The Masters: Why the green jacket is important
This week is the 87th edition of the Masters. Scottie Scheffler is the defending champion and Tiger Woods is playing only his second tournament of the year.
While the glory of victory might be enough for these all-stars, it simply isn’t. They’re also here for the illustrious green jacket.
Despite the jacket’s simplicity, it holds a unique place among sports’ most iconic memorabilia.
What’s so special about the green jacket?
Anrold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods are some of the golfing icons awarded "the green jacket," as it is most commonly known among golf fans.
Last year, Scottie Scheffler finished at 10-under 278, winning $2.7 million from the $15 million prize fund, but that’s only part of the allure of winning the Masters.
For a pro golfer, earning a green jacket at Augusta National, while the rest of the sports world watches, is a transformational accomplishment, according to Bob Dorfman, a sports sponsorship expert and creative director at Baker Street Advertising.
"For a golfer, it’s the ultimate sign of arrival and success. It’s a triumph in the most major of the majors. It validates a player’s reputation as a winner, and is easily worth seven figures or more in off-the-course earnings from equipment sponsorships, ad deals, speaking engagements, appearance fees and the like," Dorfman told FOX Business in 2017. "And the fact that the Masters is an international event with entrants from across the globe makes the green jacket even more valuable to a golfer’s brand."
The green jacket attracts universal respect among sports aficionados, but like many elements of the notoriously-secretive Augusta National, little is known about how the blazer is manufactured. The golf club’s website links to a 2012 article by the Augusta Chronicle, a local Georgia newspaper, which lists the jacket’s estimated production cost at $250 and about one month production time.
How the green jacket is made
Augusta National representatives do not publicly comment on the manufacturing process.
Hamilton Tailoring, a Cincinnati-based company, has produced the club’s green jackets every year since 1967. But much like the golf club, the company is mum about most of the details.
"We can’t talk about it," Ed Heimann, the company’s chairman, told the Cincinnati Enquirer in 2016. "I wish I could tell you more. It would be good for our business, but I can’t."
According to the Chronicle, the company uses about two-and-a-half yards of wool per jacket. The wool is dyed with Pantone 342 green and stitched with the winner’s name. Tournament officials purportedly guess at the winner’s jacket size. The victorious golfer can wear the jacket anywhere he likes for one year, but then must restrict its use to inside the club’s grounds.
"It’s not your typical trophy, medal or jumbo-sized check – it’s a uniquely iconic symbol of victory in the golf world’s most prestigious event," Dorfman said. "Few victory traditions in sports have as strong a cachet as the donning of the Masters green jacket. Only the Indy 500 milk chug, the Heisman Trophy pose, the Olympic medal ceremony, the Stanley Cup kiss and the NCAA March madness net-cutting can compare."