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Why does the winner of the Masters receive a green jacket?

It's been a tradition in Augusta since 1949

ATLANTA — ATLANTA – One of the greatest traditions in all of sports involves a unique fashion statement that turns the golf world green with envy.

The winner of the Masters golf tournament in Augusta is awarded money, a trophy, and a distinct addition to their wardrobe.

The tradition of providing a green jacket to the winner of the Masters has lasted 70 years.

 The green jacket first appeared at Augusta National Golf Course in 1937.

Golf historian Sid Matthew believes it was the chairman of Augusta National who wanted club members to wear something that would make them stand out.

“It was Cliff’s idea,” says Matthew, referring to chairman Cliff Roberts. “He wanted a way for visitors would know who to go to if they had questions about the club or the tournament.”

According to Matthew, Roberts picked green jackets to represent spring, which is the season that welcomes the Masters to Augusta National’s lush green course.

It was Roberts who started the Masters golf tournament along with legendary golfer Bobby Jones. Jones was born on St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday dominated by green.

“I don’t know if that had anything to do with the color of the jacket, but I’ll bet it played a role,” says Matthew.

No one’s sure who came up with the idea of providing jackets to the winner of the Masters, but that started in 1949. Golfer Sam Snead was the first to wear green.

For both players and club members, tradition dictates that the green jackets do not leave Augusta National’s grounds. The only exception occurs when the winner of the Masters is allowed to take his jacket home for one year. After that, it stays in Augusta.

Along with his green jacket, Sam Snead was awarded $2,750 for his 1949 win.

Last years winner got a jacket and $1.9 million.