April 06, 2017: The hallowed Augusta National Golf Club is one of the most revered venues in all of golf. It is on the bucket list of most golfers to just play the Masters, let alone win it. The 81st playing of the event starts today inside the club in Georgia.
Just hours away from the ceremonial tee off by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, here are some interesting facts to serve as an appetizer to the action this week.
1) Course architect, Dr. Alister McKenzie, never saw his famous course being used. He died on January 6th1934, just 2 months before the Inaugural Masters Tournament.
2) There have been several changes to the course over the years. 15 architects made changes to the Augusta National course since 1935.
4) The winner of the tournament is adorned with a resplendent “Green Jacket” which entitles them to a lifetime membership of the Augusta National. But the jacket must be returned to the club the next year. They are however invited and allowed to play the Masters for the rest of their lives.
4) Gary Player is the only Masters winner to not have his Jacket locked up at Augusta. He was able to keep it by “forgetting” to bring it back after he won the 61’ tournament. It can be seen at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida
5) On Tuesday night of the tournament week, the previous year’s winner gets to host a Champions Dinner. That winner chooses what will be on the menu for all past winners of the tournament.
6) Tournament announcers should not use generic social media words like “Fans” or “Spectators” at Masters Tournament, they must be called Patrons or Gallery.
7) Jack Nicklaus has won six Masters tournaments (1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986), more than any other golfer. Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods are second with four Masters wins each
8) Tiger Woods is the youngest player ever to win the Masters. He was 21 years, 3 months and 14 days old when we won in 1997
9) Jack Nicklaus is the oldest player ever to win the Masters. The Big Bear won the tournament at 46 years, 2 months and 23 days old – 23 years after he won it the first time in 1963.
10) An amazing fact – only three players have ever successfully defended a Masters Title, Jack Nicklaus (1965, 1966), Nick Faldo (1989, 1990) and Tiger Woods (2001, 2002).