Does the Masters winner get to keep the green jacket, and for how long?
CMC Masters

Does the Masters winner get to keep the green jacket, and for how long?

A photo of golfer Tiger Woods

The Masters champion gets one of the truly unique trophies in golf: the green jacket. Masters champions then leave Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia and are seen around the country and throughout the world wearing the green jacket as a symbol of their remarkable achievement.

Many golf fans wonder if the Masters champion gets to keep the green jacket permanently, or if not forever, for how long.

How long does the Masters winner get to keep the green jacket?

Masters champions get to keep the green jacket for a year. Specifically, they get to keep the green jacket away from the club for as long as they're the reigning Masters champion. From the day they win the Masters green jacket, winners can take the green jacket wherever they wish. When the week of the next year's Masters Tournament starts, players are expected to bring back the green jacket and keep it on Augusta National Golf Club property.

If a Masters winner successfully defends their title, then they're able to keep the jacket for another year, from the date of that next Masters win to the start of the next Masters Tournament. That has only happened three times in tournament history (Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods), so it's a rare achievement.

Masters winners also get a beautiful Masters trophy to commemorate their win.

How the Masters green jacket ceremony started

The tradition of presenting the Masters winner with a green jacket began in 1949 with Sam Snead, who got the green jacket on the practice green at the club. In the modern era, winners get the green jacket presented to them twice: once on TV at Butler Cabin and then again on the practice green for patrons to see. Both times, the previous year's winner presents the jacket of an existing member that most closely fits the champion. In the rare instances that a Masters winner has successfully defended the title, the club chairman (currently, that's Fred Ridley) presents the green jacket.

For first-time Masters winners, Augusta National Golf Club has a variety of green jackets on property. Augusta National members wear green jackets during the tournament so they can be spotted easily by patrons who might have questions or need help. Masters winners can borrow a member's jacket for the ceremonies.

Afterward, Masters champions have the option of being tailored for a custom jacket. The custom-tailored jacket is kept at the club permanently unless the player wins the Masters again, and it's stored often in their locker in the Champions Locker Room. Winners share their locker with other Masters winners.

For most Masters winners, it's a great year of their lives to be able to have the green jacket in their possession. However, they're always able to look at the Masters trophy, which they also receive and have the option to receive a replica trophy for their home or trophy mantle.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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