2024 Masters, here's everything to know about the green jacket, including when the tradition started and where it originated:

How did the green jacket at the Masters start?

Before Masters winners were awarded a green jacket, they first went to Augusta National members. So, how did the tradition start? There are two stories, per

The first is that Bobby Jones, co-founder of Augusta National, attended a dinner in Liverpool, England, where club captains wore a green jacket to symbolize their position, which Jones was fond of.

The second is that Clifford Roberts, co-founder of Augusta National, figured it was a way to identify club members as "reliable sources of information" to visiting guests who weren't members, as well as letting waiters "know who got the check at dinner."

When did the green jacket at the Masters start?

Despite Augusta National opening its doors in 1934, the green jacket tradition started in 1937. From then to 1948, only Augusta National members wore the green jacket.

The jackets were first bought from Brooks Uniform Company in New York, but members found the material too thick and uncomfortable in warm weather, so the supplier changed.

Where did the green jacket at the Masters start?

The tradition began at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts founded the club in 1932, with Jones wanting to create a world-class winter golf course in his home state.

Who won the first green jacket at the Masters?

Sam Snead became the first golfer to don the green jacket after winning the 1949 Masters. It was then retroactively awarded to all previous winners of the tournament.

How long does it take to make the green jacket for the Masters?

The green jacket at the Masters is a classic, three-button, single-breasted and single-vent creation that uses tropical-weight wool, logo-stamped brass buttons and stitching on the inside.

Because of the materials involved, it takes roughly a month to make a green jacket for the Masters from start to finish. It's also estimated to cost $250 to make one, though it's never been publicly confirmed by the club. It's also not available to purchase for the public.

Who has won the most green jackets at the Masters?

The golfer with the most wins at the Masters is Jack Nicklaus. The American won the tournament in 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975 and 1986.

However, Nicklaus only has one jacket, which he's technically not allowed to take home. Multiple-time Masters winners get awarded the same jacket as before. The only exception to keeping the jacket at home is having the winner return it to the club at the next Masters.

Who puts on the green jacket for the winner at the Masters?

One of sports greatest traditions is how the green jacket is donned at the Masters. The usual tradition is that the defending champion slips on the jacket onto the new winner.

However, three golfers have won the tournament on back-to-back occasions: Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.

In those scenarios, the Masters Chairman at the time stepped in to place the jacket onto the repeat champion.

Has a Masters winner ever lost the green jacket?

As aforementioned, a Masters winner can take the green jacket home as long as it's returned by the next tournament. But in one instance, the return wasn't so simple.

In 1961, South Africa's Gary Player became the tournament's first international winner and took the green jacket to his home land. But when he returned to compete the following year, he forgot to bring back the jacket.

When co-founder Clifford Roberts brought it up, Player responded: "Well, Mr. Roberts, if you want it, why don’t you come and fetch it?"

But Roberts found the remark amusing and made a compromise with Player, telling the golfer not to wear it in public.

Also, when Billy Casper won the 1970 Masters, he appreciated the green jacket and tournament so much he refused to let it go. When he died in 2015, his wife, Shirley, asked for and received permission from Augusta National to have him buried in the jacket.

Is the green jacket players wear after winning the Masters the official one?

No, the green jacket worn by players during the winning presentation is not their official one. That's only for presentation. The winner gets fitted then receives the jacket at a later date to wear on club premises.

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