The Masters Tournament, also known as The Masters or The US Masters, is one of the four major championships in professioanl golf.
The Masters is scheduled for the first full week of April, and it is
the first of the majors to be played each year. Unlike the other major
championships, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club, a private golf club in the city of Augusta, Georgia, USA. The Augusta club is set in a stunning location and is considered one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world.
The Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones. Jones designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, held by the Augusta National Golf Club.
The first "Augusta National Invitational" Tournament, as the Masters was originally known, began on March 22, 1934, and was won by Horton Smith.
The Big Three of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus dominated the Masters from 1960 through 1978, winning the event 11 times among them during that span.
Gary Player became the first non-American to win the Masters in 1961, beating Palmer, the defending champion.
The first European to win the Masters was Seve Ballesteros in 1980. Nicklaus became the oldest player to win the Masters in 1986 when he won for the sixth time at age 46.
In 1997, Tiger Woods won the Masters by twelve shots at age 21, in the process breaking the tournament four-day scoring record that had stood for 32 years
In addition to a cash prize, the winner of the tournament is presented with a distinctive green jacket, formally awarded since 1949, and informally acquired by the champions for many years before that. The green sport coat is the official attire worn by members of Augusta National while on the club grounds; each Masters winner becomes an honorary member of the club. The recipient of the green jacket has it presented to him inside the Butler Cabin soon after the end of the tournament, and the presentation is then repeated outside near the 18th green in front of the spectators. Winners keep their jacket for the first year after their first victory, then return it to the club to wear whenever they visit. The tradition began in 1949, when Sam Snead won his first of three Masters titles.
Until 1983, all players in the Masters were required to use the services of an Augusta National Club caddy who by club tradition was always an African American man. Indeed, club co-founder Clifford Roberts is reputed to have said, "As long as I'm alive, golfers will be white, and caddies will be black." Since 1983, players have been allowed the option of bringing their own caddy to the tournament.The Masters requires caddies to wear a uniform consisting of a white jumpsuit, a green Masters cap, and white tennis shoes. The surname, and sometimes first initial, of each player is found on the back of his caddie's uniform. The defending champion always receives caddy number "1": other golfers get their caddy numbers from the order in which they register for the tournament.