From traditional to adventurous: Masters Champions Dinner menus

There have been some unusual choices at the Champions Dinner since winners were first allowed to choose their own menus in the 1980s

Charl may not have actually done the cooking in 2012, but there was a strong South African flavour to his menu

Every year the Masters Champions Dinner takes place on the Tuesday before the event, with the reigning champion choosing a sometimes slightly unusual menu

The Masters Champions Dinner at Augusta National is now a set-in-stone Tuesday night highlight, but it wasn’t ever thus, with the tradition that would evolve into an annual event first staged on Friday April 4, 1952.

That year, 1951 champion Ben Hogan thought it would be nice to invite Augusta National Chairman Clifford Roberts to a dinner for previous winners.

Nine past Masters champions attended the dinner, which followed a set menu, and the Masters Club was formed, with Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones immediately afforded Honorary Membership status.

The European Masters champions all got to choose their own menus

The European Masters champions all got to choose their own menus

Nowadays, the previous year’s winner gets to choose a menu that either reflects personal favourites or showcases national cuisine, a tradition that started in the mid-1980s.

As you can imagine, that has sometimes led to some weird and wonderful dishes depending on the nationality of the winner, though mercifully for those of a more conservative or delicate constitution, guests are always free to choose from the club’s menu if they so choose.

It should be easy to guess who plumped for haggis with neeps and tatties, or who went for leg of lamb, but what about ensalada verde con vinagreta de gazpacho? One or two of the highlights below may well have had the former champions reaching instinctively for the club’s menu…

Charl may not have actually done the cooking in 2012, but there was a strong South African flavour to his menu

Charl may not have actually done the cooking in 2012, but there was a strong South African flavour to his menu

Bernhard Langer, 1986

Wiener schnitzel and spaetzle * Black Forest cake

Sandy Lyle, 1989

Jumbo lump crabmeat cocktail * Broiled pompano * Haggis * Neeps and tatties

Ian Woosnam, 1992

Leek and potato soup * Leg of lamb with sweet meadow hay * Apple pie and ice cream

Jose Maria Olazabal, 1995

Collard green soup * Txitxarro en salsa verde * Prime New York sirloin steak * Roast rack of lamb * Broiled chicken * Asparagus * Baked potato * Roasted herb new potatoes

Tiger Woods, 1998

Cheeseburger * Grilled chicken sandwich * French fries * Strawberry and vanilla milkshakes * Strawberry shortcake

Vijay Singh, 2001

Seafood Tom Kha * Chicken Panang curry * Baked sea scallops with garlic sauce * Baked Chilean sea bass filet with three-flavor chili sauce * Rack of lamb with yellow kari sauce * Lychee sorbet

Trevor Immelman, 2009

South African spinach salad * Babotie with yellow rice: traditional curried meat with fruit * Chicken sosaties: grilled chicken and vegetables on skewers * Melktert: Traditional milk tart

Phil Mickelson, 2011

Ensalada verde con vinagreta de gazpacho * Seafood paella * Prime beef tenderloin with smoked paprika demi-glaze * Asparagus * Tortilla Espanola * Spanish apple pie * Vanilla ice cream * Cinnamon ganache

Charl Schwartzel, 2012

Sliced biltong * Boerwors with monkey gland sauce * Dauphinoise potatoes * Vanilla ice cream sundae * Crispy meringues

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response