April is a big month in the calendar of any golf lover. The month hosts one of, if not the, most important golf tournament in the world: The Masters. From 9th-13th of this month, the world’s best golfers and biggest fans will descend on Augusta, Georgia in the US to witness another piece fo golfing history.
Before we jump into the excitement of this year’s tournament, we thought it would be a good idea to take it right back to the beginning of the historic event and how it came to such prominence.
It all starts with Bobby Jones, a successful amateur golfer who was looking to fulfil his lifelong dream of opening and owning his own golf course and he got his chance when he linked up with Clifford Roberts to acquire the land that the August course is built on for $70,000. Previously, the land was home to an indigo plantation and a little after that it was Fruitland Nurseries. The duo hired Alister MacKenzie to create and build the course in 1931 and by January 1934 the first round of golf as played on the course.
Looking to provide a service to golf by hosting a tournament, Jones and Roberts decided to hold an annual event beginning in 1934. Roberts originally proposed the event be called the Masters Tournament, but Jones objected thinking it too presumptuous and the name Augusta National Invitation Tournament was adopted. It was only when Jones (finally) gave in and the tournament became The Masters in 1939. By 1940, the tournament became a permanent fixture in the golfing tournament and took the first week in April ever since.
Although there was a short break in the tournament during World War 2, there have been 35 individual winners of the competition since the start. You may know of Tiger Woods dominating at the mere age of 21 at this fixture, but in the 1960s and 70s, it was the trio of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus who dominated the course winning 11 times between them whilst establishing themselves as greats in the game.
Speaking of winners, the purse has significantly increased for winners with the most recent collecting close to $2M in prize winnings, a long way from the $1,500 won by the tournament’s first winner, Horton Smith. As well as the prize money, each winner receives an incredible distinctive green jacket. The green sport coat is the official attire worn by members of Augusta National while on the club grounds and by winning the tournament the winner also becomes an honorary member.
More importantly, the winner also receives the first of a small batch of limited edition Green Armand De Brignac Brut champagne bottles that are created and launched each year during The Masters. Armand de Brignac is one of the world’s most well-known luxury champagne brands, owned by Jay-Z and featuring in many rap videos and films. The Cattier family, who are in charge of creating the famous wine have been growing these special grapes for over 250 years and the craftsmanship that goes into each bottle is second to none.
No wonder the winner of The Masters is always smiling! That being said, you too can get your hands on one of the limited edition bottles without the gruelling four-day competition on our website now!