Wednesday, April 23 2014, 09:23 AM MDT
Good Question: Why Do Winners Of The Masters Get Green Jackets?
(KUTV) At Old Mill Golf Course in Holladay Friday, golfers were honing their craft on the driving range. For these amateurs, it's a labor of love done exclusively for the sake of fun. Check that – done mostly for the sake of fun.
Bill Christiansen says he has won trophies and money. Steve Larsen once won a water bottle. But that all pales in comparison to one golfer who said he has won time and time again – trophies, cash prizes, even a few green jackets. (Disclaimer, he was playing golf on his Playstation).
Last weekend, for the second time in three years, Bubba Watson was awarded arguably the most coveted prize in golf: a real green jacket. The honor was bestowed on him for winning the Masters Tournament at Augusta National in Georgia.
"It's overwhelming," Watson said after the victory. "As a kid, all you want to do is make the [Professional Golf Association] tour. Nine years on tour now, somehow six wins, two of [them] have green jackets wrapped around [them]. It's something I could never dream of."
But as the tournament wrapped up last Sunday here on KUTV and CBS, one viewer asked, how did such a unique tradition begin?
It's a good question and the answer does not date back to the beginning, according to the tournament's official website.
"It wasn't until the 13th playing of the event, in 1949, that the champion was awarded the signature blazer for the first time. Originally, only Augusta National members wore green jackets. Club officials started the custom in 1937, urging members to purchase the jackets and to wear them during Masters week so patrons could identify reliable sources of information. The club extended the tradition to Masters Champions as a gesture indicating the winners were to become honorary members of Augusta National."
While players of the sport may shoot for the coveted green, here in Utah veteran golfers like Christensen prefer to dawn a different shade.
"Well, I played for the University of Utah and got a red jacket," he said with pride.
By Matt Gephardt
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)