One of the four major golf tournaments, the Masters Tournament, is an annual event of prestigious golf, exceptional golfing skills, tradition, and glamor. Set in Augusta, Georgia, this tournament has been the gold standard for golf for more than 80 years. For golfers all over the world, this tournament is a dream come true as it is much more than just a game; it is a chance to create history. Apart from the monetary prize, the fierce competition, the breathtaking scenery, and the green jackets, there’s so much more to this Tournament that makes it unique in many ways. So, let’s dive deep into the magic of the Masters – its history, that dreamy location, and why it’s such a big deal in the golf world.
History of the Masters Tournament
The history of the Masters Tournament is nothing less fascinating than the tournament itself. It all started with the idea that Clifford Roberts, an ardent golfer, and the investor Bobby Jones had back in 1931. Their prime goal was to organize a competition that would gather the best golfers in the world and challenge them to levels not known until then. The name ‘masters’ fits perfectly as it vividly depicts the range of the players who were expected to take part in the tournament, even though the present name was adopted a few years after it started, in 1939.
The Augusta National Golf Club, located in Augusta, Georgia, is the place that was chosen to be the future Masters course. When it was completed, it was considered a golfing wonderland, a masterpiece on its own, boasting its unsurpassed scenery and the challenging 72 holes.
Initially, it was called the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, as players were invited to take part. This custom remains valid even today, and many of the rules established then are still unaltered. For instance, the customary 36 holes on the third day were replaced with the four-day stroke, where golfers play 18 holes per day, the rule of having the golfer and the caddie only in the playing area, elimination of the qualifying rounds, and any commercialization of the Tournament was strictly forbidden.
The official opening was in 1933, however, the first Tournament was held in March 1934, and starting in 1940, the first week of April was adopted as an ongoing annual event.
One of the Masters’ most authentic traditions is the presentation of a green jacket to the winner. This unique custom began in 1949 when Sam Snead was the first to receive this honorary jacket. However, each year’s champion keeps the jacket only until the next tournament, when he needs to hand it back.
Learn More About the Masters Tournament
Patrons, Not Fans
All the fans and spectators in the Tournament are called patrons. In fact, at the entrance, patron badges are given to the visitors.
No Cell Phones or Devices Allowed
Augusta National strictly forbids carrying cell phones and any other electrical devices so that everyone stays focused and undistracted. Even the broadcasting is limited to four hours per day.
A Tradition Unlike Any Other
The slogan, originally used in 1956 by CBS Sports while broadcasting live, best depicts the significance and the uniqueness of this Tournament.
The Par-3 Contest
Before the main event takes place, the Par-3 Contest offers some fun and stress-free competition for players to enjoy the course with their families. Although no one has ever won both competitions in the same year, it is still a much-anticipated event that pre-announces the beginning of the Masters Tournament.
Well-Known Amen Corner
Every golfer knows that The Masters has some very challenging holes. However, the most iconic is the Amen Corner, which consists of the 11th, 12th, and 13th holes where the most exciting moments of the tournament can be expected.
Becoming an Augusta Member
Mission Almost Impossible! To become one, you need to be invited by a current member. Yet, no new initiations are accepted until someone dies or quits. The rumor has it that there are about 300 members, but no one knows for sure.
You Need an Invitation!
Only past Masters winners, PGA Tour events winners, top-rated golfers in the world, winners of the Amateur Championship, and those who have received special invitations may attend.