Why do Masters Champions win a green jacket?

Green jackets from Augusta National Golf Club have become among the more distinctive spoils of victory in golf.

The jackets are worn by members, and tradition holds that a green jacket is awarded to each Masters champion. As it is with every custom, Augusta National is ultra-protective of the garment and claims that each winner's jacket ultimately is club property.

Augusta National did not begin awarding green jackets to the Masters champions until 1949, at which time the club retroactively had jackets made for the nine men who had won the previous 12 tournaments (the tournament was suspended during WWII).

The tradition of green jackets for Augusta National members started in 1937. The jackets were bought from the Brooks Uniform Co. in New York. The jacket was awarded to the winner for the first time in 1949. Sam Snead was the recipient. For the clothes hound, it's a single vent with brass buttons.

The club's jackets, stored in a room near the clubhouse, cannot be worn off the club grounds. By the way, if anyone asks, it isn't kosher for windbreakers from the B.C. Open to be worn on the Augusta National veranda.