(NEXSTAR) – Tiger Woods is a five-time Masters champion, second only to Jack Nicklaus, who has six victories at Augusta, but you won’t see a green jacket in Woods’ closet anytime soon – unless he can somehow pull off a win this year as he continues his return from injury.
The jacket, like so many aspects of the hallowed tournament, is subject to the customs and history of the Masters, which dates back to 1934.
Only the current Masters champion, in this case Scottie Scheffler, can take the jacket off Augusta National Golf Club grounds. Masters champions only get one jacket no matter how many times they win, and it is otherwise forbidden to remove them from club grounds.
This is not to say that golfers haven’t flouted the rules in the past, however. Legendary South African Masters champion Gary Player took the jacket to his home country after wining in 1961, becoming the first international player to do so.
He returned to Georgia the following year to defend his victory, but didn’t bring the jacket, according to PGA.com. When Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts told Player he was required to bring it back, Player replied, “Well, Mr. Roberts, if you want it, why don’t you come and fetch it?”
Roberts reportedly got a chuckle from the exchange and the two compromised: Player could keep the jacket for a while longer, but he had to agree not to wear it outside.
History of the green jacket
The iconic wardrobe piece dates back to the early years after the founding of Augusta National by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts in 1930.
“The roots of a blazer dates to the 19th century when jackets were first worn to designate team affiliation in competition,” according to the Masters’ website.
Members of Augusta National Golf Club wore the first green jackets, made by New York City-based Brooks Uniform Company, in 1937. The easily-recognizable color – Pantone 342, if you were wondering about the exact shade – helped tournament patrons quickly find someone if they needed assistance.
Sam Snead was the first to be presented a green jacket upon winning the Masters in 1949, as well as an honorary membership to Augusta. The tradition stuck, and every winner since has received one.
The tropical wool jacket, adorned with three gold buttons, an embroidered Augusta National patch on the left breast pocket and notched lapels, is tailored for each winner – the jacket the Masters winner puts on after closing out the 72nd hole on Sunday is a stand-in.
After winning the Masters in 2022, Scottie Scheffler admitted to not always taking the history-steeped garment too seriously.
“I’ve just put it on a few times around the house when trying to mess with Meredith,” Scheffler told GolfDigest, speaking of his wife. “When she tries to get me to clean the dishes or something like that, I’ll put the jacket on and be like, ‘Really, I still have to do this?’ I’ve had some fun with her with that.”