24 Things You Didn't Know About The Masters

24 Things You Didn't Know About The Masters

With the 2024 Masters quickly approaching, we've come to list 24 of the most interesting facts even the most well-versed golf fan may be shocked to find out.
1. The Masters

Tournament founder Clifford Roberts, started calling the tournament “The Masters” in 1938, but Bobby Jones hated the name and referred to it as “the so-called-Masters” as late as 1963.

The only reason we have The Masters is because Jones and Clifford were rejected by the USGA in their bid to hold the 1934 US Open.

Jones and Clifford also wanted to establish a golf hall of fame at Augusta, similar to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  They wanted it to feature a miniature version of Augusta, a driving range and replicas of books in the library.  The project never saw the light of day due to the start of World War II.

Clifford Roberts was instrumental in helping the over/under scoring system become a staple in golf tournament coverage.  He directed the CBS camera crew to actually film the scoreboard instead of just having announcers verbalize the scores.

Augusta National’s co-founder, Clifford Roberts, met a sad end in 1977.  At age 83 and in failing health, Roberts took his own life with a single pistol shot to the head next to Ike’s Pond.

2. "So much for being in Uncle Bob’s will."
You can’t just buy tickets to The Masters. You must apply for the opportunity to purchase tickets via a lottery. When the lottery application process opens be sure to registerMany families own tournament or “series” badges, but they are awarded only to those on the patron list (which is full). According to Augusta National, after the death of a badge holder, the account is transferable only to a surviving spouse and cannot be transferred to other family members.
3. Alister McKenzie
Course architect, Alister McKenzie, never saw his famous course completed. He died January 6th 1934, just 2 months before the Inaugural Masters Tournament.


4. Gary Player's Jacket

Gary Player is the only Masters Winner to not have his Jacket locked up at Augusta. He was able to keep it by “forgetting” to bring it back after he won the 61’ tournament. It can be seen at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, FL. 


5. Now Hiring: Announcers

The Masters is a very traditional tournament. It’s so traditional that they actually banned CBS announcer, Gary McCord, in 1995 for saying, “They don’t cut the greens here at Augusta, they use bikini wax.”

Masters Officials have been known to remove Tournament Announcers who do not follow club decorum. Saying words such as “Fans” or “Spectators” is not allowed. They must be called Patrons or Gallery. The rough is referred to as the “second cut”.

6. Name-brands are a No-No

You can’t buy a Coke or Sprite (or even a Pepsi) at The Masters. Name-brands are no-no. Don’t fret, though. You are welcome to purchase a cola, diet-cola, lemon-lime and the like. It's also confirmed they taste just like the original name.

7. Keeping it Green, but Why?

You know about the famous pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches, but did you know the sandwiches at The Masters are wrapped in green plastic? Why green? If anything should drop on the pristine lawn, then it will not show up on camera.

8. The Last House Standing

The grounds on which The Masters parking lot sits used to be a neighborhood. Today, one house still stands, refusing to sell despite being offered millions, and you may be directed to park next to it. Herman and Elizabeth Thacker have owned the house since 1959, and their goal is to see their grandson –PGA professional Scott Brown– play in his hometown of Augusta.

9. Be Ready to Get Your Workout In

The difference between the highest point on the course and the lowest point is 175 feet, but that says nothing about how hilly the course is. Everyone dresses to the nine’s, but sneakers are the right call because you will do a ton of walking!

10. Good Thing the Majority of Golf's Demographic isn't Gen Z

You can’t bring your phone or a camera into the course during the tournament. If you’re dying for photos, the practice rounds are when you want to visit. Cameras are allowed on those days. But phones are NEVER allowed. Don’t even think about breaking the rules about cameras (or otherwise). The GBI will politely escort you out, and the pass holder’s rights will be forever revoked.

Having that said, pay phones are available on the premise, and waiting in line to make the call will take you back in time.

So how do you prove you were at The Masters without the ability to snap a selfie? Head over to the Founder’s Circle where you can get a free snap in front of the Club House.

11. Par 3 Contest

The Masters Par 3 Contest is held on Wednesday prior to the main event, and it is much beloved because you’ll find wives and girlfriends, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews-all happily serving as caddies.

12. Armed Meet and Greets?

The best place to see your favorite players up close is at the putting green near the Club House. Golfers enter the area with an armed escort, making their way through a line of spectators anxious to catch a glimpse of their favorite player.

13. The Eisenhower

You’ll find 10 cabins on the Augusta National course, available to members and their guests. The Eisenhower is the most famous of these, built by the club for the president and his wife in 1953, meeting all the necessary security specs. He visited 45 times prior to his death.

