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Masters 2020: Why you might not see Augusta National members wearing green jackets this year

November 04, 2020

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If ever there were a Masters to wear a green jacket to, it would be 2020's November edition. The average low temperature in Augusta, Ga., dips into the 40s during that month, making an extra layer (or two) a must. But it sounds like we might see fewer of these coveted coats during this year's tournament than ever before.

According to the Nov. 3 episode of The Shotgun Shot podcast with Brendan Porath and Andy Johnson, Augusta National Golf Club members won't be wearing their green jackets around the course. “This year with no fans, they don't want to stick out like sore thumbs,” Johnson says after getting a tip.

That rumored decision may seem strange, but it actually makes sense when looking at the history of these garments, which were first worn by members in 1937—and first given out to the winner of the Masters beginning with Sam Snead in 1949.

In David Owen's 1999 book, “The Making of the Masters,” he writes that Augusta National co-founder Clifford Roberts “always referred to spectators as patrons, a term that perfectly expressed his conception of the relationship between ticket buyers and the tournament they financed.”

To that end, members wore their green jackets during the Masters so patrons with questions could easily identify them to get accurate information about the club or the tournament. So with no spectators allowed on the grounds this year, that same need isn't there—not that all of ANGC's members are quite as approachable as they were in the early, humbler days of the tournament.

In any event, the winner will still get a green jacket at the conclusion of the next week's tournament. And based on the early weather forecast, if members can't don theirs to the presentation, they should probably bring some backup outerwear.