20 fun facts about the Masters

Jack Nicklaus receives his green jacket from Bernhard

Jack Nicklaus receives his green jacket from Bernhard Langer of Germany after winning the 1986 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo Credit: Getty (April 11, 1986)

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1. Green jackets from Brooks Uniform Co. in New York were first worn by members in 1937 to make them recognizable. Sam Snead was the first champion to receive one as a prize, in 1949.

2. Six-time champion Jack Nicklaus never had his own tailored green jacket until 1998, when the club learned of the oversight and corrected it.

3. Lee Elder won the 1974 Monsanto Open and, in 1975, became the first African American to play in the Masters. The club admitted its first black member in 1990. 

4. Haggis, made from sheep's intestine, was on the menu during the Masters Club champions dinner hosted by Sandy Lyle. Bernhard Langer served wiener schnitzel, Tiger Woods served cheeseburgers and milkshakes his first time as defending champion.

5. Former champions have a separate locker room, in which Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh reportedly had a heated argument in 2005. They were paired for the final round and had no problems.

6. Holes 11, 12 and 13 were named "Amen Corner" by Herbert Warren Wind in an April 21, 1958 Sports Illustrated article about Arnold Palmer's first Masters victory. It came from a jazz record, "Shouting at Amen Corner."

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7. Very few pro golfers are Augusta National members. One is John Harris, who won the 2006 Commerce Bank Championship at Eisenhower Park.

8. The Eisenhower Cabin and Ike's Pond are named for former President and Augusta member Dwight Eisenhower. So is the Eisenhower Tree on No. 17. He hit it so often that he made a motion to have it chopped down but was overruled.

9. The Masters was the first golf tournament with bleachers, and the first to be on radio and on high definition TV.

10. Butler Cabin, where the televised green jacket award ceremony is held, is one of 10 cabins on the grounds. It was built in 1964 and named for club member Thomas Butler. 

11. Two native Long Islanders, Len Mattiace and Chris DiMarco, tied for first but lost playoffs, to Mike Weir and Tiger Woods, respectively.

12. Among golfers who have played 100 or more Masters rounds, Fred Couples has the best career scoring average, 71.94 (.04 better than Jack Nicklaus.)

13. Magnolia Lane, which leads from Washington Road to the clubhouse, is 330 yards long and is lined by magnolia trees that are more than 150 years old.

14. Like Jack Nicklaus in his prime, Tiger Woods declines to play in the Par 3 Contest, mindful that no one has ever won the whimsical Wednesday Par 3 event and the Masters the same year.

15. The Crow's Nest is a 30-by-40 feet area on the top floor of the clubhouse, capped by an 11-square-foot cupola and capable of housing five. Amateurs stay there during the Masters.

16. The Masters always is scheduled to end the second Sunday of April, but the first one was held in March, 1934. It was called the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, born after the USGA denied the club's request to host the U.S. Open.

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17. Although the Augusta National terrain looks flat on TV, it actually is quite hilly. The difference in elevation between the highest and lowest points is 175 feet.

18. Spectators, officially referred to as "patrons," are allowed to sit in front of golfers on the par-3 sixth hole. They sit on a downslope below the tee, watching the green as shots fly overhead (trusting that no one hits a ground ball.

19. Gene Sarazen made a double eagle 2 on his way to the win in 1935, the year Augusta National permanently reversed the front and back nines.

20. Byron Nelson beat Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff in 1942, just before the club shut down for two years. During World War II, the course was used to raise cattle and turkey.

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