The Masters Tournament is one of the most prestigious and well-known golf tournaments in the world. Held annually in Augusta, Georgia, it is one of the four major championships in professional golf. The tournament has a long and fascinating history, dating back over 85 years. Read below to follow a brief timeline of the tournament, from its inception to how it’s played today.
1934 - Bobby Jones, arguably one of the greatest golfers of all time, conceived the idea for the tournament. Jones retired from competitive golf in 1930 at the age of 28, but soon set his sights on creating his own golf course. He enlisted the help of Alister MacKenzie, a renowned golf course architect, to design the course in Augusta, Georgia.
Jones and MacKenzie's vision was to create a course that would challenge the best golfers in the world, while also showcasing the natural beauty of the area. The course was built on an old plant nursery, and many of the original trees and plants were left in place to add to the aesthetic appeal.
The first Masters Tournament was held in 1934. Horton Smith, an American professional golfer, won the inaugural event (and would also go on to win the third tournament a couple years later).
The tournament quickly gained a reputation as one of the premier events in golf, and its popularity continued to grow.
1949 - One of the defining moments in the tournament's history came in 1949, when Gene Sarazen hit what became known as the "shot heard round the world." On the 15th hole, Sarazen hit a double eagle, which is a score of two strokes under par, to tie for the lead. He went on to win the tournament in a playoff, cementing his place in golf history.
The famous green jacket ceremony was also introduced this year – the winner of the tournament is presented with a green jacket, which has become a symbol of the tournament and one of the most recognizable items in golf.
1960 - Another iconic moment came in 1960 when Arnold Palmer (a golfer who had a penchant for drinking a combination of lemonade and iced tea) won his second Masters tournament. Palmer was already a superstar in the golf world, but his victory at Augusta cemented his status as one of the greatest players of all time. His win also helped to popularize the tournament in a way that had never been seen before.
In the years that followed, the Masters continued to grow in popularity and prestige, and became known for its rich traditions, many of which are carried on today. In recent years, the Masters has adapted to changing times to include female atheletes as well.
2019 - In 2019, the tournament introduced a women's amateur tournament, which is held the week before the Masters and features some of the best amateur female golfers in the world. The tournament has also embraced technology, with live streaming and social media becoming an increasingly important part of the event.
Throughout its long and storied history, the Masters has remained one of the most distinguished events in all of sports. Its rich traditions, iconic moments, and legendary champions have helped to shape the sport of golf and inspire generations of players and fans alike. As the tournament evolves, the Masters will undoubtedly continue to be one of the most important and exciting events on the golf calendar for many years to come.