If a golf fan is asked, what is the most traditional golf tournament? Without any doubt, he will answer the Masters. From invitational type golf club to caddies make the Masters distinctive.
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Following are the list of 10 remarkable traditions of the Masters Tournament that make the event special.
Masters winners get a large amount of money besides the Trophies and green jacket. The prize was not much in the beginning. As the time forwards, Augusta Golf Club gained more members and popularity. As a result, the prize money went up.
The Prize Money
In 2019 the organization increased the amount of total prize to $11.5 million by expanding the winner’s share to more than $2 million. Two years earlier, the full prize money was $11 million. There is also $10,000 prize money for the players who miss the cut.
In 2019 Masters, winner Tiger Woods got $2,070,000 and 3 runner ups got $858,667 each.
In addition to prize money, the gold medal also given to the Masters winner.
In addition to the trophy and cash, a unique green jacket is given to the winner. The green jacket award started in 1949. This green jacket is exclusively for the club members. Every club member has to wear a jacket while on the ground.
The Masters winner becomes an honorary member of Augusta National Golf Club. Right after the tournament, a green jacket is presented to the winner inside the Butler Cabin. The presentation ceremony happens again outside in front of patrons near the 18th green.
After the first victory winner can keep their jacket for the first year. After that, they have to return it to the club. They can wear the jacket whenever they visit. If any of the winners win the Masters again, they can take the jacket for another year.
As a part of the tradition, the winner from last year puts the jacket on the present winner. If any winner wins consecutively, he will put on the jacket himself. There were a few exceptions too. For example, when Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods won consecutively, the then chairman of the club put on the jacket to them.
Every winner gets a silver Masters trophy with their name carved on it. The weight of the cup is 130 pounds, and it sits on a four-foot-wide base.
Since 1951, the runner-up gets a silver medal. In addition to the medal, runner-up also receives a silver salver, which was introduced in 1978.
Introduced in 1952 lowest scoring amateur player also gets an award, which is known as the silver cup. The small amateur runner-up receives a silver medal.
In 1967, Bruce Devlin made a new record. On hole number 8, Devlin holed out a double eagle. To remember his career, Double Eagle trophy was introduced, which is a crystal bowl written “Masters Tournament” on top.
Events before the Tournament
Different events take place before the Masters. Since 2014 a youth golf skills competition take place in association with USGA and PGA of America. The goal of this competition is to promote golf to the youth generation. Local qualifier winner proceeds to the final at Augusta National, which happens just before the Masters on Sunday.
Besides the youth competition, Augusta National Women’s Amateur started to take place from 2019.
Masters Tournament Par-3 contest
Par-3 tournament is a golf competition which takes place on Wednesday before the main event of Masters. It was first played in 1960 and became a tradition after that.
Par 3 course is a nine-hole course built in 1958 with a par of 27.
The motto of this contest was to create a family-friendly environment at Augusta. Children of the golfers can be caddies in Par-3. The winner gets a crystal bowl.
Privileges for the Winner
Winning a Masters can bring up changing opportunities for a player. The winner automatically gets the invitation for the next five years to PGA Championship, US Open, and The Open Championship. Besides those, the winner receives the lifetime invitation to the Masters tournament. The winner also invited to The Players Championship for the next five years.
Starting Tee Shot
Legendary players make the first tee shot at the first Hole as a marking of the opening of the Masters. One player or more can make the shot. It was stared in 1963. Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod were the first players to make the opening tee shot. Together they continued until 1973.
Champions Dinner happens each year on Tuesday evening before starting the Masters main event on Thursday. According to the tradition defending champion plan the menu as a host to honor the previous champions.
Usually, champions plan the cuisine from their home regions, which is cooked by Masters Chefs of that region. Besides the winners, some selected members of Augusta National Golf Club can join the Dinner. Usually, the chairman can join.
Augusta National had a racist controversy from the beginning about Caddie. Until 1983, it was a rule that players had to take the caddies from Augusta National Golf Club. According to tradition, caddies were always African American men. After 1983, Players were permitted to bring their caddies instead of using African Americans from Augusta National.
Spectators who attend at Augusta National to watch the Masters are referred to as Patrons. When you watch the Masters live stream, you will hear, broadcasters always mentioned the attendees as patrons.
Skipping balls on par-3 16th Hole
Skipping the 16th hole situation comes up on practice round. When players make the tee shots on par 3, they have to go to the pond edge, which is located across the 16th Hole. They have to take the ball from the edge to overcome water to make it to the green another side.
When players make the shot at the bank of the pond, patrons cheer the players by refraining “skip it.”
The next day after the Masters, University of St Andrews scholars, located in Scotland, play a four-ball round. They are the last people to play on the course before repairing and restoring the course.
Those traditions mentioned above make the Masters unique and precious. Though Masters Tournament faced some problems at the beginning, Augusta National started some traditions to overcome all the issues and make it acceptable among the golf fans.