Dustin Johnson, left, the 2020 Masters Tournament champion, helps Hideki Matsuyama put on his green jacket after winning the 2021 Masters Tournament at Augusta National
Hideki Matsuyama became the first Asian player to win the tournament in 2021 Image Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times

With the Masters Tournament fast approaching, Gulf News will be delivering some insight into the first Major Championship of the season in the run-up to prestigious tournament at Augusta National, which gets underway on April 11.

First up, a selection of unique stats and facts from the only Major Championship that is played on the same course every year.

Name change

The Masters Tournament had a very different name when it held its inaugural edition in 1934. It was then known as the Augusta National Invitational Tournament for the first five years before changing its name to the Masters Tournament in 1939. Ralph Guldahl was victorious in that event after beating the legendary Sam Snead by one stroke.

Winner's cheque

Sport - Golf - Jon Rahm
Rahm became the fourth Spaniard to win the Masters last year Image Credit: The Masters/X

Horton Smith won the first ever edition in 1934, securing a cheque for $1500 in the process. Jon Rahm took home $3,240,000 for winning last year’s edition, with this year’s prize fund to be announced the week of the tournament.

Caddie uniform

During tournament week every caddie must wear white boiler suits and green caps. The caddie uniforms have been this way since the early 1940s and the decision to wear a white jumpsuit on a golf course turned out to be an innovative decision at the time.

No phone zone

There will be no selfie taking or Instagram uploads of the hallowed turf of Augusta National due to the no phone policy on the course. Cameras are allowed on practice days, but during tournament days you will be refused entry if you have a phone or camera in your possession.

Green Jacket

As well as winning a trophy and handsome winner’s cheque, the champion of the Masters also receives one of the most sought-after items in the game – the Green Jacket. The first Green Jackets originated in 1937 for members of Augusta National Golf Club to wear during the Masters to allow patrons to easily identify and seek out assistance during the Tournament. After winning the 1949 Masters, Sam Snead became the first Masters winner to be presented the Green Jacket and the traditon has continued ever since,

Scottie Scheffler slipped into the Green Jacket when winning in 2022 Image Credit: AP

Smallest field

The Masters is the hardest men’s Major to qualify for as it has by far the smallest field of the four Majors. In 2018 and 2019 it had just 87 players - the lowest in history.

Champions Dinner

The Champions Dinner on the Tuesday of Masters Tournament week is one of the most unique traditions in golf. The exclusive evening has been an annual event since 1952 after Ben Hogan, the 1951 Masters winner, invited all past Masters champions to dine together. At the time Hogan proposed that a club of Masters winners be formed. Since then, the winner from the previous year has acted as host and selected a menu for all previous Green jacket winners.

Flower power

More than 30 varieties of azaleas can be found around the course and are the most identifiable plant patrons come across. The 13th hole, aptly named Azalea, contains more than a thousand of the shrubs.

Record setter

Jack Nickalus holds the record for most tournament victories with six, with Tiger Woods second on the all-time list with five. Arnold Palmer won four, while a quintet of players, including Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson, won the tournament on three occasions. Only 17 players have managed to win the tournament on more than one occasion.