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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Charles Curtis

Why Masters winners and members get green jackets, explained

Editor’s note: This story was originally published April 10, 2022

Welcome to FTW Explains, a guide to catching up on and better understanding stuff going on in the world. Watching the Masters on Sunday and suddenly wondering why all the members and winners of the tournament at Augusta National wear those same green jackets and the origin story behind it? We’ve got you covered.

The green jacket might be one of the best trophies in all of sports, if you think about it that way. It’s wearable bragging rights, one that you can put on for anything from attending Wimbledon (hi, Sergio Garcia) to ordering Chick-fil-a (Patrick Reed).

But what’s the deal with green jackets? Let’s dive in:

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Why have them wear jackets at all?

This is where the origin story comes in.

But that story? There are actually two of them, per

The first story is Augusta National co-founder and one of golf’s greatest champions, Bobby Jones, attended a dinner at 12-time Open Championship venue Royal Liverpool in England where club captains were wearing matching jackets to denote their position. Jones liked that.

The other story is that Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts figured it was a way to identify club members as “reliable sources of information” to visiting non-members — and to let waiters know who got the check at dinner.

In 1937, the green jackets started rolling in.

But why green?

Specifically, Pantone 342 (per Golfweek). The story I found behind this came from Today’s Golfer:

So when Augusta National opened in January 1933, [Bobby] Jones floated the idea to business partner Clifford Roberts. The only issue was the colour. Red, yellow and even ‘Georgia peach’ were all considered but quickly dismissed. Then, while out walking Roberts’ eye was taken by the leaves underpinning the many azalea bushes found on the former Fruitland Nursery site. Known as verdant green, the choice was made and a legend was born.

When did the Masters winners start getting them?

That was back in 1949 when Sam Snead won his first at Augusta.

How do the golfers get jackets in their sizes?

(AP Photo/Doug Mills)

They get a temporary one that’s approximately their size before they’re given a customized fitting after their win.

Do you get more than one if you win multiple Masters?

Nope! We learned this with Tiger Woods in 2019. You can bring the green jacket home for a year after your win, but then it has to be brought back and worn only at Augusta.

And if you win again, you get your same jacket to put on after your victory.


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