espnW: Sam Snead
One of the most famous traditions at the Masters is the presentation of the green jacket to the champion. We have to wait until Sunday to find out who the proud new owner of the single-breasted, three-button blazer will be, but how exactly did this strange tradition begin? We're glad you asked.
The jacket dates back to 1937 when Augusta National decided it wanted its members to wear something identifiable during the Masters so patrons could easily recognize them as reliable sources of information. The tournament winner, however, was not awarded one until 1949 when Sam Snead was gifted the garment to signify his status as an honorary member of the club. All previous winners were then awarded a jacket retroactively.
While most details about the jacket are shrouded in secrecy, they have been made by Hamilton Tailoring Co. in Cincinnati since 1967. Each jacket costs an estimated $250 to make and requires about a month to produce. Masters champions are given an available jacket that best fits them during the ceremony but are fitted to their exact measurements later. Multiple winners are typically not awarded another jacket. Masters champions are allowed to take the jacket with them for a year but then are required to return them to the club. During the year, champions are allowed to wear them to "significant social and golfing events," but notable exceptions of these rules include Phil Mickelson sporting his at Krispy Kreme and Gary Player accidentally leaving his in South Africa.