The Green Jacket

In early spring when flowering trees are blooming across the country,  I look forward to finding out who will wear the coveted green jacket at the Masters Tournament. The tournament has a number of traditions. The green jacket is placed on the winner by the previous winner of the tournament. A green jacket has been awarded to the winner since 1949; which must be returned to the clubhouse after a year. The Masters Tournament is always played so that the final round ends on the second Sunday in April.  Every year the tournament is played at the same location at the private Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.  The tournament is an official PGA Tour event  with a field of players that is controlled by invitation from the Augusta National Golf Club.

All of the legendary golfers have played at this tournament.  Such golfers have included Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Fred Couples, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Jack Nicklaus has won more Masters Tournaments than any other golfer, winning six times between 1963 and 1986. Other multiple winners include Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

My husband introduced me to golf many years ago and took me to a golf tournament on one of our first dates. He has always wanted to be a spectator at the Masters tournament.Tickets for the Masters tournament and practice rounds are very difficult to come by. Applications for practice round tickets have to be made nearly a year in advance and the successful applicants are chosen by random ballot. Tickets to the actual tournament are sold only to members of a patrons list, which is closed.

When we were in Augusta, Georgia we stopped at the gates of the Augusta National Golf Club to see if we could get a peek at the hallowed grounds. Since it is a private golf club, the course is surrounded by a large wall and a gate with a security guard. We stopped at the gate and asked the guard if we could go inside and take some photographs. The guard reluctantly let us in the gate.

Last year one of my favorite players, Phil Mickelson won the event for the third time. His victory scene was quite emotional as he was greeted by his wife who had been battling cancer and his two children. The victory was one of the highlights in golf history for me.

This year I look forward to watching the tournament and seeing the coveted green jacket placed on the next winner or maybe Phil will keep the green jacket for another year. Green is a very good color for him.