14 Things You Didn't Know About The Masters

Even expert Masters fans might not know all of these interesting facts about the year's first men's Major...

A flag pictured at The Masters, 14 Things You Didn't Know About The Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

How well do you know The Masters? Get to know the annual Augusta National showpiece a little better in this video and article...

14 Things You Didn't Know About The Masters

1. Hole yardages

All of the hole yardages at on the Augusta National scorecard either end in 0 or 5. The famous par-3 12th measures 155 yards, the 13th is 545 yards after its recent lengthening, the 18th is 465 yards and so on…

2. The tournament's name

Did you know that The Masters started out as the Augusta National Invitational Tournament? It only got its current name in 1939, five years after that first Invitational event. The 1939 tournament was won by Ralph Guldahl by one stroke over Sam Snead.

3. Before Augusta National GC

The course used to be a plant nursery. The club purchased the land from a hotel chain that bought the old plant nursery but ran out of money.

4. The inaugural invitational

The inaugural Invitational tournament was held in 1934, with Augusta city council stumping up $10,000. Horton Smith won $1,500, more than both the US Open and PGA Championship first prizes at the time.

5. Asia-Pacific Amateur

Hideki Matsuyama wins the silver cup at The Masters in 2011

Matsuyama won the Silver Cup in 2011 after qualifying for The Masters via his 2010 Asian Amateur victory

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The winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship earns an invite to play in the Masters. Hideki Matsuyama won the inaugural Asia-Pacific Amateur (originally known as the Asian Amateur Championship) in 2010 and went on to win the low amateur honors at the 2011 Masters before - of course - winning the Green Jacket in 2021. Harrison Crowe won the 2023 event and therefore earned a spot in the 2023 Masters.

6. Phone policy

The fans, or patrons as they are known at the Masters, aren’t allowed to bring their phones onto the course. So when you watch the big moment at this year’s tournament, you’ll notice the fans watching without holding their phones out in front of them. Not even the media are allowed to take their phones out of the media centre and it makes a nice change!

7. Fred Ridley

The current Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley won the 1975 US Amateur Championship. He also represented the USA at the Walker Cup and played in three Masters Tournaments as an amateur - he is the only Augusta National chairman to have also played in the tournament.

8. TV coverage

The first and second round Masters TV coverage only began in 1982. Previously, armchair fans had no way of watching the first two days’ play. And, not only that, 18-hole coverage on Sunday only started in 2002 and the Par 3 Contest only started being televised in 2008.

9. Caddies

rory mcilroy caddie in white suit

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Players were only given the option of using their own caddies during the Masters in 1983. Before that they were allocated one of the club’s own caddies to use during tournament week. Famously, all Augusta National caddies wear white boiler suits and green caps.

10. The nines

The front nine actually used to be the back nine. The nines were reversed in 1935, a year after the inaugural Augusta National Invitation Tournament. We think it’s fair to say that was a good idea.

11. Hardest and easiest holes

13th at augusta

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The hardest hole in the history of The Masters is the par-4 10th, which averages of 4.3. The easiest is the par-5 13, with an average of 4.77. Who knows though, with the hole being pushed back a further 35 yards, this could change from the 2023 tournament onwards!

12. Small field

The Masters is the hardest men’s Major to qualify for as it has by far the smallest field of the four Majors. In 2018 it had just 87 players - the lowest in history. The 2021 Open Championship had a field of 156 competitors as a comparison.

13. The trophy

The Masters trophy pictured

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The Masters Trophy, a model of the Augusta National Clubhouse, was introduced in 1961. It was made in England and features over 900 separate pieces of silver.

14. The 'curse'

The now famous Wednesday Par 3 Contest started in 1960 and since then, nobody has won that and the Green Jacket in the same week. The par 3 course measures 1,060 yards with holes ranging from 70 to 140 yards.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5