The Masters Green Jacket: Golf’s Most Coveted Piece of Clothing

In professional golf, four individual events, known as “majors,” are seen as the pinnacle competitions in the game. These include the Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, and Open Championship. Each of these events has trophies and other symbols that have become synonymous with the lore and history of the tournament.

The green jacket in golf is awarded to winners of the Masters tournament and is steeped in tradition. Originally, green jackets were a means of identifying Augusta National Club members. However, in time, it shifted to winners of the Masters. Each champion holds the jacket for one year until the next tournament.

In this article, I will share with you the history and significance of the Masters green jacket. Beyond being a symbol of the event, the green jacket is something that is known to many, even outside of the game. It has truly become a piece of Americana.

The Masters Green Jacket Fun Facts

  • Jack Nicklaus was the first back-to-back green jacket winner in 1965 and 1966.
  • Nick Faldo was the next back-to-back champion in 1989-90.
  • Tiger Woods was the last back-to-back winner in 2001-02.
  • Gary Player was the first international green jacket winner in 1961.
  • Gary Player forgot his green jacket at his home in South Africa upon his return to Augusta in 1962. The jacket remains in his possession today.
  • Winners of the green jacket must wear it whenever they are at Augusta National.
  • Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo had his jacket assembled by Nordstrom.
  • Augusta National trademarked the name “Green Jacket” in 2010
  • Former New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey somehow owned a green jacket and took it off-site of Augusta National. He is reported to have been buried in it.
  • Florida-based “Green Jacket Auctions” auctioned off an official Masters green jacket in 2017 for $139,000. It was originally found in a thrift store in Toronto, Canada.

The History of the Green Jacket in Golf

The PGA green jacket is not only a symbol of Augusta National and the Masters tournament but also a symbol of the game and American sport. But how did the green jacket come to be?

Legend has it that Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts wanted to enact a way to have club members be easily identifiable during the Masters Tournament. Bobby Jones, the club’s other co-founder, suggested that a particular jacket could be worn to accomplish this. He got the idea from members at the Open Championship venue — Royal Liverpool in England. At a dinner he attended, club members from Royal Liverpool wore matching jackets which helped to identify them as club members.

In 1937, Roberts and Jones launched the idea of the green jacket. The original jackets came from Brooks Uniform Company, New York, NY. In 1967, the Hamilton Tailoring Co. of Cincinnati became the new exclusive Augusta National green jacket maker.

The jacket was worn only by Augusta National members until 1948. Starting in 1949, Masters Tournament champions began to be awarded a green jacket. The first champion to don the coveted green jacket was Sam Sneed. After this newly started tradition was established, previous winners, from 1937 and up, were presented with their green jackets for their Masters win.

Beyond the first-place prize money ($3,240,000 in 2024), the Masters winner gets the following:

  • The Masters trophy
  • A commemorative green jacket to keep
  • An official green jacket to wear when at Augusta National
  • The winners gold medal
  • A lifetime exemption to play in the Masters
  • A five-year PGA TOUR exemption
  • A five-year exemption to play in the US Open, Open Championship, and PGA Championship
  • Invite to the next year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions
  • Honorary membership to Augusta National
  • A locker in the Champions locker room at Augusta National
  • 100 Official World Golf Ranking points
  • 600 FedEx Cup points
  • Choice of next year’s champions’ dinner menu

Check This Out: Masters Highlights: Everything You Need To Know

The Traditions of the Green Jacket

green jacket golf
Simon Plumb (Wikimedia Commons) under CC BY-SA 4.0 – unedited

As a winner of the green jacket, a champion is only allowed to hold it in his possession, and outside the club grounds, for one year. After that, the jacket is kept in the champion’s locker and only taken out when the honorary member and champion are on-site at Augusta National.

Winners are presented with a replica green Masters jacket that they may keep commemorating their win in the Masters tournament. As each year’s tournament ends and the winner is determined, the right jacket is picked out for the victor. The club has several different size green jackets to use in the champion’s presentation in Butler Cabin and at the official ceremony on the practice green behind the 10th tee and 18th green.

The previous year’s winner awards the green jacket to the winner of the Masters each year. If the winner is a returning champion from last year, the Augusta National Chairman is honored to present the returning champion with the green jacket. That has only happened with three players, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, and Tiger Woods.

Any champion that has won the Masters on more than one occasion only has one green jacket. As they age and their body shape changes, the jacket is tailored for them by the club.