14. "Sandy" Somerville

Bob Jones invited Canadian golfer, Charles Ross "Sandy" Somerville from London Hunt Club to play in his Amateur Invitational, where he eventually was able to play in The Masters of 1934 and 1938. Once there, he recorded the first ever Hole-In-One to take place at The Masters.

Charles Ross "Sandy" Somerville (May 4, 1903 – May 17, 1991) was a Canadian golfer and all-around athlete. Somerville was born in London, Ontario. He won six Canadian Amateur Championship golf titles between 1926 and 1937, and in 1932 became the first Canadian to win the U.S. Amateur. He was selected by the Canadian Press as Canada's athlete of the year for 1932, and in 1950 was picked as Canada's top golfer of the first half of the 20th century.

15. A Rocky Start...

Founded at the beginning of The Great Depression, the plan for Augusta National had a rocky start.

The originally business plan called for 1,800 members but at the time of the first tournament in 1936, the club only 76 paying members. The club couldn’t even afford to pay winner Horton Smith or any of the top finishers until 17 of the members chipped in for the purse.

The original plans for Augusta were actually much more grand. The vision included two 18-hole courses (a championship course and a ladies course), squash courts, tennis courts, a bridle path, several dozen houses for members and a hotel. A lack of funding forced them to build only one course and clubhouse.

Augusta played host to the very first PGA Seniors Championship in 1937. That move played a key role in establishing a senior tour.


16. Lee Elder

Robert Lee Elder (July 14, 1934 – November 28, 2021) was an American professional golfer. After winning the 1974 Monsanto Open, he was invited to play in The Masters. Lee Elder became the first African American to compete in the Masters in 1975.

17. The Big Oak

The “Big Oak” that stands behind the clubhouse was planted in the 1850s, making it well over 150 years old.

18. Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus has the most Masters wins of any player with six. He's also the oldest player to ever win the green jacket at 46 years, 2 months and 23 days. He accomplished this feat in 1986.

As a 6-time Masters Champion, Jack has a plaque honoring his success, which is affixed to a drinking fountain between holes 16 and 17.

In the history of the Masters, there have only been three back-to-back winners, Jack being the first to set the record in ’65 and ’66.

The Masters Tournament course record is 63. Both Jack Nicklaus (1986) and Nick Price (1996), have accomplished this feat.

Lastly, among players who have played 100 rounds or more at the masters, Jack has the second best scoring average with a whopping 71.98.

19. Amateur Play

In 2010, Mateo Manassero became the youngest player to ever make the cut at the masters. He was 16 years, 11 months and 22 days old. While The Masters has a strong tradition of amateur involvement, no amateur has ever won the tourney.

20. The Green Jacket

While winners didn’t start taking home green jackets until 1949, members started wearing them in 1937 as a way for Masters patrons to easily identify people who would be able to provide accurate information about the club.

The famous Green Jackets, which are given to winners of The Masters, are acquired from Brooks Uniform Co. in New York.

The Masters green jacket actually has a few different hues and has gone from forest green to hunter green with a few shades in between over the years.  Changes in manufacturers and tailors have caused the differences.

21. The Crow's Nest

The amateurs who play in The Masters every year stay in a residence called The Crow’s Nest.  It houses up to 5 players. The Crow’s Nest sits atop the clubhouse and features a 11-square foot cupola at the top surrounded by windows.  It can be reached by ladder and offers some pretty spectacular views.

22. Champions Dinner

The Champions Dinner is a tradition for members of the Masters Club who have won a Masters Tournament. It’s hosted by the defending champion on the Tuesday before the Masters every year.

The previous year’s winner gets to choose the menu at the Champions Dinner, which occurs on the Tuesday before the Masters every year. In 1989 when Sandy Lyle chose to serve haggis, Jack Nicklaus opted to order off of the club menu, saying, “Oh, I hope he enjoys it.”

See all the Champions Choices here.

23. It's Like a Fancy Costco

Inflation hasn’t hit the Masters Concession Stand yet. You can still get the famous Augusta National Pimento Cheese Sandwich for $1.50. Actually, nothing on the menu costs more than $3.00, making food by far the most affordable part of any Masters experience.

Beer is also ridiculously cheap for a premier sporting event.  You can score a cold brew at The Masters for a mere $3.00, which a pittance compared to the $12 average price at NBA and NFL games.

24. WWII Hold

The Masters Tournament was not held from 1943-1945 due to World War II.  To help with the war efforts, cattle and turkey were raised on the grounds.

Due to the lack of groundskeepers during the war, the cattle were occasionally set loose on fairways to help keep the grass trim.

Who do you think is winning this year?



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