THE MASTERS GOLF COURSE AT AUGUSTA, GEORGIA
The Masters Tournament, also known as The Masters, or The U.S. Masters outside of the United States, is one of four major championships in men's professional golf. Scheduled for the first full week of April, it is the first of the majors to be played each year. Unlike the other major championships, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club, a private golf club in the city of Augusta, Georgia, USA. The Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones, who designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie. The tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour, the PGA European Tour, and the Japan Golf Tour. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, entry being controlled by the Augusta National Golf Club.
The tournament has a number of traditions. A green jacket is awarded to the winner of each tournament, which must be returned to the clubhouse after a year. The Champions dinner, inaugurated by Ben Hogan, is held on the Tuesday before each tournament, and is only open to past champions and certain board members of the Augusta National Golf Club. Beginning in 1963 legendary golfers, usually past champions, have hit a honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round. Such golfers have included Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, and Arnold Palmer, who has hit the tee shot the last two years. Since 1960 a semi-social Par 3 Contest, on a par-3 course on Augusta National's grounds, has been played on the day before the first round of each Masters Tournament.
Jack Nicklaus has won more Masters Tournaments than any other golfer, winning six times between 1963 and 1986. Other multiple winners include Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods, with four apiece. Gary Player, from South Africa, was the first non-American player to win the tournament in 1961. The tournament organisers regularly extend the length and layout of the course to meet developments in equipment technology and player skill.