9 Epic Augusta National Traditions That Make The Masters So Special

From the Green Jacket to the Champions Dinner, we look at the best Masters traditions at Augusta National

Masters champions dinner, green jacket, caddie overalls, pimento cheese sandwich and fold up chairs
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There's so much history and tradition about The Masters, and coupled with it being the first Major of the year it makes it such an eagerly-anticipated event each year.

We know the course at Augusta National off by heart by now, but even beyond the famous old track there's so many traditions and rituals about the place that make it special.

From the Green Jacket to the Champions Dinner and everything in between, here's our pick of the best traditions at The Masters.

The Green Jacket

A close up of the Augusta National logo on a green jacket

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There is an actual trophy for winning The Masters, but that's overshadowed by the Green Jacket handed out to the winner each year - which has become synonymous with the event.

First introduced in 1937 for Augusta National members by Bobby Jones, who got the idea from a similar tradition at Royal Liverpool, the first winner to get one was Sam Snead in 1949.

And this being Augusta, even the Masters champion is only allowed to keep his Green Jacket for a year, when it must then be returned to the club and only worn when on site!

Nevertheless, it's now become the most prized piece of tailoring in golf, arguably in sport.

The presentation

Butler Cabin ceremony pictured

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The winner of The Masters is quickly whisked off to Butler Cabin when another tradition is performed with the new champion receiving his Green Jacket from the previous year's winner.

There's been some awkward moments in there but the idea is a nice one, although it can be tough for the likes of Jordan Spieth who had to slip a Green Jacket on Danny Willett after squandering a huge lead in 2016.

One of many fun facts is that the initial jacket a champion gets is borrowed from a member of a similar build before they're measured up for their own.

That may be a problem if the likes of a 6ft 6in Adrian Meronk or 6ft 8in Christo Lamprecht, one of this year's amateurs in the Masters field, were to win the title - that could be quite the sight!

Champions Dinner

Attendees of the 2022 Masters Champions Dinner photographed behind the dinner table

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One of the perks of winning The Masters and being the defending champion, apart from having to foot the bill, is hosting the Champion's Dinner on the Tuesday before The Masters.

Jon Rahm has done what so many champions have done and is bringing a Spanish flavour to Georgia with his Basque-inspired menu.

Sandy Lyle served haggis, Bernhard Langer went with Wiener Schnitzel and Bubba Watson served the same grilled chicken menu after both of his victories.

Nick Faldo dished up fish and chips and after his first victory Tiger Woods handed out cheeseburgers and milkshakes!

Par 3 contest

Masters Par 3 tournament

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Introduced in 1960, The Par 3 Contest is a fun competition played over the special short course in the corner of Augusta National on the eve of The Masters.

Friends and family join the players in the fun knockabout, with children and relative regularly getting in on the act and being given a putt or two here and there.

Some big names have won it down the years, but you really don't want to if you have designs on a Green Jacket as nobody has won The Masters after claiming par 3 glory.

The Crow's Nest

Augusta National Clubhouse

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A small dormitory style room hidden away on the second floor of the legendary Augusta National clubhouse, the Crow's Nest is another special place on the property.

All amateurs are given the chance to stay a night in The Crow's nest ahead of taking part in The Masters, where they'll be able to soak up the history and tradition of the place.

It's small but can sleep five, and is adorned with pictures of past Masters champions and loads of history - and what's nice it's that it's solely an amateur spot, golf's biggest pro players won't experience it.

White boiler suits for caddies

Close up of a Masters caddie white jumpsuit

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It's no ordinary week for the caddies as well as the players, given they have to wear the special Masters white caddie outfits when looping around Augusta.

Until the 1983 Masters tournament, all the caddies at The Masters were provided by Augusta National. Players were not allowed to bring their own caddie.

When it changed this policy, the Masters Tournament Committee still required all visiting caddies to wear the traditional uniform of the club’s own caddies. This uniform is white overalls and a green cap, and is worn there all year round by the caddies.

The Patrons

A general view of patrons at The Masters in 2023

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They're not fans, spectators or, heaven forbid, punters, nope, at Augusta National they're patrons - even the TV and radio broadcasts have to call them that or they'll face the wrath of the committee.

Refreshingly, cell phones aren't allowed on the property for patrons, which means they'll actually watch the golf through their own eyes and not screens as is the norm now at golf events.

There are plenty of rules for patrons at The Masters with the best being that they're not allowed to run - so there's no chasing errant tee shots into the pine straw, with instead the quick march being used to get the best vantage point.

The refreshments - and the prices!

Pimento cheese sandwich

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Another thing that's always mentioned by anyone who is lucky enough to attend The Masters is the food and drink on offer - and especially the prices - as Augusta looks after its patrons.

If you've been to one of the other Majors, a big golf tournament or any big sporting event these days you've no doubt winced at the prices at the concession stands.

Not at Augusta - where the famous Egg Salad and Pimento Cheese sandwiches are just $1.50 each and a Masters Club or a Ham & Cheese on Rye both $3.

The most expensive item on the menu is white wine, which still costs a measly $6. Snacks, including the renowned Georgia Peach Ice Cream Sandwich, are all $2.50 or less.

Keep your seats

Masters chairs

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One tradition that goes under the radar is another rather nice one surrounding Masters chairs and the unwritten rules about them.

Namely that once you've picked a spot to watch the action and set up your chair, you can get up and leave at any time and fully expect it to still be there when you get back.

In 2023, the Masters chairs cost just $35. It’s pretty basic and doesn’t feature any cup holders; there’s no reclining feature or anything like that, but what it comes with is a guarantee of keeping your spot once you find it.

And at Augusta National that's priceless.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.