The green sport coat is the officially worn attire by Augusta members while they are on the grounds. Each winner of the master tournament becomes an honorary member of the club. The first person to be awarded the jacket was Sam Snead after taking his title in 1949.
The history of the green jacket
It was initially invented in 1937 with the idea of its members wearing the jackets when the tournaments were ongoing to make them stand out to the public who needed guidance or any form of assistance. It was an idea brought from Royal Liverpool in England by Bobby Jones when he visited for dinner. He noted that all the club captains in attendance wore matching jackets to show their feed positions.
From 1937 to 1948, the only members to wear the jackets were from the club (Augusta National). In 1949 Sam Snead became the first winner to be privileged with donning the prestigious green jacket. Afterward, all the former winners of the tournament were awarded the coat. They included Byron Nelson, Gene Sarazen, and Jimmy Demaret.
More traditions followed onwards, including a ceremony where the previous champion presents the jacket to the Butler Cabin’s new winner.
The rules of the green jacket
- It has strict rules that require all green jackets to remain on the club’s grounds. The only exception to the rule is made for the current champion as he allowed to publicly wear it for a period not more than one year following the victory. After the year has ended, he then is mandated to return the jacket to the club.
- The winner of the previous year’s tournament awards the new champion the jacket after the match. Jack Nicklaus, in 1966 was the first player to win the game consecutively, thus donning it by himself. Nick Faldo in 1990 and Tiger Woods repeated as champions, thus propelling the chairman of the club to put the jacket on them.
- Once a champion’s 12 months are up, he returns the jacket to the club, and it is only worn when he/she returns or represents the masters at any other event. The coat remains the champion’s personal property but is stored with the previous owner’s jackets in an impressive cloakroom.
The worth of the jacket
As per the Augusta Chronicle, a local newspaper, the approximate cost of manufacturing the jacket is $250. Horton Smith, who was the 2013 Augusta National winner, had his jacket auctioned off for $682229
The manufacturers of the jacket
- Hamilton tailoring company has been exclusively manufacturing the jacket since 1967. One should not even think of ordering one for himself as the tailoring company doesn’t accept any orders for the general public’s jacket.
- Waterbury Company makes the logo stamped buttons, and A&B Emblem company located in Weaverville makes the breast pocket patches.
- The tropical weight wools that are almost 2 ½ yards come from the Forstmann company.
The record holder of the jacket
Since its inauguration, there have been 83 winners. The golfer who has amassed the most titles is Jack Nicklaus, who has been a champion for a record six times, which were worn between the years 1963 to 1986 while his closest has been lucky enough to amass five titles which won them in 1997,2001, 2002,2005 and 2019. In the third position comes Arnold palmer, who has four all won in the 90s (1958, 1960, 1962, and 1964)
Can the champion keep the jacket?
The champion can keep the jacket for only a year, and after the period has elapsed, he is supposed to return it to the club. Although it will remain to be his personal property and it will be stored with jackets of the previous winners in a cloakroom that is specially designated for this sole purpose
Other facts about the jacket
- The green jacket’s color is referred to as the masters green, but actually, the shade of the terrific rye green used is Pantone 342.
- The names of the jacket owners are stitched on the inside labels of the jacket.
- It takes almost a month to make one jacket from the start to its finish due to the materials used.
- Despite opening in 1934, it wasn’t until 1937 that the jacket was invented.
- Nick Faldo, a winner of the 1989,1990, and 1996 championships, had his jacket produced by Nordstrom.
- Those who win the tournament several times are not awarded with many jackets but only one.