Not every trophy is shiny, metal and mantle-ready! We’re straying a bit off the beaten path with this one, but the Green Jacket is such an important symbol of achievement in the sports world that we just had to include it. Awarded to the winner of the Master’s Tournament, this garment represents the most coveted title in golf. It’s got an interesting history, too – read on to find out more about this revered prize!
The Green Jacket got its start as a garment worn by members of the Augusta National in 1933, who were given the bright coat so as to stand out as a source of information for visitors to their event. Originally made out of wool (despite the event taking place in Georgia, in spring – not necessarily the season for an overcoat), the jackets were once crafted in America, from American materials and by American craftsmen, but since 1996 are made by a famous British tailor. The first proper champion’s jacket wasn’t awarded until 1949, but all prior champions dating back to the first event in 1933 were given jackets retroactively.
Who gets to wear it?
The winner of the annual Masters Golf Tournament is given the honor of wearing this coveted emerald garment – but only for one year. Though all winners get to keep their Green Jackets (which are tailor-made for them; the jacket they slip on at the tournament is a rough approximate of their size, procured in advance by Augusta National officials), tradition calls for the previous year’s winner to personally adorn the new champion with their new jacket, marking the end of the old winner’s ability to wear their own. Members actually must return their jackets to the Augusta National Club after their time is up, though they can wear it during the annual Champion’s Dinner, where it is given back to them for one night only. Legend has it that one South African winner forgot his jacket in his home country the year after winning, making officials nervous until he eventually gave it back, swearing he never wore it outside after passing the year mark.
- The Green Jacket is actually a fairly economical purchase, all things considered – they reportedly cost only $250 to make, though have fetched as much as $683,229 at auction, making this garment the most valuable piece of golf memorabilia out there.
- Back-to-back Masters Tournament winners (which include Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods) are obviously unable to present the jacket to themselves and, in such cases, the chairman of the tournament will present it himself.
Inspired by this post to start a Green Jacket-like tradition of your own? Not only do we supply awards and trophies to NJ and beyond, we also sell customizable sportswear in a variety of styles, colors and sizes – maybe a monogrammed fleece awarded to the winner is just what your family’s annual putt-putt outing needs!