The Birth of The Masters, and it's Ongoing Evolution

The Masters tournament is one of the most iconic events in the world of golf. Established in 1934, the tournament has become one of the most prestigious and revered sporting events in the world. The creation of the Masters tournament was a pivotal moment in the history of golf, and its founding was driven by the vision and passion of two remarkable individuals.

The Founders of the Masters Tournament
The Masters tournament was the brainchild of two men: Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts. Jones was a legendary golfer who had won 13 major championships, including the British Open, US Open, and US Amateur Championship. Roberts was a successful financier who shared Jones' passion for golf and was instrumental in founding the Augusta National Golf Club.

The Birth of Augusta National Golf Club
In 1931, Jones and Roberts began the process of creating a new golf course in Augusta, Georgia. The pair had a vision for a course that would challenge even the best golfers in the world and would serve as a fitting venue for a new tournament that would rival the US Open and the British Open. The course was designed by the renowned architect Alister MacKenzie, who worked with Jones and Roberts to create a layout that would test every aspect of a golfer's game. The course featured narrow fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and treacherous greens that demanded precision and skill.

The Birth of the Masters Tournament
The early years of the Masters were marked by controversy and challenges. The tournament struggled to attract top players from outside the United States, and it was initially open only to amateur golfers. The first Masters champion was Horton Smith, who won the inaugural tournament in 1934 by two strokes over Craig Wood.

The 1935 Masters was won by Gene Sarazen, who made golf history with his famous double eagle on the 15th hole of the final round. The shot propelled Sarazen to victory and helped to establish the Masters as a must-see event for golf fans.

The tournament continued to grow in popularity over the years, and in 1949, the field was expanded to 100 players. The Masters also became the first golf tournament to be televised nationally, with the final round of the 1956 tournament broadcast live on CBS.

The 1950s also saw the emergence of some of the tournament's most legendary champions, including Arnold Palmer, who won the tournament four times between 1958 and 1964. Other notable champions from this era include Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, and Gary Player.

The 1960's
The 1960s were a decade of change and transformation, and the Masters golf tournament was no exception. During this time, the tournament saw the emergence of a new generation of golfers, including Jack Nicklaus, who won his first Masters title in 1963. The 1960s also saw the introduction of a new tradition at the Masters: the awarding of the green jacket to the tournament winner. This iconic tradition has become synonymous with the Masters tournament and is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world of sports. The 1960s also saw the expansion of the tournament's television coverage, which helped to increase its popularity and cement its status as one of the most prestigious events in the world of golf.

The 1970's
The 1970s were a decade of dominance for some of the greatest golfers of all time at the Masters tournament. During this time, Jack Nicklaus won three more Masters titles, including an iconic battle with Tom Weiskopf and Johnny Miller in 1975.

Other golf legends such as Arnold Palmer and Gary Player also had success at the Masters in the 70s, with Palmer winning his fourth and final Masters title in 1974, and Player winning his second in 1978. The 1970s also saw the creation of the Par 3 Contest, a fun-filled event held on the eve of the tournament that has become a beloved tradition at the Masters.

The 1980's
The 1980s brought about a new era of golfing legends at the Masters tournament. Jack Nicklaus continued his success at Augusta, winning his sixth and final green jacket in 1986 in one of the most memorable comebacks in golf history. The 80s also saw the emergence of young golfers such as Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer, who both won their first Masters titles during this decade. The tournament also witnessed the first-ever sudden death playoff in Masters history in 1987, as Larry Mize defeated Greg Norman on the second playoff hole. Additionally, the Masters became the first golf tournament to offer a $1 million purse in 1986, reflecting the tournament's growing prestige and status as one of the most prestigious events in golf.

The 1990's
The 1990s marked a decade of transition and change for the Masters tournament. During this time, a new generation of golfers emerged, including Tiger Woods, who made his debut at the Masters in 1995 and won his first green jacket in 1997. Woods' dominant performance in 1997 was one of the most iconic moments in Masters history, as he set a new tournament record with a score of 18-under par. The 1990s also saw the introduction of new technology and equipment, which changed the way golf was played and led to longer drives and lower scores. Despite these changes, the Masters remained true to its traditions, including the iconic green jacket ceremony and the awarding of a crystal vase to the runner-up.

The 2000's
The 2000s marked a decade of continued dominance for Tiger Woods at the Masters tournament, as he won his third and fourth green jackets in 2001 and 2005, respectively. However, the 2000s also saw the emergence of other golfing greats at the Masters, including Phil Mickelson, who won his first green jacket in 2004 and his second in 2006. The tournament also saw some of the most dramatic moments in its history during this decade, including Mickelson's memorable shot from behind a tree on the 13th hole in 2010, which helped him win his third Masters title. Additionally, the tournament continued to adapt and evolve with the times, as it introduced new technology to enhance the fan experience and increased its online presence with live streaming coverage.

The 2010's
The 2010s were a decade of thrilling moments and historic achievements at the Masters tournament. During this time, golfing greats such as Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, and Jordan Spieth all won multiple green jackets. The decade also saw some of the most dramatic moments in Masters history, including Adam Scott's victory in a playoff in 2013, and Sergio Garcia's emotional triumph in 2017, where he finally broke through to win his first major championship. The tournament also continued to innovate and evolve, with the introduction of new initiatives such as the Drive, Chip, and Putt Championship, which encourages young golfers to develop their skills and potentially compete at Augusta. The 2010s also marked the end of an era, as the legendary Arnold Palmer passed away in 2016, leaving a lasting impact on the tournament he helped to elevate to new heights.

So far this Decade...
In 2020, the tournament was postponed from its usual April date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was played in November without fans in attendance. Dustin Johnson emerged as the champion, setting a new tournament record with a score of 20-under par. The 2021 Masters marked a return to its traditional April date, and saw Hideki Matsuyama become the first Japanese golfer to win the tournament, with a score of 10-under par. The tournament also welcomed a limited number of fans back to Augusta National Golf Club. 2022 saw Scottie Scheffler cement the world number one with his first Major victory.

And here we are in the middle of the 2023 edition! How are your picks doing? Let us hear about your favorite Masters memories in the comments and have fun watching the tournament!

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