The Masters Tournament, also known as The Masters, or The U.S. Masters outside of the United States, is one of the four major championships in professional golf. Scheduled for the first full week of April, 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 Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones, who designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie. The tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour, the PGA European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, entry being controlled by the Augusta National Golf Club. Read about the Masters exploits of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and many other greats of golf The Week In Golf at ImagineGolfClub.com.
The tournament has a number of traditions. A green jacket is awarded to the winner of each tournament, which must be returned to the clubhouse after a year. The Champions dinner, inaugurated by Ben Hogan, is held on the Tuesday before each tournament, and is only open to past champions and certain board members of the Augusta National Golf Club. The winner of the previous year's tournament selects the menu for the Champions dinner. Beginning in 1963, legendary golfers, usually past champions, have hit an honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round. Such golfers have included Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, and Arnold Palmer, who hit the tee shot in 2008 and 2009. Since 1960, a semi-social Par 3 Contest held on Augusta National's grounds, has been played on the day before the first round of each Masters Tournament. To find out more, read our alternative history of The Masters
Jack Nicklaus has won more Masters Tournaments than any other golfer, winning six times between 1963 and 1986. Other multiple winners include Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods, with four each, and Phil Mickelson with two. Gary Player, from South Africa, was the first non-American player to win the tournament in 1961. The tournament organisers frequently extend the length and layout of the course to meet developments in equipment technology and player skill.
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