The green jacket, awarded each year to the winner of the Masters golf tournament, is the most unique trophy in the sport -- and easily its most recognizable.
However, the green jacket tradition at Augusta National Golf Club wasn't created for winners of the tournament first known as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament. In 1937, four years after the club opened, co-founder Clifford Roberts thought it would be a good idea to have members wear the green jackets to help tournament patrons find members if they had a question or concern while attending the tournament. Bobby Jones had told Roberts of the red jackets for captains at Royal Liverpool, and Roberts loved the idea.
The first Masters winner to get a green jacket was Sam Snead in 1949, with the winners since presented with the jacket in a ceremony on the practice green at the club. The winner first gets the green jacket put on these days, however, during a televised ceremony in Butler Cabin. Both times, the previous year's winner presents the jacket of an existing member that most closely fits the champion. In the instances that a Masters winner has successfully defended the title, the club Chairman presents the green jacket. Weeks later, the custom-tailored jacket is presented to the champion.
The first jackets for members were made of a heavy wool that didn't wear well in April. Now, they're a wool-polyester blend, with the fabric typically sewn together by a company in Cincinnati. The wool-polyester blend if from Victor Forstmann Inc. in Dublin, Ga. The special brass buttons on the jacket are made by Waterbury Button Co. in Connecticut, while the breast-pocket patch that has the club logo is made in North Carolina by A&B Emblem Co.
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