Butler Cabin Turns 60 - Most Iconic (And Awkward) Moments

To commemorate the 60th year that the Butler Cabin has been a part of the Masters, here are five of the most iconic – and awkward – moments at the historic Augusta property

Tiger Woods hands Dustin Johnson his green jacket at the 2020 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Butler Cabin at Augusta National has been the setting of many memorable moments throughout the history of the Masters

It is where this year’s winner will officially receive his green jacket, and be interviewed for the first time by CBS Sports lead commentator Jim Nantz.

To commemorate the 60th year that the Butler Cabin has been a part of the Masters, here are five of the most iconic – and awkward – moments at the historic Augusta property. 

Tiger and Phil trade green jackets in 2005 and 2006

In the 2000s, no rivalry in golf was greater than the one between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Woods was already on his way to becoming the greatest golfer to play the game since Jack Nicklaus, while Phil Mickelson went from being the best player to never win a Major to winning three between 2004 and 2006, including two Masters titles.

Their rivalry was laid bare when the pair traded green jackets in 2005 and 2006 at the eerily quiet and awkward atmosphere of the Butler Cabin. 2004 Masters champ Mickelson was tasked with fitting the green jacket onto Woods’ shoulders in 2005, only for Woods to return the favor the next year when Mickelson won again in 2006. In both years, the tension in the room was palpable – further adding to one golf's greatest rivalries.

Sad Spieth

In one of the biggest meltdowns in Masters history, Jordan Spieth blew a five-shot lead with nine to play in 2016 to hand the title to Danny Willett. Unfortunately for Spieth, he was the defending champion and still had a job to do at the Butler Cabin. Spieth’s disappointment as he sat next to Willett was written all over his face. When it was finally time to hand the green jacket to Willett, Spieth could only muster a forced grin.

Jordan Spieth reacts during the 2016 Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bubba Watson’s missed handshake

Bubba Watson’s first Masters victory in 2012 ended with one of the most awkward moments at the Butler Cabin. Just as Watson was about to be given his green jacket by Charl Schwartzel, then-Augusta National chairman Billy Payne offered a congratulatory handshake to Watson. But just as Watson went in to complete the handshake, Payne, for some reason, took his hand away at the last second, leaving Watson hanging. (A close inspection of the footage suggests Payne’s strange move was not on purpose.) 

Payne then realises his mistake and goes in for the handshake once again, but Watson was already on his way to shake Schwartzel’s hand instead, a rare double ‘left-hanging’ moment. One writer called the whole debacle “the biggest handshake fail ever seen on worldwide television”.

‘How tall are you?’

When Seve Ballesteros won his second Masters title in 1983, then-Augusta National chairman Hord Hardin was tasked with asking the Spaniard the first question in the Butler Cabin. And you would not believe the question Hardin decided was appropriate for the moment. “Seve, let me ask you, a lot of people have asked me,” Hardin began, “How tall are you?” 

Hardin's excuse for his strange question might be even worse. He later explained to Golf Digest: “I knew Seve was a handsome fellow. I was building up to ask him about girls. But I realized maybe he’d say, ‘I don’t like girls. I like guys.’ So I sort of froze up.” Thankfully that job is now reserved for actual broadcasters like Jim Nantz.

Nicklaus becomes the first

In 1965, Jack Nicklaus became the first champion to be interviewed in the Butler Cabin after winning his second Masters title. Both Nicklaus and Woods have the record for most interviews in the Butler Cabin at five a piece.

Joel Kulasingham
News Writer

Joel Kulasingham is freelance writer for Golf Monthly. He has worked as a sports reporter and editor in New Zealand for more than five years, covering a wide range of sports including golf, rugby and football. He moved to London in 2023 and writes for several publications in the UK and abroad. He is a life-long sports nut and has been obsessed with golf since first swinging a club at the age of 13. These days he spends most of his time watching, reading and writing about sports, and playing mediocre golf at courses around London.