The History of the Green Jacket

The History of the Green Jacket

14 February 2024

We take a closer look at The Masters, the Green Jacket, and Augusta National ahead of the upcoming 2024 tournament.

The first Major of the PGA Tour season, The Masters, is a tournament filled with tradition where golfing greats have cemented their legacy into the game. 

Founded by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, the tournament was first hosted in 1934 and won by Horton Smith with a winning score of 284. Interestingly, Smith would not receive a Green Jacket for another 15 years.

The first Green Jacket

The Green Jacket’s Enduring Legacy

Green Jackets were first worn by Augusta National Golf Club members in 1937 to make them easily identifiable to patrons seeking help when navigating around the property.

However, the first Masters champion presented with a Green Jacket and honorary membership to Augusta National Golf Club was Sam Snead in 1949 – a tradition was born.

Previous winners of The Masters were also presented with their Jackets (Horton Smith, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Henry Picard, Ralph Guldahl, Jimmy Demaret, Craig Wood, Herman Keiser, and Claude Harmon).

Whilst the Jacket itself is understated, with its traditional design, the history contained within each detail makes it priceless.

From the embossed logo on each of the three gold buttons to the embroidered logo on the left chest the design has remained the same since its inception, symbolising the link from previous to present champions.

90 years of competition with 56 winners

Over the years there have been some remarkable stories at Augusta, more than we can fit into a single blog, with players enjoying the highest of highs and lowest of lows.

Danny Willett (2016) and Charl Schwartzel (2011) enjoyed the best performances of their careers around Augusta to win against fierce competition. Since then, the two have since struggled to replicate this form but regardless, they did it when it mattered most!

At the other end of the spectrum, Rory McIlroy last year’s Scottish Open winner, shocked the world with his troubles on the back nine as he looked to complete the grand slam – winning The Open, US Open, US PGA, and The Masters. 

McIlroy was in poll position to complete the Grand Slam but finished with a final round of +8 over par – Rory is still trying 13 years later! 

The Green Jacket appears to be elusive to one of the modern game’s greats with his best finish being in 2022, second place to Scottie Scheffler.

You can see some of the greatest Masters meltdowns including Rory’s here:

The Biggest Masters Mishaps

Completing the grand slam would earn Rory a place in a truly elite, and exclusive club, alongside Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods.

Back-to-back brilliance

Another unique, and equally elite, club to be a member of, is the back-to-back Masters Champions. Only three players in the tournament’s history have achieved such a feat.

  • Jack Nicklaus: 1965 and 1966
  • Nick Faldo: 1989 and 1990
  • Tiger Woods: 2001 and 2002

The caliber of course and competition makes this a truly remarkable achievement. In addition, it is tradition for the previous year’s winner to present the new champion with the Green Jacket – an elusive and disruptive club.

Disruptive in the sense that the previous winner should be presenting the jacket to the new one, no one anticipated someone winning back-to-back!

Journey to the Green Jacket

Who will win the Journey to the Green Jacket this year?

Jon Rahm was last year’s champion and will be looking to replicate his impressive form. With his recent move to LIV Golf, Rahm has a lot more time to prepare for the tournament with their reduced schedule. 

With his performance at the Ryder Cup, there is every chance Rahm will be featuring well into the weekend. Or, will Ludvig Aberg start his Major career with a bang?

Aberg is yet to play in a Major but that does not seem to face the ‘rookie’, having played a large role in the European Team’s exhilarating victory at Marco Simone.

Or, could Rory finally complete the Grand Slam and join the Club which has evaded him for over a decade?

Time will tell, one thing’s for sure, we can’t wait!


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