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masters par 3 contest

The little traditions that make the Masters special

The Masters and its host Augusta National are heaped in history and tradition. Here are some of the best of them

 

It could be argued the Masters is golf’s most traditional tournament. Augusta National even described the tournament as “a tradition unlike any other”.

From the caddies outfits to the Champions Dinner, there are a number of institutions that make Augusta National and the Masters Tournament what it is.

Masters traditions

We take a look at the some of the best…

The famous white ‘boiler suits’

You’ll notice when watching the Masters that all caddies are wearing a white boiler suit.

They are required to wear these and the practice has carried on for decades. Originally, only caddies employed by the club could carry bags during the Masters.

That changed in 1983 but the tradition of players’ caddies wearing the distinctive white suits and green hats has continued.

Par-3 Contest

Masters traditions

In a serene corner of Augusta National lies the famed par-3 course, which becomes the focus for spectators and a lot of the players on the eve of the tournament.

Many invite their families and friends out to walk the course and caddie for them in this curtain-raiser.

While a competition does take place, this is ultimately a light-hearted spectacle and, for many competitors, is their favourite part of the week.

No player has ever won the Par 3 Contest and then gone on to claim the Green Jacket.

Skipping balls across the water at 16

You’ll hear calls of “Skip it!” from the patrons when the players reach the famous par-3 16th during practice days.

And once the initial tee shots have been hit, the real fun begins.

The players stand on the bank of the pond and attempt to skip a ball across the water and out the other side.

Every shot that makes the green is greeted with a huge cheer – and there has even been the odd hole out to savour, including Vijay Singh, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuzien, and Jon Rahm.

Champions Dinner

On Tuesday evening of each Masters week, the past champions of Augusta sit down together for a celebratory meal.

The menu is designed by the defending champion and there are even traditions within this tradition, such as where people sit at the table. It’s a very personal experience for the host.

Ceremonial opening tee shots

One of the nicest moments of Masters week is watching some legends of the game hit the first ceremonial shots to officially mark the start of the tournament.

Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player stood on the tee alongside the great Arnold Palmer for many years and they’ve followed the likes of Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen and Byron Nelson.

The tradition first began in 1963 with Jock Hutchison and Fred McLeod hitting away.

Nicklaus and Player carry it on today, after the passing of the King in 2016.

The use of electronic devices is prohibited

Masters traditions

Mobile phones are prohibited throughout Masters week and anybody found using one could find themselves escorted from the grounds, never to return. They’re even banned for the players.

During practice days, the use of cameras is permitted. But, once the tournament begins, you won’t see a flash in sight.

Those attending the event must be referred to as ‘patrons’

If you’re watching the coverage on TV you will notice those attending the event are never referred to as ‘fans’ or ‘spectators’.

Broadcasters are required to refer to the attendees as ‘patrons’.

The food

A brilliant aspect of the Masters is the food on offer to the patrons – and best of all it’s really well priced.

One thing on every golf enthusiast’s bucket list is to try one of the famous pimento cheese sandwiches and many tick that box each year…

Now have your say on these Masters traditions

What do you make of these Masters traditions? Is it great that the tournament is phone free? Should more majors adopt Augusta’s food prices? Let us know by leaving a comment on X.

Joe Hughes

Tour editor covering men's golf, women's golf and anything else that involves the word golf, really. The talk is far better than the game, but the work has begun to change that.

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