The use of the word Masters in association with golf evokes respect and expectation. One of the most popular tournaments is The Masters Tournament which happens every year at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Traditionally, the Master is associated with the presentation of the green jacket to the tournament’s winner. The storied tradition is more than a sartorial choice but is a legacy, history of golf, and excellence.
The Birth of The Masters
Clifford Roberts, an investment banker from Wall Street, together with Bobby Jones, established the Masters Tournament in 1934. They wanted to develop the best quality, most prestigious, and traditional golf tournament at its inception. The course was the Augusta national golf club renowned for its immaculate fairways, polished greens, and magnificent colorful azalea flowers.
A small but prestigious group of golfers including Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazzen and Horton Smith played in the first Masters originally named as “Tournament Players Championship”. The tournament was a tremendous success, due to the commitment of its originators, the attractiveness of the course and the renown the competition acquired in relation to fairness and sportsmanship.
The Beginning of The Green Jacket Tradition
Since then Sam Snead obtained the green jacket in 1949 upon winning the championship title of masters. The dress was a tribute to Augusta National Golf Club’s co-founder, Bobby Jones, who was popularly known to both walk and dress elegantly. The green jacket became the symbol of the exclusivity of the tournament and the unique way to honour champions.
In the Augusta National Golf Club’s storied clubhouse, a special ceremony is held to award the winner with his jacket. In this context, the previous year’s champion, i.e., the reigning masters champion helps the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club to present the new green jacket to the winning champion. This is a ceremonial act that gives meaning to the tradition and also shows the Master’s feeling of brotherhood and lineage.
The Significance of The Green Jacket
The green jacket is much more than just a garment. It stands to represent superiority, achievement, and the elite status in one of the world golf leading associations. Golfing legend like Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and other prominent individuals become part of an elite fraternity that the wearer of jacket joins.
Winning The Masters is not about getting a trophy; it is also becoming an integral of the tournament’s history. The green jacket symbolizes the success of the individuals and connects them to the previous Augusta National Golf Club winners.
Respect and Decorum - A Tradition
Augusta National Golf Club has a strict code of conduct that also applies to the way the green jacket is worn by the winner. The tradition is a manifestation of the fundamental values of the club such as honor, respect and integrity. The ceremony is serious and involves the previous winner, chairman of Augusta National and only some members of the club and some VIPs.
These values are uniquely expressed by the green jacket. It shows a person winning only through ability and integrity and respect for the ways of the game. The green jacket awarded at the Masters Tournament still serve as a sanctuary for golf etiquette and protocol, representing the exemplary image of the game globally.
The Impact of The Green Jacket
Therefore, the green jacket is not only a symbol for the golf world, but it is a cultural symbol. It goes beyond the game itself, and it is easily recognizable among people who don’t follow at all. Green jacket is the term that comes in hand with The Masters and the picture of the jacket getting presented to the winner is like the trademark of the tournament.
The culture of green jacket has been woven into the fabric of US as well as the world over. It appears in thousands of movies, TV programs, and advertisements, and it’s more than a golfing standard. A green jacket cannot just be considered as a dress; it’s the sign of ambitiousness, diligence, and striving to excellence.
Evolving Traditions and Timeless Legacy
Green jacket tradition has remained constant throughout the decades, but The Masters Golf Tournament has become dynamic. Participants’ fields have expanded, the course has changed, and the tournament has adjusted to the transformation in golf. The green jacket tradition nevertheless remains unchanged throughout all these changes, as an emblem of the tournament’s permanence, and its dedication to the essence of golf.
The green jacket tradition at The Masters symbolizes the belief that despite changes in the modern world of sports there are eternal traditions that link us with the sport history and norms. Green jacket in the case of the Masters denotes great excellence, tradition and immortal appeal that the game has for golf.
©️ Images: New England Dot Golf, PGA of America, The Telegraph, The Mirror