AUGUSTA, Ga. — Come Sunday night to Augusta National Golf Club, someone will win the Masters green jacket and their life will change forever.
It’s the most coveted jacket in all of sports, but it’s definitely not your ordinary coat. Here’s what you need to know about it.
— First, the color. You know you were wondering. It’s Pantone 342, also known as Masters Green. (Your new basement tint? A smart choice.)
– The club purchased its first jackets from Brooks Uniform Company in 1937, but members, who were encouraged to buy them so customers could identify reliable sources of information, were not thrilled with their warmth. There have been a few different suppliers since then, but Hamilton Tailoring Co. has been making them since 1967. (No, you can’t buy one.) Besides the club logo on the left chest pocket, it’s also on the buttons Brass.
– Jackets weren’t given to Masters champions until 1949, when Sam Snead won. They were awarded retroactively to all previous winners.
“You probably know this one, but it’s Masters tradition that the winner of the previous tournament hands the jacket over to the new champion every Sunday night. But what about consecutive winners? In 1966, when Jack Nicklaus rehearsed as champion, club co-founder Bobby Jones jokingly suggested that Nicklaus handle both roles and slip it on himself. The last two times there was a repeat champion, with Nick Faldo in 1990 and Tiger Woods in 2002, the club chairman helped with the jacket.
— The jackets are reserved for club members and Masters winners. That’s it. And don’t even think about removing them from the field. This right is reserved only for the defending champion after his victory. But when their year is over and they return next April to defend their title, the jacket stays on as soon as the new champion puts on his.
– There are however times when Masters champions may wear their jackets off the pitch, i.e. when they may represent the tournament or club at a function or event.
— As the Masters draws to a close, the club will select a few jackets that might suit the potential winner. The jacket that the winner receives on the evening of his victory is not the one he keeps. They are equipped immediately after their victory and receive the new one shortly after.
— Jackets are not often found in nature. And they are not cheap. In 2013, Green Jacket Auctions sold the jacket of inaugural Augusta National Invitational winner Horton Smith for $682,229.