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The 411 on The 88th Masters Tournament

The biggest event in golf kicked off today (albeit after a short rain delay) at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, the site of the Masters tournament since 1934. This annual event has been producing some of golf’s most memorable moments and champions for the past nine decades. It’s also the only major tournament in golf that is always held at the same course every year. Over 4 days and 72 holes the best in golf will compete for the right to wear the famous green jacket over the next year and etch their name into the history books for an eternity. Par for the marathon 4 rounds of golf in 4 days is 288 strokes. The eventual winner is likely going to have to score in the mid-270’s - unless Dustin Johnson repeats his 2020 performance of just 268 - the best (ie: lowest) total score in the history of the tournament.

 

man wearing blue pattern golf polo hitting hole in one in georgia

Fun Facts to Talk About in Hushed Voices

The green jacket awarded to the winner of the Masters tournament each year is a tradition that began in 1949 when it was presented to golf legend Sam Sneed. Since then, the green jacket has become the most coveted prize in golf (aside from the money!) and is presented to each winner by the previous year’s recipient as a show of good sportsmanship. 

The style of the jacket is a classic three button, single breasted and single vented “sport coat”, with the Augusta National Golf Club crest embroidered on the left chest pocket and brass buttons. The famous shade of green has come to be known as “Masters Green”, though it is officially a shade of rye green and known as Pantone 342 by the manufacturer. Each jacket costs approximately $250 to make and has the recipient's name stitched onto the inside pocket.

Short of winning the Masters or becoming a member at Augusta National Golf Club - getting your own Masters Green jacket will prove difficult. A recent auction fetched over $140,000 for an authentic example and the sole and exclusive manufacturer of the jacket does not sell to the public. There was one exception to that rule which remains a mystery to this day: Nick Faldo is the only recipient to have his green jacket made by a third party. Nobody knows why. But before you go asking Nick about who was willing to make him that coveted jacket and how you can get one for yourself, remember this: he did win the Masters 3 times so cut him some slack!

Just because you aren’t a pro golfer or don’t have $140,000 to spend for your very own Masters Green jacket, doesn't mean you can't still look the part. See our style guide on how to look your best at any sporting event!

man los cabos blue star polo golf equipment in golf cart

To Bring or Not to Bring…

The most recommended item to bring to the Masters is an armless, lightweight folding chair without sharp edges. Heads up: the course is very strict as to what can and cannot be brought onto the property. Rest assured that the Augusta National website does provide guidance, so if you follow the rules you may have the best seat of any sporting event this year. Remember, depending on the players you are watching, you could be waiting around for a while: groups of three players tee off every 12 minutes starting at 8am until the final group at 2pm. Each player takes about 3 hours to complete a round of 18 holes, so expect a lot of walking, a little bit of waiting, and plenty of drama! That said, don’t expect to get a selfie with your favorite player or to post pics on social media - according to club rules cell phones are NOT allowed!

If you can live without your phone for a few hours and have made it to the Masters, then you’ve already paid an arm and a leg for tickets, lodging and transportation. You (and your wallet) will be relieved to learn that the Augusta National Golf Club has shockingly well priced concessions for such a prestigious event, with a full lunch combo costing only $5 and beers only $6. For lunch, you are all but required to get a pimento cheese or egg salad sandwich (only $1.50 each!) from the many concession stands around the event - it’s a right of passage for any attendee. For picky eaters there are plenty of other options, with nothing costing more than $3 except the aforementioned alcoholic beverages.

man and wife walking on golf course during tournament wearing collars and co polos

Hedging Your Bets

When it comes to who to watch, the current No.1 ranked player, Scottie Scheffler is the 4-1 favorite, but this event is filled with the best players in golf - past and present - so theres no sure bet. Every year individual storylines of triumph, defeat and come-from-behind victories emerge - no one should be counted out. One bad day at the Masters, or even three good ones doesn't guarantee a win OR a loss. The Masters is a test of endurance and consistency over 4 rounds, with outstanding individual skill being the minimum prerequisite possessed by all players in the tournament. 

In 1996 Greg Norman, aka “The Great White Shark”, was the favorite to win the Masters. He was the far and away stroke leader coming into the final round. A distant 6-stroke second place, Nick Faldo was simply biding his time when Norman began to stumble. Seeing the opportunity, Faldo focused. He put in an impressive 5 under par performance in the final round and emerged as the Masters champion for 1996, capping off an impressive career of 6 US majors wins and his 3rd and final Masters win.

Tiger Woods, the biggest name in golf over the past two decades, is looking for the same type of performance in 2024. While he is currently a longshot to win according to the betting world, counting out one of the greatest players in the history of the sport is unwise. Tiger has been here before, in fact 5 times before. Tiger Woods most recently won the Masters in 2019, where he was considered a 12-1 longshot, based on a daunting 14 year absence since his previous win in 2005. Don’t count him out. In fact, based on current odds, the $100 bet to win over $14,000 might be the best bet in pro sports this year!

Betting the easy odds, like Scheffler, Rahm, or McElroy, is certainly a solid strategy. But those are the obvious choices as the top 3 favorites to win the Masters in 2024. Where is the fun in that? Picking a longshot like Akshay Bhatia is a solid bet with a big possible payout. Bhatia won last week in Texas, and therefore has some momentum. He’s an up-and-comer and a fan favorite because he plays left handed - a rare breed in the sport. Look for a big crowd at any hole Bhatia is playing this weekend and some very happy fans if he ends up donning the green jacket this Sunday.

man wearing dress collar polo golf georgia national game

About The Collar Newsletter:

Designed to offer a comprehensive and insightful look into the world of elevated man, The Collar provides you with expert advice and thoughtful insights on all the topics you care about. It features a wide range of topics covering everything from lifestyle and fashion to travel and culture. The Collar is a meticulously curated weekly anthology that caters to the refined taste of the modern gentlemen.

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