With the Masters golf tournament now over, I felt compelled to read up on the history of this storied event. As a sports fan, I was blown away by some little known facts.

Did you know…

The champion of course gets to don the famous green jacket. What most people don’t know is that the jacket officially belongs to Augusta National Golf Club and may not be taken off the premises. Which makes it the only prize to be won and returned that’s not named “O.J.’s Heisman”.

Past champions take a stroll down nostalgia lane with a “Champions Dinner” held before the tournament. Past losers remind themselves of bitter disappointment by eating hot dogs in October with the Mets.

The winner of the Masters has their name engraved on a silver trophy. With the tournament going strong since 1934, it now has almost as many names as Tiger’s bedpost.

The Masters was first held in 1934. Horton Smith won the event’s purse, which held a whopping $1,000. Players today agree that $1,000 wouldn’t pay for a tenth of John Daly’s bar tab. But it would buy him a proper man bra or two.

All sand for the bunkers at Augusta is shipped in from North Carolina. All grass is shipped in from Michael Phelps’ house.

Augusta National did not admit their first black member until 1990. Coincidentally, in 1990, Augusta National first put locks on their lockers.

Each hole at Augusta National is named after a tree or shrub with which it is associated. For example, the 14th hole is named “Chinese Fir”. It is so named because like the Chinese do with their currency, you can dangerously inflate your score.

Other holes are given such names as “Pampas”, “Crab Apple”, and “Firethorn”. It’s not known whether these are trees or names that Hootie Johnson used to call Martha Burk.

The oldest player to ever win was Jack Nicklaus in 1986, at the age of 46. He didn’t think he was that old, but then Ashton Kutcher asked him out.

The youngest player to ever win was Tiger Woods in 1991, at the age of 21. He didn’t think he was that young, but then he got offered 30 cents an hour to make Nikes.

63 is the course record. It’s also what Tiger rates “morality” on a scale of 1 to 10,000.

Martha Burk was not harmed in the making of this column.

Categories: Columns