  • Multiple green jacket winners include:
    • Jack Nicklaus: 1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986
    • Tiger Woods: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005,2019
    • Arnold Palmer: 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964
    • Jimmy Demaret: 1940, 1947, 1950
    • Nick Faldo: 1989, 1990, 1996
    • Phil Mickelson: 2004, 2006, 2010
    • Gary Player: 1961, 1974, 1978
    • Sam Snead: 1949, 1952, 1954
    • Jose-Maria Olazabal: 1994, 1999
    • Seve Ballesteros: 1980, 1983
    • Ben Crenshaw: 1984, 1995
    • Bernhard Langer: 1985, 1993
    • Tom Watson: 1977, 1981
    • Bubba Watson: 2012, 2014
    • Horton Smith: 1934, 1936
    • Ben Hogan: 1951, 1953
    • Byron Nelson: 1937, 1942

Read More: How to Qualify for the Masters

The Anatomy of the Green Jacket

green jacket golf color
  • Jacket color: “Masters Green,”  otherwise known as “Pantone 342.”
  • Jacket material: Tropical-weight wool, Forstmann Co. Mill, Dublin, Ga.
  • Jacket type: Three-button, single-breasted and single-vent, Hamilton Tailoring Co. Cincinnati, OH.
  • Jacket markings: Augusta National Club logo on left chest pocket, A&B Emblem Co. Weaverville, N.C.
  • Buttons: Augusta National stamped brass buttons, Waterbury Co., Waterbury, Connecticut.
  • Identifying label: Members name is stitched on the inside of the jacket.
  • Lead time to create: One month.
  • Estimated cost: $250 to produce.

More From Golf Span: How to Get Masters Tickets: Prices, Lottery Odds, & Alternative Methods

Golf’s Other Major Trophies and Tokens

green jacket golf trophy
Fox Sports (Wikimedia Commons) under CC BY 4.0 – unedited

What do some of golf’s other major championships give the winners? Here is a look at what the winners of the other three majors receive:

PGA Championship

  • $2.7 million
  • The Wanamaker trophy
  • Lifetime exemption to PGA Championship
  • Five-year exemptions to the Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, and PLAYERS Championship
  • Five-year PGA TOUR card as well as DP World Tour card
  • Invite to the next year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions
  • 100 Official World Golf Ranking points
  • 600 FedEx Cup points
  • Champions Dinner

U.S. Open Championship

  • $3.6 million
  • Full-size replica of U.S. Open trophy for one year
  • Slightly smaller replica of the U.S. Open trophy to keep
  • The Jack Nicklaus Medal
  • 10-year exemption to U.S. Open
  • Five-year exemptions to the Masters, PGA Championship, Open Championship, and PLAYERS Championship
  • Five-year PGA TOUR card as well as DP World Tour card
  • Invite to the next year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions
  • 100 Official World Golf Ranking points
  • 600 FedEx Cup points

Open Championship

  • $2.5 million
  • Claret Jug for one year
  • Slightly smaller replica of Claret Jug to keep
  • The Open Championship gold medal
  • Exemption to Open Championship until age 60
  • Five-year exemptions to the Masters, PGA Championship, Open Championship, and PLAYERS Championship
  • Five-year PGA TOUR card as well as DP World Tour card
  • Invite to the next year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions
  • 100 Official World Golf Ranking points
  • 600 FedEx Cup points

Read On: What Are the Four Majors in Golf? Know Your Tournaments

Wrapping It Up        

Beyond being known as a symbol of the Masters, the green jacket in golf is easily recognizable to many, even outside the golf world. As a result, the green jacket has become a piece of Americana.

From its beginnings as a way to identify Augusta National members to becoming a symbol of champions of one of golf’s most cherished major championships, the green jacket is indeed a unique and special piece of clothing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Golfers Get to Keep the Green Jacket?

The winner gets to keep the official golf Green Jacket for one year. They must return it at the following year's event. In addition, they are given a replica green Masters jacket to keep indefinitely.

Can the Green Jacket Leave Augusta?

The winner can keep the official Green Jacket for one year and bring it off the property. However, there are specific regulations on where they can and can't wear it outside of Augusta National.

How Much Is a Masters Green Jacket Worth?

It is estimated that it costs $250 to produce the green gacket. Interestingly, official Green Jackets that have controversially sold in auctions have reportedly gone for between $139,349 and a whopping $682,229.

Which Color Jacket Does the Masters Winner Receive?

The Masters winner receives a Green Jacket. It’s a three-button, single-breasted and single-vent jacket made from tropical-weight wool. Each Masters champion only gets to keep their jacket for one year — they are obligated to return it. However, every winner also receives a replica jacket as well.

Who Makes the Masters Green Jacket?

The Masters golf jacket is made by Hamilton Tailoring Co. of Cincinnati. However, the jacket’s materials are derived from multiple sources. As such, it can take up to a month to produce a single jacket. For example, the tropical-weight wool is made by Forstmann Co and the stamped brass buttons come from Waterbury Co.

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Brendon is Class A PGA Professional and founded Little Linksters, LLC, and its nonprofit arm, the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development. He won 25+ prestigious industry honors, including the 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development Award. He graduated from the PGA of America Management Program and has a handicap index of 7.8.

He has played golf for over 40 years and currently plays twice a month at the Eagle Dunes Golf Club near Sorrento, Florida. He loves Srixon clubs and plays a ZX5 driver with Z 585 irons. He's written over 60 articles on GolfSpan and specializes in sharing tips to improve your golf game. You can connect with Brendon at LinkedIn, X, IG, FB, his website, or

  • Best score: 69
  • Favorite driver: Srixon ZX5
  • Favorite ball: Srixon Z Star
  • Favorite food at the turn: Turkey and cheese on white

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